7 Secrets for Being Effective on Sales Calls
Many people, even with years of experience, feel a bit of anxiety about selling to unseen strangers – or doing it successfully. Even in today’s digital world, many businesses still are forced to interact with sales prospects through traditional means of communication. Whether it’s cold calling or responding to a website generated lead, entrepreneurs need to understand how to communicate with prospects. It’s a challenge, to be sure, but here are some tips for making your sales calls more effective.
- Trust that There’s Value
Some prospects are very negative, but others will find value in the product or offer your marketing. The opportunity you present might even fill a genuine need. Just tell yourself that you’re searching for just such a person, because that’s what you are doing. Maintain the attitude that your offer has value, and so do you.
- Selling is What You Do
We’ve all seen so many bad or obnoxious sales pitches that selling gets a bad rap, even in our own minds. Everybody does some form of selling, whether it’s impressing a date or trying to get the best price for your used car. You just happen to be making money at it. The Department of Labor suggests that over 511,000 people are employed in sales. Selling drives all business, so look at it as an important function.
- Understand Your Company and Products
Sales are easier if you know what you’re talking about. If you can’t answer questions, or sound like a robocall, the customer loses confidence and you lose a sale. You are the voice of your company, so make the effort to understand your company’s branding. Your dialogue should both align with and leverage your company’s marketing to utilize brand recognition as a basis for building trust.
- Compelling Messages
Odds are that a good portion of your calls are going to go straight to voicemail. Don’t look on this as a lost opportunity, but another sales tactic that can work to your advantage. Come up with some compelling messages. They should include some metric that conveys both value and expertise, in the most friendly tone you can muster. It only takes a few seconds, and when you’ve got the hang of it you’ll be surprised at how many return calls you can get.
- The Art of the Deal
Your company policies may not give you much room for negotiation, but use what you can. Upselling and cross-selling are perfectly good ways to earn revenue. If your company offers incentives such as discounts, free shipping for special orders, or free gifts, use those to sweeten the deal rather than laying out the value of your offer in one stroke that the prospect can dismiss just as quickly. If your company doesn’t offer any negotiations training classes, you might want to suggest it as a great return-on-investment that could improve skills – and sales – all around.
- Listen to Yourself
Most call centers record calls, and most call center managers listen to them. So you should, as well. Computers or smartphones have voice recorders built in now, so try rehearsing parts of your script or call guide and then playing them back. Understand that your tone of voice and your manner are more significant than the actual words you’re using. Try to not only achieve the right tone, but drive it home so that it becomes second nature.
- Follow up
Unless you get a sharp and definite ‘NO!’ there’s a possibility of making a sale. Many people need to hear an offer 4 or 5 times. They might need more information or more assurances before they’re ready to commit. Instead of pushing for a sale, try leading those hesitant prospects down that path, and always try to arrange a callback. You’d be surprised how many sales people don’t even make the effort.
Sales calls are about building relationships. Put yourself in the prospect’s shoes and empathize with their doubts, needs, and expectations. Above all, never let rejection affect you. If you’ve been pleasant, professional, and on-message, you’ve done your job.