Knowing how to make sales calls is vital in a world where selling is classed as a contact sport. While you’re probably going to be judged on your results per interaction, you need not fear.
The thing you need to be wary about is that some people find sales calls to be intrusive.
As such, it’s imperative that you hone your craft and turn those nays to ayes. To guide you, our review will be focused on helping you unlock the inner closer within.
Let’s get to it!
- Five reasons to make sales calls
- 1. People went mobile
- 2. Customer service & lead quality
- 3. Increased activation rate
- 4. Customer loyalty
- 5. Brand positioning
- How to make sales calls
- 1. Talk to the decision-maker
- 2. Smile when you dial
- 3. Don’t bad-mouth the competition
- 4. Use awesome labels during phone sales calls
- 5. Be objective
- 6. Emphasize
- 7. Use a wireless headset & avoid distractions
- 8. Practice active listening
- 9. Anticipate objections
- 10. Don’t pressure yourself on the first phone sales call
- 11. Have partners listen in and offer feedback
- 12. Close the deal or set follow-up appointments
Five reasons to make sales calls
A good number of successful businesses today started out with a long string of unanswered phone calls. While the rise of tech has changed the face of sales, phone calls are still relevant today. By making sales calls, you can accelerate business development and land more sales.
Take Uber, while it’s now a mammoth ride-sharing company, this wasn’t always the case. Legend has it that some of the company’s first outbound sales calls were actually to limousine drivers. Today, it has its own robust platform that makes it easy to source for both drivers and paying customers.
This just goes to show that calling is important to business and sales growth. Love to learn more? Well, here’s 5 reasons why you need to make more sales calls.
1. People went mobile
With smartphones a part of the contemporary setting, the business world has morphed. People now more likely to click-to-call and search for phone numbers on the web than ever before.
With the global mobile population estimated to be at about 3.7 billion unique users, that’s music to the ears for salespersons.
Another comprehensive study by Rain Group indicated that about 57% of C-level buyers prefer when salespersons call them. With this impressive figure in mind, it’s high time that you perfect your value proposition today and pick up the phone.
2. Customer service & lead quality
As shared earlier, the emergence of new ways to communicate has made an impact on how businesses trade. Today, there’s social media, help desks and online support systems running the show.
Still, a good number of clients prefer the old school approach.
This is probably because communication over the phone is touted as being the simplest way for effective customer service. Most people also prefer it because it’s suited for urgent situations where customers want support right at the moment.
With regular sales calls, you can get to know what products/services prospects are interested in. You’ll also have insights on their objectives, what they expect you to do for them and whether your interactions lead to a sale.
This kind of information can help you gain a better understanding of the quality of your customers. You can employ such knowledge to enhance your service dispensation.
3. Increased activation rate
While free trials are a great incentive, many customers forget they’re subscribed to one almost immediately.
To ensure that you stay on their lips long after they’ve left your website, you need to do more. Sure, automated reminders can reignite their interest but there’s no reason you should stop there.
You can choose to add an extra layer of customer care. This means calling interested prospects during their trial periods. Once you embrace this approach, you’ll find out that it’s an effective way to remind them about your services. You may also find out that you’re able to solve a host of problems they want to be sorted out.
While emails are easy to ignore, sales calls are somewhat unmissable.
To get more traction, you can make the calls quick without failure to include relevant information. When this is done properly, your message has enhanced odds of resonating with your target audience.
4. Customer loyalty
Offering customers your personal attention can help more people succeed with your product. When done over extended periods, this can result in numerous repeat customers.
Real-world conversations also add a human touch which enables communication on a personal level with customers. You can expect more customer loyalty through such sales calls than if you had an anonymous software running the show.
For continued prosperity, you need to aim for more successful customers. It would also be great to objectively seek a longer working relationship since this will have a positive effect on customer lifetime value.
5. Brand positioning
Customers love brands that are just a phone call away.
Having your phone number on your website is a great way to register more sales. While email is quite popular, you also need to make sales calls in order to enhance your brand image.
If your competitors aren’t invested in calling their customers, then you can set yourself apart by doing so. This works well because it impresses customers about how much you care. By doing so, you’ll be able to differentiate yourself in a crowded marketplace.
For many businesses, calling prospects to have a word with them seems like a waste of time. Since you want to impress, you need not shy away from this.
Don’t know where to get started? How about all those sign-ups/users on your platform? There’s a good chance they could lend you an ear.
How to make sales calls
Making sales calls remains the best way to capture your audience’s attention and have products flying off the shelves.
The fear of bothering people on the phone tends to make many salespersons shy away. In truth, there’s nothing to really be afraid of.
With preparation and practice, you can overcome the fear of rejection and notch those numbers you want. Here are the top 12 tips to improve your phone sales calls:
1. Talk to the decision-maker
It’s pertinent that you ensure that you’re speaking to the right person from the word go. Ideally, you want to converse with the person who handles everything to do with what you’re selling.
To ensure that you’re talking to the decision-maker, it’s great to ask leading questions like:
- Am I talking to the owner?
- Are you the only decision-maker?
Failure to ask these sorts of questions from the onset can see you veer towards a time-wasting approach. Because time is money, it’s necessary to establish the facts immediately.
