In face-to-face sales, you can see the target, read their body language, and adjust your approach as needed. Telephone sales, in contrast, are a bit more challenging. Not only do you have the disadvantage of not being able to see the person, a phone call is less personal and could create some disconnect. With the right techniques, however, you can close the deal even if you’re on the phone. Here are a few tips:
Your phone conversation starts before you even pick up the phone. Rather than shuffling through papers looking for a client’s purchase history or trying to find your script of objections, have everything that you need to reference sitting out in front of you. Ideally, also have a map of your phone call sitting in front of you. The map should have a basic outline for the call as well as a list of common objections and ways to overcome them.
Dialing for Dollars
As a salesperson, you know that random cold calling is ineffective. Instead, maximize your time by using a list of numbers that may actually yield a sale. Insurance agents who are looking for a homeowner insurance lead, for example, often use a lead generation service. Through that service, they find solid leads, and can organize them based on education level, age of property, or other factors. Similar services are available for most industries.
Get on Their Level
The more comfortable the client feels, the more likely they are to grab the bait. Be personable and speak at their speed, using a few of their colloquial phrases, and match their tone.
Keep Them Engaged
If you rattle off a long pitch without letting the potential client speak, you risk losing the sale. Sales Gravy recommends keeping the sales prospect engaged by asking questions throughout your presentation. Open ended questions are the best because they require more talking from the prospective buyer.
As the client speaks, listen carefully and create a product that fills their need. If the client mentions a child, it’s an indication that he needs life insurance. If he references his high power career, it’s an indication that price is not an obstacle so stick with features and benefits.
Focus on the Close
By the end of the phone call, you are ready to close the deal. Salesopedia recommends not sitting on your hands, not waiting for the offer, but asking for the sale. You can do this directly by saying something like, “So, Molly, are you ready to set up your order now?” or you can do an assumptive close with a question like “Did you just want to get the liability coverage, or should we go for the whole package with collision?”.
Moment of Silence
You’ve asked the closing question. Now, observe a moment of silence. The tension that silence creates is unique to phone sales, and it doesn’t necessarily work in face-to-face scenarios. The silence will feel longer than it is, and it will compel the client to speak. At this point, their answer should be a yes. If not, move to your secondary close.