6 Tips on How to Close More Phone Sales
For businesses of all sizes, in almost every industry, closing phone sales is vital. Unfortunately for some entrepreneurs and service teams, understanding how to close phone sales calls effectively is not something that comes naturally. At a time when sales pitches are everywhere we turn, it's becoming more and more common for callers to fight back against high-pressure tactics. That's the beauty of driving more inbound calls: the prospect is already engaged and ready to listen to what you're offering. So, what can you do to make the most of that interest and close more of the calls you receive?
Tips to Close Phone Sales More Effectively
There are several strategies you can use to close a phone sale. One of the most important aspects is to define a common closing strategy, then recommend secondary routes for reps to fall back on if the primary approach doesn't work out. When you train your team to understand how and when to use the various techniques that your target audience finds appealing, your business will start to convert more of those calls. When you train your team to understand how and when to use the various techniques that your target audience finds appealing, your business will start to convert more of those calls. Most industries have their own unique quirks and requirements, but some of the best advice applies across all business sectors and sales styles. Here are six ways to close phone sales more often and boost your bottom line.
1 - Draft and Test Multiple Scripts
Make up several scripts and then try each one. See which script works best for you - one that simultaneously feels comfortable and gives you confidence - then refine it for various scenarios. Teach others on your sales team to do the same, preparing for the most common barriers to a sale and testing different responses to overcome them. While it's fine to have a script in front of you, always practice them to make sure your words and tone sound natural. Most who receive a sales call are less likely to be patient and engage in a conversation with those who sound like they are giving a carefully rehearsed speech.
2 - Find the Right Call Volume
Whether your business relies on dialing out to customers or has an effective inbound call program, the more calls you can generate, the more likely you are to convert. While it's often true that closing sales calls is a numbers game, getting the right quality of caller is potentially more valuable than getting a lot of them. Taking the time to find just one prospect in your target market could be as productive as dialing 10, perhaps 20 less carefully selected leads. First, follow these tips to balance call quantity and quality. Then you can develop a system that contacts or brings in as many of those qualified prospects as possible. [search-tag]
3 - Have All the Answers
We've all heard this in the negative sense of a child talking back to his or her parents, but in a sales context having all the answers if a positive. Prepare yourself for the most common questions, especially those related to your product/service and potential objections. Questions asked may show that a potential customer is frustrated or has a concern. Find out ahead of time what lies behind the question and how you can provide a solution. Prepare for objections in advance and that will keep your conversations flowing in the right direction. You should also take some time to understand your prospect’s industry. Learn about current trends in the industry and research their competitors. This often makes for a deeper connection and a more productive conversation.
4 - Practice Empathy and Understanding
At its core, connecting with your customer means understanding them. This takes empathy, and it can be the most important trait to display when you talk to others -- doubly so when you want them to buy something from you! Showing you value your customer's opinion and business indirectly lends that quality to your brand. The product or service you sell will begin to increase in value in the caller's mind, simply because the company that sells it wants to understand their business. Try to get your caller talking about their business situation, especially the challenges they face. Listen to them and prompt with questions that delve deeper to get to the root of their pain. Once you identify a pain point, it's easier to explain how you have the solution. Another form of understanding is valuing their time and attention. If you identify that they're simply not ready to buy, be willing to take a step back and save the sale for another day. Be rigorous about following up on those prospects you pause, however. Failing to follow up shows a lack of interest in their business, which can be worse than pushing too hard to close the sale.
5 - Listen to Your Voice
Psychologists and studies like to remind us: it's not what you say, it's how you say it. While that might not apply if you're selling something like potato greeting cards - no, really - it's undeniably true for most of us. Even if you have a great product or service to sell, no amount of words will overcome a lacklustre pitch. How you say something matters, so it helps to listen to your voice, any chance you get. Work with others to test your scripts and get feedback on things like tone, pitch, and speed of delivery. For a little extra training, use a voice mail or other recording system for a chance to review your messages. As you listen to your words, pretend that you are the one listening and ask yourself: “would I want to buy from this person?” Some general tips to improve your phone style:
- Try not to read too fast (or too slow),
- Use short and simple words that everyone can understand,
- Vary your tone according to the content of the conversation,
- Practice the tone you use to sound excited, understanding, engaged, etc.
- Ask direct, clear questions that encourage the caller to answer,
- Train yourself to stop after a direct question and let the pause prompt your caller.
6 - Follow Up Firmly, Yet Respectfully
- As highlighted in point four, not following up with your prospects is bad for both of you. Your business loses momentum on the sale and your prospect believes their business is not worth a simple return call, which in turn negatively impacts your brand reputation. Setting scheduled follow-up calls and sticking to them is one of the most effective ways to close more sales over the phone. Here are some steps you can take to set this expectation:Get a confirmation of interest before ending any call you intend to follow-up.
- Acknowledge that the caller needs some space to think and suggest a time frame for this.
- Set a firm date and time for your follow-up call. Reiterate that you will call at that specific time.
- Add the call to your work list with all of the contextual information you need to pick up the sales process where you left off.
You won't win them all, but rigorous follow-up is the sign of a determined professional who knows that her product or service can benefit the prospect's business. That alone can be enough to convince your lead to become a customer! Every business can make more of its phone calls. Even the most effective sales teams want to improve their conversions and every business owner wants to deliver increasingly impressive levels of customer service. Even if your company hasn't quite mastered how to close phone sales yet, the good news is that training and practice do make perfect in this case. Follow the tips above to create more positive and productive phone calls that will boost your bottom line.
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