Luckily, in most instances of transactional sales, there are very few people manning the gates. With one decision-maker, there are fewer obstacles to overcome. This is because there’s not much unnecessary bureaucracy involved.
2. Smile when you dial
Simple as it may sound, it’s not easy to pull this off.
Since you want prospects to listen to what you have to say, it’s a great idea to be upbeat and excited on the phone.
This makes perfect sense because sales is usually a transfer of enthusiasm from one person to the next. As such, you need to make your conversation infectious. Smiling as you speak to the person at the end of the line can change your demeanor and allow you get better results. This is because consumers often mirror your tone and positivity.
If you’re angling towards a sale while you smile, then, they’ll be more receptive to the idea.
3. Don’t bad-mouth the competition
As the saying goes, the road to hell is paved with good intentions.
Focused on closing a sale, many people tend to self-sabotage themselves. How? By falling for the temptation to speak ill of a competitor.
When you say bad things, your audience is likely to believe that you have the same traits you’re condemning. This theory is due to a psychological quirk known as spontaneous trait transference.
To avoid them thinking of you in a bad light, always take the fifth when it comes to gossiping about competitors.
4. Use awesome labels during phone sales calls
Labels make the world go round.
Weird enough, people are compelled to live up to positive labels or traits spoken about them. If you’re looking for massive sales, then it’s best to make a compelling revelation about your audience.
Words like “you’re such a pleasure to do business with”, can have a resounding effect on your sales numbers. This is because customers are likely to try to become pleasing business partners from then henceforth.
Through your interactions, you need to dish out good labels on the regular. Having said that, it’s important to keep the labels sensible and genuine. Overdoing it may lead people to perceive you as manipulative. You certainly don’t want that.
5. Be objective
A clear roadmap gives you the power to track calls and accomplish your goals.
It’s also important to seek out their take on how the proceedings are while you’re having a go. By so doing, you’ll make them feel that they, not you, are in control of the conversation.
Curious about how to initiate such conversations? Well here’s a good example: “Glad to hear from you today. I’d love to discuss ABC and will happily love to respond to queries you may have. How does that sound?
Putting emphasis on particular words and phrases can better convey what you want to say. To pull off this great communication tool, you need to focus on your inflection during sales calls.
Just like a great cosmetic product, the right kind of emphasis can accentuate what you’re saying. Inflections on the right words can reveal plenty about your passion for a project. The more passionate and articulate you are, the more convincing you’re going to sound over the phone.
7. Use a wireless headset & avoid distractions
Since a handset phone can actually present challenges to you during lengthy sales calls, it’s best to not use one.
A wireless headset can help you evoke passion into your voice as you speak to prospects. This is because your hands and body are freer to move naturally during the conversation.
Switching off social media and having the phone away can also help you avoid constantly waiting on that next notification.
8. Practice active listening
On paper, active listening sounds like a piece of cake. However, if you’re nervous and new at making sales calls, you can struggle.
It’s quite notable that even veteran salespersons tend to miss a couple of details every now and again.
To be a great listener, the trick lies in not thinking about what to say next. Rather, just listen to what your prospects are trying to convey.
Once they are done sounding off, you can then proceed to respond. When the opportunity presents itself, make sure you also build a good case to close a sale.
9. Anticipate objections
Naturally, people tend to object when they are being sold a product or service.
Cognizant of this fact, you need to understand the kind of objections prospects may have. Knowing how to overcome them and planning in advance how to respond will also put you at an advantage. This is because your responses will sound natural and well-articulated.
Since making a sale is all about convincing prospects that your products are worthwhile, overcoming objections is a key step.
10. Don’t pressure yourself on the first phone sales call
During a sales call, you may feel pressured to quickly make a sale. As a result, you may find yourself stressing out about what to say.
To avoid this, it’s best to be mindful that you don’t really need to sell to them on the first call. If you’re a novice, you need to also remember that you won’t register the same results as a pro sales caller. As such, you need to work towards making people first know you before you go for the jugular.
Knowing that you don’t have to win over hearts right away, gives you’ll have ample time to prepare follow-ups.
11. Have partners listen in and offer feedback
Having an associate listen in on sales calls can help boost your confidence. Their presence is also great because they’ll be able to jot down important points from customers. Since some things may evade you, this is a wonderful strategy to ensure that nothing goes unnoticed.
Once the call is done, you can share ideas on what you both noticed. By documenting your findings, the insights you note down will prove pivotal in drafting future sales calls.
12. Close the deal or set follow-up appointments
Handling objections is no mean feat. You need to ensure that your prospects are satisfied before you attempt to close.
Should you realize that it’s going to be difficult to come to a consensus, it’s time to move.
Follow-ups can set you up for success in the future. All you need to do is choose a particular day in the not too distant future and let them okay the move.
To lock down the appointment, you can send calendar invitations or email them on the next day.
As always, the goal is to strike while the iron is hot. You can’t take on a lackadaisical approach and expect results.
The best way to sharpen your sales calls is through lots of practice. To become adept at it, you need to set goals plus find a comfort zone and rhythm to repeat on the regular.
The pointers shared in our analysis are sure to prove pivotal in your sales strategy.
Before we call it curtains, we’d love to hear how you approach phone sales calls. Do you have a set of practices you commit to? Which tips feel relatable from our guide?
Let us know in the comments section below!