In my last Post, i listed some tips or techniques to sell over the phone. Here are more
Here some of our practical ideas for how to sell over the telephone, which will help you to be confident and natural, listen more, avoid assumptions and keep it interesting.
1. Eliminate fillers (e.g. ums, ahhs and ers)
Verbal tics, often referred to as “fillers”, are frequently interpreted as a sign of uncertainty, which alienates you from the customer. Instead, you should take a brief pause when you feel the urge to add a “filler” such as “umm” or “like”, to make the customer hang onto your every word.
2. Listen to your phone calls
A great technique to improve your performance over the phone is to listen to your calls. This will give you great clues about how you can improve in the future.
3. Sit up straight or stand up
Research has suggested that having good posture when making a phone call helps you to speak with more conviction, making you sound more confident in the process. Sitting up straight and standing up also helps you to project your voice and speak clearly.
4. Prepare for common objections
Hesitation and fear often comes when a customer challenges your assertions and signifies that you do not really know the product that you are selling. So, prepare for common objections and perhaps bullet point a response in the form of a script so you can feel assured at all times.
5. Declutter your workspace
Decluttering your desk and nearby surroundings will ensure that you have easy access to everything that you may possibly need to assist the customer interaction. This will again decrease hesitancy levels and enable you to work in a structured, methodical and confident way.
The old adage is “smile while you dial”, and there is strong evidence to suggest that smiling elevates the tone of your voice, meaning that you sound more friendly and warm when making a phone call. So, whilst the customer may not be able to see it, they can hear it.
7. Check your smile with a mirror at your desk
If you keep a mirror at your desk when you are speaking on the phone, you can check your smile and other facial expressions that you are using during the conversation. As how you look is how you sound, this will give you a good idea of how you are being interpreted on the other end.
8. Practise talking 20% slower
If you get nervous on the phone, it is more than likely that you will begin to talk faster and faster. So, talk slowly, with the aim of speaking 20% slower than you normally would and sound more natural and clear. Also, do not be afraid of silence; it can be a powerful sales tool.
9. Speak from your chest
When you get nervous, you will notice that your voice moves from your chest upwards, so the sound emerges from your nose and throat. This makes you sound whiny and high-pitched and does not convey a natural sound or confidence to the receiver. When this happens, breathe out and practise speaking in a deeper tone.
10. Use the customer’s name at least three times in a call
Regularly using the customer’s name demonstrates that you are actively listening to them and is a great way to develop the conversation. People will take greater interest in your thoughts and ideas when they hear their name and are more likely to give you their full attention.
11. Apply “verbal nods” to the conversation
Verbal nods, such as ‘uh-huh’, and ‘I see’, help to combat pure silence on your end of the phone, which makes the customer feel helpless and unappreciated. So, a salesperson should use such noises to assure the client of their focus and understanding.
12. Repeat a customer’s word or phrases
Repeating a word or phrase your client has used encourages them to expand their thoughts. An insurance example would be if the customer says, “I need it to be reliable and cover…” and you repeat the word “reliable”, you are allowing them to open up and providing yourself with valuable information.
13. Summarise what the customer says
If you summarise what the customer says and repeat it back to them, the customer will acknowledge that you have listened to them and understand their situation.
14. Clarify key information points
Often, a customer will gloss over a key point that influences a sale, so it is important to say something along the lines of “can you tell me something about that please”. This will clarify the situation for both you and the customer and may uncover significant information.
15. Ask questions
By asking questions you will uncover valuable information that will help you to discover what is important to the customer. It also flags interest in them, which is key to building rapport and consequently boosting the chance of a sale.
16. Present solutions
Customers are not interested in the design of your product, but they are interested in what it does for them. So, if you listen carefully to what they say, you can identify how your product can help them individually.
17. Rephrase instructions
Occasionally, it can be difficult not to make assumptions if the customer does not fully disclose their information after considered prompting. When this situation arises, replace phrases such as “you should” with “let’s”, so you are both fully aware of your next steps and build rapport by denoting that this is a shared mission.
18. Practise your approaches
Take time to listen to other reps and gather new ideas to test out on your customers. If you stick to the same rigid process with every call, you will begin to bore yourself, and consequently you will not be engaging with your customers. So, pick up and use different approaches for separate calls.
After a streak of bad sales calls, your luck will soon change, right? Wrong.
This is a psychological trap that we have all fallen into in our lives. For example, you toss a coin three times and each time it has landed on heads. Part of you assumes that it must land on tails the fourth time, so that the odds start to balance out. However, the odds remain 50-50.
A salesperson must not make these same assumptions, as if you have a prolonged series of no sales, it will most likely be due to an unrefined approach, technique or a lack of confidence. This is a signal that you need to work on your sales technique.
20. Do not fall for the “Recency Effect”
It is a common principle in human psychology that when presented with a list of items, we are most likely to remember the most recent item (that is, the last one).
Here’s an example of how this can negatively affect sales. A salesperson is selling two items, but the last few customers have only been opting for one of them, and he begins to neglect the less popular item. Remember, not disclosing all possible options to the customer can limit their spending options.