Our previous article on improving phone selling skills [LINK] proved to be so popular, we’re adding ten more tips to help you improve your over-the-phone business results. Check them out!
1. Take time to understand.
It may “only” be a phone call, but it’s just as important to understand what clients or prospects want and need as it is during in-person meetings. Don’t cut corners because you’re on the phone. Make it a point to ask questions until you can provide people with exactly what they’re looking for.
2. A phone isn’t the only way to connect.
In many cases, the purpose of calls isn’t to close business. It’s to stay top-of-mind and maintain a connection with prospects and clients.
In these situations, a phone may not be the best tool to accomplish your goal. Sharing helpful information via email and social media allows for more frequency and reach than a phone can.
Tip: Add a “connect” link in your emails and posts to make it easy for your contacts to call you if they want to talk or do business.
3. Request referrals.
At the end of every successful sales interaction, whether in-person or over the phone, make it a point to ask for referrals. People who like doing business with you are likely to know other people who will, as well. Because of the personal connection, prospects are more willing to take a call from someone who comes recommended.
Remember: If you’re not asking for referrals, you’re missing out on a top prospecting opportunity.
4. Trade knowledge.
Is someone on your team not as good as you’d like them to be at making calls? Is someone else better? Partner them up. Perhaps the person who isn’t good at calling is a pro at some other aspect of sales or marketing. Encourage them to share knowledge. That way, both parties benefit.
5. Make training a top priority.
Most organizations offer sales training. In most cases, it’s limited to in-person interactions. Add components related to phone calls, as well.
Deals are as likely to close — and up-sells happen — over the phone. Sharing information about how to handle calls is just as important as all other types of training.
6. Training isn’t once and done.
It’s easy for sales reps to pick up bad habits — or forget
Did you know: Sales enablement systems like the one offered by Mobile Locker monitor progress through required training so you know your reps are completing courses.
7. Onboard reps ASAP.
Many organizations are determined to get reps making calls and selling right away. The goal is to make them productive on day one. Onboarding is a lower priority.
This is usually the wrong move. Untrained reps can blow a lot of sales calls and damage your brand and reputation.
Why not take a blended approach to training? Require that necessary component be completed in the first few days of work. Then provide e-learning modules on secondary topics that can be completed when convenient over time. It’s the best way to to make your new salespeople productive quickly.
8. Retain current customers.
Maintaining or growing existing client relationships is easier and more cost effective than attracting new buyers. Yet so many relationships are lost to poor over-the-phone customer service experiences.
Train your service staff to think like salespeople. Help them recognize the critical contribution they make to the bottom line of your business.
Don’t just think of client service calls as ways to resolve issues. Once things are fixed to their satisfaction, find ways to offer clients new products and services. A happy customer is your best up-sell opportunity.
Provide reps with conversation starters to help them facilitate the transition from servicing to selling. Have a process in place that makes it easy for service reps to transfer calls to sales personnel when opportunities arise.
10. Tell stories.
By nature, sales calls are audio experiences, with little or no visual support to help people understand complex concepts and remember things.
Shift your phone conversations from providing information about products, services and company attributes, to telling stories. Engage listeners by telling them about successful client relationships, interesting projects or innovative ideas. People are far more likely to engage with — and remember — a great story than any other type of information.