Although there are many different ways to sell something nowadays, selling over the phone remains a very popular and successful method for selling products and/or services. However, successful telephone sales require specialized skills and a lot of experience to do it really well. Every phone call is different, so it's essential to be flexible. You need to be a good listener and be able to present convincing arguments to persuade the customer on the other end of the line. If you want to improve your telephone sales conversations, read on, as we provide you with some useful tips and examples.
Before we provide you with tips for telephone sales, let us explain what telephone sales is. A definition of telephone sales is not necessary; it already tells you what it is, selling over the phone. But as simple as it may sound, it's unfortunately not that easy. Developing good telephone sales skills requires a considerable amount of time and effort. However, once you master it, selling over the phone becomes more enjoyable and more comfortable. Even experienced salespeople often have more to learn, as the market is constantly evolving, and your sales skills need to be continuously honed.
There are many different ways to sell nowadays, and it's tempting to focus mainly on digital sales strategies. However, picking up the phone is still often successful. People often find a phone call more personal than an email, making them more inclined to respond. Moreover, in a phone call, you can immediately address the needs, fears, and objections of your customer. This significantly increases the chances of success.
Selling over the phone can be both warm and cold. Warm acquisition always has a higher chance of success, although cold phone acquisition is still frequently done. Know who you're talking to and strategically adapt your approach for the best results.
Since July 1, 2021, telemarketing is no longer allowed in all situations. It is prohibited to use unsolicited telemarketing to reach consumers and non-legal entities. You can only contact these individuals if they have explicitly given permission. Contacting legal entities is still allowed. This includes BVs, cooperatives, and associations. Whether you need to change your approach to telemarketing depends on your target audience.
If you want to be more successful in telemarketing, we have gathered ten handy tips for you to use right away!
Oftentimes, the beginning of a phone call is crucial for the rest of the conversation. In your first sentences, you need to engage your conversation partner in such a way that they want to continue talking with you. Nobody looks forward to a sales call, so you have to change that. Practice your opening line. Start the conversation enthusiastically and make the customer curious. You can also let them know how long or short the conversation will be, so the potential customer knows what to expect.
Chances are you already think you know how the phone call will unfold. You have your pitch and the script in your head and expect your conversation partner to react in a certain way. If this is your approach, it's likely the conversation won't be successful. Remember that you need to have a conversation with your potential customer. This means not just talking but also listening. Ask open-ended questions and listen to the answers. Then, cleverly respond to move the conversation forward.
You probably want to handle a certain number of calls in a day, which leads you to allocate a certain number of minutes per conversation to meet this goal. However, this approach can cost you money. By taking the time to listen to the potential customer, they will feel taken seriously. Therefore, try to handle your conversations not as quickly as possible but as well as possible. In the end, this leads to more satisfied customers.
Good timing is crucial for a telemarketing call. You can't see your conversation partner, so you can't rely on non-verbal communication. Therefore, you must listen carefully to ask the right questions at the right moments. Additionally, the time when you make the call is important. If you keep calling at 1:00 PM while your prospect always has an important meeting at that time, you'll never reach them. Therefore, always try to find out the best time of day to make the call.
You can't afford to be uncertain during a telemarketing call. Your conversation partner can easily sense when you doubt yourself or the product or service you're selling. Therefore, practice coming across as self-assured. Know what you're selling and the unique benefits of your product, services, or concepts.
You must continue developing your telemarketing skills. Successful telemarketing is learned by doing it. You can practice in real situations, but taking a training can also be very useful. In training, you can practice your skills. With the feedback you receive, you become more skilled and your self-confidence increases.
The chance of making an immediate sale in your first phone call with a prospect is not very high. Especially when making cold calls, it's challenging to achieve an immediate sale. Therefore, don't give up too quickly. Document all important information and agree to call back within a certain period. By maintaining contact, you build a customer relationship, making the sale easier to accomplish.
Someone in the 'yes mode' is more likely to say yes to a proposal. Therefore, ask a series of questions that your conversation partner is likely to answer with 'yes.' These questions can start with simple ones but can also relate to the problem you want to solve for the customer.
If you ask the potential customer if they are interested in your product, they may say 'no.' If you ask the customer whether they prefer product 1 or product 2, the chances of hearing a 'no' are much lower. That's because you didn't provide 'no' as an option, making it more challenging to answer negatively. With choices, your conversation partner also feels like they have control.
You might wonder why you should smile during a conversation when your conversation partner can't see you. However, this is an important tip for appearing friendlier. Smiling triggers positive chemical reactions in your brain, helping you come across as positive and friendly. It also makes your voice sound lively and enthusiastic. Speak clearly and don't be afraid to inject some humor into your story. Humor breaks the ice and strengthens the bond between you and your prospect. It also increases your likability and authenticity.
Every telephone sales conversation is unique. By responding to what is being said on the other end of the line, you create a strategically strong and successful conversation. Therefore, an example of a telephone sales conversation may not always be useful to review. It might tempt you to recreate the conversation, making your conversation less authentic and sincere.
What you can do instead is use your own sales conversations as examples. Analyze your own results and try out which opening lines yield results and which don't. This way, you create your own model for a successful telephone sales conversation. It's always good to use a call script, but remember that this script is just a guideline that you can deviate from when the conversation requires it. Nobody wants to hear a rehearsed script. Keep the example in mind but adapt it to each conversation to match your current conversation partner.
If you want to improve your skills in telephone sales and could use some assistance, then taking a training for successful telephone sales is highly recommended. Not only will you learn the components of a successful phone call, but you will also have the opportunity to practice and test your own skills. Telephone sales is a people-oriented field, and what works for your colleague may not necessarily work for you.
During a training for successful telephone sales, you will learn not only how to effectively promote your product or service but also how to handle objections and excuses. The training is tailored to real-world scenarios, and you can bring in examples of 'difficult customers.' This way, you will learn the exact skills you need for your job. This is useful for both beginners and experienced salespeople.
If a training for successful telephone sales sounds like a fit for you or your team, don't hesitate to contact us. Together, we will identify the challenges you are facing and ensure that the number of successful phone calls increases. This is not only beneficial for revenue but also makes telephone sales much more enjoyable!