Pandemic or not, you have to make sales. The telephone, especially now, might be your best tool to sell and reach new customers. It’s not so easy to sell on the telephone. Then again, neither is selling face-to-face. Here’s what you can do to make it easier when you use the telephone to sell.
It’s all in the execution to use the telephone to sell.
How you speak is a critical part of success when you use the telephone to sell. Prepare so you don’t hem and haw. You sound indecisive if you are unprepared and that will not be an effective persuasion strategy on the telephone.
When you smile you will sound more confident. Practice what you will say before you dial. Slow down as you speak so it’s easier for the listener to hear what you think is especially important. You can emphasize certain words as well. An example would be slowing down when you say “…the largest distributor in the country…” Sound conversational and never read a script.
What’s the objective when you use the telephone to sell?
The objective of the first telephone call is not to make the sale. Your objective is to move your sales process forward. First step? Find the decision maker. That’s the specific objective for that first telephone call. You’re probably not going to reach the person you want in all likelihood with that first call. Instead, you’ll reach an operator or voicemail.
Here’s what you do when you reach a person, not a recording. You ask them a question to learn who the decision maker is. An example is, “I’d like to speak with the person who selects the sales automation system for Company X. I was told it was John Doe. Is that correct?
You might not ask another question to someone who sounds really stressed. A stressed person is fast talking with a monotone voice. You may be able to ask one more question to get some useful selling information depending on how busy you think that person sounds. You could ask, if the person seems open to it, to confirm his job title. This information is handy because job title indicates the range of buying authority.
The telephone selling formula to use the telephone to sell.
You’ve got to quickly establish your credibility on the telephone when the person doesn’t know you. You first state your name. Then provide your credibility. A well-known company like Salesforce, UPS or other large local company makes you credible. You would say, “This is John Doe, with UPS.” That’s your credibility.
What if you don’t work for a large or well-known company? Say something about your company that makes it credible. You could say, “We’re a preferred partner with Company X, the industry leader in office automation.” You help avoid the listener thinking, “Who is this and why should I listen?” You want the listener paying attention and wanting to hear more.
Follow with, “I work with (what their job title is) or a group that has a positive perception. That group could be growing companies, industry leaders, or highly profitable companies. Add what you do. Examples must be what that prospect wants. Determine if they want to increase profits, improve customer satisfaction scores, or reduce their downtime. What you say must be something the prospect wants so he listens to you.
Selling on the telephone is often referred to as smiling and dialing. Selling is not random dialing and smiling. Preparing your telephone selling strategy is the most important part of getting in to meet with a prospect. Why would you leave it to chance?