Despite what other bloggers say, phone sales and cold calling aren’t dying. In fact, 92% of all customer interactions occur over the phone, but some salespeople give up before they make a sale. It takes an average of 8 cold call attempts and 5 follow-ups to strike gold, so keep trying!
However, a go-getter attitude isn’t all it takes to make a sale. You also need the right sales techniques, negotiation tactics, and training before you can effectively sell over the phone.
5 Ways To Close More Sales By Phone
Effective sales training is the key to long-term success, as it sets a foundation for your first few calls. With the right software and lots of practice, you’ll hone and perfect the following tactics.
1. Get A Local Phone Number
A customer survey on the likelihood of answering unknown calls found that people are four times more likely to answer for local customers. For this reason alone, your business will benefit from a virtual phone number that replaces your area code whenever you switch where you dial.
Sales is a numbers game, and you can’t sell to prospects that don’t answer. However, in that same survey, 44% of customers who do realize you’re not a local caller will hang up. You can avoid this by explaining you’re an online business with offices or locations in the United States.
2. Look For Interest Signals
Salespeople should never sell a product or service. Rather, they should sell how their product or service can help improve the person’s life. That’s why salespeople should ask a few discovery questions to understand their customer’s pain points, so they can customize their call to action.
Your first question should be simple, but it leads to the pain point. For example, “I see you recently bought a domain, but your site isn’t online. Did you find it hard to code your website?” If they say they haven’t gotten around to it yet, you can assume the pain point is lack of time.
Now that you know why their website isn’t completed, you can sell your web development services as a way to save them time. Explain how quickly you can get their website finished.
3. Practice Objection Handling
Objection handling is where new salespeople get choked up, which makes sense. Reading a script is much easier than answering, “I don’t have time to speak right now,” or “how long is this going to take?” But an effective objection handler can keep nay-sayers on the phone longer.
If you prefer to use a script, you can, but you need to account for every possible objection your prospects could make. You should also press when a person says, “let me think about it,” as it’s a nice way of saying “no.” Get to the truth by asking: “What’s keeping you on the fence?”
4. Actively Listen To Prospects
Cold callers and phone salespeople have a negative reputation. The second a prospect knows you’re selling something; they’re going to go on the defensive. They’ll assume you don’t care about their needs or that you’ll listen when they’re speaking. You need to dispel this criticism.
When you ask a question, truly listen to their answer. Then, paraphrase the answer back at them. For example, if the prospect says, “I haven’t gotten around to coding my website,” you should say, “Are you unable to code your website because you’re too busy with work?”
This back-and-forth proves to the customer that you heard what they were saying. You also finished the sentence by asking why they can’t code the website, which keeps up the flow.
5. Be Honest And Stay In Control
During an inbound and outbound conversation, salespeople can lose control of the call if they offer up information right from the get-go. Instead, salespeople should ask them questions to better understand their needs. This keeps them engaged and willing to listen to your pitch.
With that said, you need to be human to build rapport. You should never lie or omit information from the prospect, even if you think you’ll make the sale. Failing to be honest kills your credibility and affects your reputation. Maybe you’ll make the sale now, but it destroys your overall growth.
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