Six Smart Strategies for Superior Sales Calls
As a sales manager or salesperson you already know that the phone is a valuable tool for reaching out to potential customers, establishing new sales with existing customers and generally generating more business. Once you've mastered the basics and can confidently handle inbound and outbound sales calls, there's always room for improvement and the opportunity to learn enhanced techniques that can bring you even greater telephone sales success.
Business skills training specialists Maguire Training provide an excellent course 'Advanced Telephone Sales' which equips already proficient telephone salespeople with skills and knowledge designed to bring them even greater sales success. Covering aspects such as more effective listening, converting enquiries into sales and identifying decision-makers and time wasters, this invaluable sales training session is a must for anyone who routinely uses the phone to generate business.
As an introduction to taking your telephone sales techniques to the next level, here Maguire Training gives you six smart strategies for superior sales calls.
- Define your specific goal before you make the call
Knowing your desired outcome from a call will shape the way you handle it and help you to focus on taking the steps needed to achieve the call's goal without getting side-tracked. Remember, the desired outcome of a sales call isn't necessarily to complete a sale; it may be to gain access to a decision-maker, establish that a business is a hot prospect for your particular product or service or to arrange a firm face-to-face sales meeting.
- Don't short-circuit the natural sales process
Immediately giving a potential customer the impression that you're calling because you want to arrange a sales appointment or make a sale here and now will cause them to feel pressurised and to become defensive. Influence them gradually by building a rapport, arousing their interest in your product or services, engaging them in conversation to draw out details of their current situation and requirements and gradually steer them toward agreeing to a positive sales-related action such as a sales appointment or the sale itself.
- Refer to bullet points and notes rather than a tight script
Obvious adherence to a sales script is a major turn-off for many telephone sales prospects. However, only the most experienced salesperson can 'wing' a sales call effectively without information to refer to. Make positive, interesting and detailed notes covering the questions you need to ask during a call, the features and benefits of the item you're selling and any other information that you might need. Having the information you need in bite-sized bullet-points will help you to emphasise and sell the important aspects whilst maintaining a natural-sounding dialogue with the caller.
- Avoid obvious 'sales call' opening cliches
Some phrases have become so ingrained in the customer's psyche due to persistent overuse that starting a call with them sets off alarm bells straight away. Those that should be avoided at all costs include 'could you spare a couple of minutes to talk about'?, 'how are you today'? and the positively contemptible 'I'm not calling to try to sell you anything/don't worry, this isn't a sales call'.
- Tone-of-voice is vitally important, so practice
With successful telephone sales calls it really is not just what you say but the way in which you say it. In the absence of visual cues, potential customers become more attuned to audible signals and can detect insincerity, lack of enthusiasm and other negative emotions no matter how well you believe you may have disguised them. The best way to maintain appropriate tone-of-voice is to practice via role play calls with other salespeople; the elements which need to be perfected and maintained for use in successful sales calls are enthusiasm, interest/inquisitiveness and encouragement.
- Learn your product or service inside-out
Nothing hinders a sales call more effectively than responding to a customer's question about your product or service with 'I'm sorry I don't know, I'll have to go and find out for you'. In-depth familiarity with your product will prepare you to answer any question or at least make a properly-informed guess rather than halting a potential sale or meeting arrangement in its tracks.
There's far more to learn about what makes potential customers tick and how to turn this to your advantage when making sales calls. Advanced Telephone Sales from Maguire Training offers the most practical and effective means of maximising your telephone sales potential and is offered both as a classroom-based session and a convenient online training course, accessed via Maguire Training's versatile E-learning platform.