In sales, being on the phone is a necessity. For as much time as we all spend on the phone, it’s amazing how poor our phone skills can become if we are not intentionally improving these skills.
Consider these phone sales tips when you contact customers and/or prospects:
1. Don’t ask if it’s a good time to talk.
This gives the other person a perfect excuse to end the call. If you are unsure if the person has time to talk, then state up front how long the phone call will take and try to keep it to five minutes or less. When you give the person an exact time, be sure you time the call. After the allotted time, tell the customer you’re at the end, and ask them if they would like to continue or reschedule. Using this practice allows you to demonstrate how much you respect their time.
2. Ask questions.
People cannot hang up on themselves. If you can get them genuinely responding to questions, the call will likely continue.
3. Use the person’s name at least 3 times in every phone call.
Who doesn’t like to hear their name said?
4. When greeting people on the telephone, avoid using their last name.
It makes the call seem too formal. Your objective should be to have a casual conversation, in the same way you would talk to a good friend.
5. Use visually descriptive words to help paint a picture of what you’re saying.
Obviously, a phone call is not as multi-dimensional as talking to someone in person, but this doesn’t mean that a phone conversation has to be boring and stale.
6. When starting a new telephone conversation, always give your first and last name.
Never assume the person you’re talking to is going to recognize your voice or think you’re the only one with your first name.
7. Watch your facial expressions by placing a mirror in front of you when you talk.
It’s amazing how they come through over the phone.
8. Add energy to your phone calls by standing up.
Nobody likes talking to a “blah” person. People who have good posture tend to come across more enthusiastic than those who don’t.
9. When you end a conversation, always summarize it in the same way you would end a live meeting.
By doing so, you can prevent misinterpretation of your discussion.
10. Always allow the other person to have the final comment or question.
Just because you’ve asked all your questions doesn’t mean the other person has asked all of his or hers.
11. Avoid negotiating over the phone.
Use it as a means to introduce information and to follow up or confirm information. It’s impossible to truly read body language over the phone and thus you lose a major negotiating tool. A phone call can be an excellent way to introduce a new idea upon which you would like to receive some feedback. Many times it will allow feedback to be gained in a less threatening manner than if it were to occur in a traditional sales call.
12. Never use a speaker phone with a customer, even if they say it is fine with them.
Speaker phones add to the perception the conversation is not important enough to capture 100% of the person’s attention. (The only exception, of course, is if there is a group involved.)
Applying these phone sales tips to your daily routine will help you boost your sales motivation, increase your success and better serve your customers and prospects.