Telephone Sales Skills, Techniques, Tips, and Suggestions
Telephone Sales Skills in today’s business environment
A lot has changed in the business world since Y2K. The Internet has become an extremely cost-effective sales and marketing avenue. Traveling to meet customers face-to-face has become more and more expensive.
However, many businesses still require human-to-human interaction to sell their products and services. With decreasing telephone costs and growing features, proper selling techniques on the phone is a necessary sales tool.
So by using proper business sales training and appropriate telephone sales skills, marginal customers and prospects can become very loyal clients.
Basic Telephone Sales Skills
Below is a list of telephone suggestions to become successful selling over the phone:
• INITIAL PHONE CALL PLAN: Know who you want to speak with and, in general, what you want to ask/say/promote.
• STUDY CUSTOMER SALES HISTORY: Know what products your clients have bought, as well as popular products they have never bought. Hopefully you’re working with a computer system that can give you this data almost instantly. If so, you may be able to talk on the phone as if you know all this data in your head!
• BE COURTEOUS ON THE PHONE: Always ask if this is a good time to talk. Be respectful of people’s time. And don’t forget this: be especially nice to the receptionist, who is often a gatekeeper and knows many things that can be quite helpful to learn.
• GET TO REALLY KNOW YOUR CLIENTS: Over time, it’s desirable to get to know some personal information/tid-bits that can help create bonds. Be appropriately open about yourself as well.
• BE FRIENDLY BUT PROFESSIONAL ON THE PHONE: Care about your client, but be careful about becoming too friendly with people. Don’t “pry” for information, though; different clients have different limits and values, and don’t expect to connect with EVERY one.
• BE AN EDUCATOR: Most people like to learn, make smart decisions, be encouraged but not “sold”. So, keep on learning and become an expert in your field; I consider this business sales training! Caution: If you’re looking for repeat customers, don’t use high-pressure tactics; that will turn off most people.
• ACT LIKE YOU’RE IN THE SAME ROOM: As much as practical, using your telephone sales skills, work with your client as if you’re together. Ask if she’d like to go over your catalog (or website). Have her open up the catalog (or have a webinar), and find out more about her needs, what she buys elsewhere that you offer, and answer questions she has.
• SMILE!: Smile? Maybe you’re asking: What does this mean? Simply this: “Attitude is EVERYTHING!” (Just about). People want to deal with others that are nice to be around – happy people – not grouches. Don’t you agree? So, smile before you dial the phone, envisioning a pleasant conversation. Smile as you are talking. Your smile will be “heard” at the other end! 🙂
• SET UP FUTURE TELEPHONE CALLS: When your market has frequent repeat business, whenever possible and practical, make sure you schedule your next calls. In certain situations, see if you can set up a “standing date” so that on a certain day and time each week/month/etc., your client will expect (and hopefully, look forward to) a call from you!
• SEND THANK YOU CARDS: Even in this high-tech paperless world, receiving old-fashion handwritten thank you cards through the mail can leave a positive long-lasting impression, more so than simply handing out business cards, and especially today since it’s less common. People’s memories are long; if you’re only “meeting” on the phone.
I hope you find these selling techniques useful and rewarding!
This article was written by small business coach and consultant Larry Rudwick, and published on Business Tune-Ups.
Larry Rudwick (a.k.a “Larry The Tune-up Guy”) primarily works with privately owned businesses, helping them to set SMART goals, and create strategic plans.
Business Tune-Ups helps people make great changes happen, in their businesses, careers and personal lives.