I was talking yesterday to a telesales team working for a local software developer. They were a great group – young – energetic – and keen to hear from an old coot like me who’s been selling for some 50-years.
I presented them with 20 habits that would help them sell more and thought I’d share a few that relate directly to selling via the telephone.
First, should you use a script or not? There’s no right answer; yesterday I was pleased to hear that none of the team I was addressing used one as it showed they were confident in how they were approaching each call. However, a script can sometimes help ensure you cover all the points you need to make, especially when selling a new product or service. The thing is, if you do use one, it should never come across as a script and you should allow enormous flexibility so that if the prospect interrupts you it doesn’t throw you off kilter, or make you focus on ‘getting back on script’ as soon as possible.
The other point we discussed was whether to leave a message when you reach someone’s voicemail. Today, people have caller ID so not leaving a message does not prevent the person you called from Googling your number, or worse adding it to an online spammers’ list. So, it’s best to always leave a message. But what to say? Plan in advance what you want to say and what you’d like the person to do. One novel idea is to leave a unique URL for the person to go to that will provide them with something valuable. Ask your tech team whether they can set up a system whereby you can leave a web address that is unique to that particular prospect, so that when they go to the page it says something like, “Thanks for following up on my message Jenny …” Whatever message you leave makes sure it intrigues the prospect enough to take action.
Remember that just because the person answering the phone can’t see you doesn’t mean they can’t see you! If that sounds crazy, think about it for a second – if when you call you come across bored or distracted, if you’re lounging at your desk with your feet up, if you’re flipping through your Facebook page, or doing anything else other than being 100% focused on the call the prospect will see this as clearly as if you were standing in front of them. Be in the moment during each call; try standing when talking it will help regulate your breathing and make your voice more confident; it will also allow a more normal pattern of conversation. Poor posture leads to negativity that can be transmitted down the telephone line. Oh, and don’t look down all the time when making a call, that too creates a negative vibe.
Selling over the phone is an art, if you simply go through the motions, your closing rate will be low. If you focus on each call and imagine you are face-to-face with each buyer you will make more sales, have more energy, and enjoy selling more.