There is nothing entirely as personal and as fast as a phone call, which is why customers still prefer to call, despite having other options such as social media or support chats.
Customers prefer speaking to a live person as opposed to an automated program, and the instantaneous nature of phone calls also save customers from waiting for hours for an email.
As phone calls are essential to businesses and sales, phone call etiquette is just as important to companies and their sales representatives. Losing a client on the telephone is easy, but how can businesses effectively gain clients through telephone sales? The answer is more straightforward than most people think. How to sell over the phone? Follow these 10 tips presenting proven and well-performing telephone selling techniques over the phone.
10 Phone Selling Tips
This article was updated in June 2020.
Traditional sales techniques over the phone are not as effective these days. In general, sales techniques are a backbone of methods used by a company's sales team. All techniques use a little bit of psychology to discover how to sell on phone effectively and what motivates potential customers to buy a certain product.
Legacy techniques on how to sell a product to a customer over the phone are not as efficient and powerful as they used to be. Consumer behavior is now influenced by many factors long before the purchase or even before an initial conversation with a salesperson.
Let's say you are wondering how to sell a phone to a customer - examples are available right away. You just have to Google a phrase "How to sell a cell phone to a customer" and you get about 2,390,000,000 results in 0.59 seconds (yeah, I've just checked it).
And exactly the same possibility is available for your potential customer - they can do research before your call and get prepared.
With information increasingly available on the Internet, one click is all it takes for anyone to know everything they need to know about a product or service at the very moment a salesperson is simply reading from their script (aka robot-salesman). Or a potential buyer can, as mentioned above, read about your company or its offering even before they hop on a call with you.
In this way, so-called cold calls are becoming less efficient, as people are not interested in wasting time on the phone with someone they have never heard of. Instead you should look for ways to encourage your website visitors, i.e., potential clients, to reach out to you
Here are some techniques to make your processes smarter and boost sales by phone. Keep reading to get to know a few new tips to make your processes of selling over the phone smarter and boost your sales.
MAY BE INTERESTING FOR YOU: 12 Ways To Increase The Number of Calls from Potential Customers
1. Plan The Script …
What is the objective of a particular call? Is it to introduce the company? To talk about the product? Are you finalizing a sale?
In each case, centralize your script around the objective. Focusing on the task will allow sales representatives sound professional and knowledgeable.
Understanding the topic also minimizes discussion outside the subject, allowing for an efficient and effective phone call. That's one of the major telephone selling techniques.
2. But Don’t Recite It
There are many reasons not to read off of a script.
First and foremost, rehearsed lines tend to come off as being stiff and unnatural.
As mentioned above, one of the reasons customers choose to call is to speak to a live person. By following a rehearsed script, the sales representative effectively negates this effect and may lose the customer’s interest.
Second, due to the unpredictable nature of the customer’s questions, it is impossible for the conversation to follow the exact order of the script.
It is better to have a few points of reference written down as opposed to lines of speech. Refer to the script to stay on track, but don’t rely on it. How to sell a product over the phone - example is simple: be yourself, act as a human being, not a robot.
3. Know Your Audience
Who exactly is on the other end of the phone? Before the call, read the customer and their company’s name out loud.
Practice until it sticks in your head.
Write down pronunciation guides.
Do some external research if necessary.
Whatever you do, do not twist their names.
It is insulting to the customer and humiliating to the sales representative. First impressions are important, so the last thing that businesses should want is an awkward scenario ten seconds into the phone call.
To ensure that the whole process goes by smoothly, have the customer’s name and business somewhere in sight, in case your mind draws a blank in the middle of the conversation.
4. Respect The Gatekeeper
Sometimes, the person who picks up the phone or even initiates a sales call is not the intended target, but a secretary or receptionist.
Treat the gatekeeper with the same level of respect as the customer.
They are no less important than the decision maker.
They might be more critical in their role of filtering out unwanted calls or simply judging salespeople they are about to connect with their boss. Be polite but assertive in your approach. It is undesirable for companies to have a hostile relationship with the gatekeeper. How to sell over the phone? Beware of the gatekeeper!
As the two parties cannot see each other, their voices become the most personal connection in the conversation.
Tone and speed are two of the most critical indicator of a person’s feelings, as nerves will raise both the pitch and speed at which people usually speak.
Try to maintain a regular pitch and an above-average speed, as this combination allows sales representatives to be confident experts of their craft.
6. And Your Body Language
In addition to verbal effects, non-verbal cues such as body language also translate well over the phone.
One technique to keep in mind is to smile when speaking. The customer will not be able to see it, but they will be able to sense the warmth and enthusiasm in your voice.
Another technique is the use of hand gestures. Like smiling, hand gestures inject more emotion into one’s words, adding an extra sense of engagement and persuasiveness into the dialogue. So again: how to sell on the phone? Act natural and be nice!
7. Be Personal
One reason why customers prefer to call is the human connection aspect.
They want a live person who understands and is capable of solving their problems. That is why sales representatives should not shy away from using their customers’ names.
This practice is strongly recommended.
Speaking on a first name basis removes barriers and builds rapport between the two parties.
However, keep in mind, do not overuse this tactic.
Inserting the customer’s name into every sentence will only make the sales representative look like the creepy uncle at the dinner table. A salesman-robot hybrid strikes back...
The customer will likely feel violated and is unlikely to do any business with the company.
Instead, speak as though you are talking to a friend. Use their names no more than three times in a conversation.
It is a subtle, but effective technique to convey that the company is more than just a business, but a friend that can be counted on in the long run.
If you are looking for an answer to this question: how to sell a phone to a customer - example is also here: remember that you are speaking to a live person that has a name, things to do and certain goals to achieve. Treat them with empathy and it will definitely pay off.
8. Ask Questions
The purpose of every product is to satisfy a customer’s need or to solve their problem.
By asking questions, the sales representative - and by extension, the business - can fully comprehend their customers’ needs and tailor their pitch to fulfill it.
Like the last point, this should not be overused, though.
Active listening alone should be enough for any sales representative to gauge the problem at hand, but thoughtful questions are used to fill the gaps between points for a complete understanding.
The higher the company’s understanding of its customers, the more likely the company can close out the deal. If you understand your potential buyers you won't need to spend hours thinking about how to sell on phone.
9. Especially Open-Ended Questions
Open-ended questions are essential for any sales representative.
Unlike their close ended counterparts, these questions are not designed to elicit a specific response, but rather to initiate the dialogue and build rapport.
These open-ended questions open the floor to the customer, which is important because they might reveal new information and improve the business’ operations.
Another benefit of open-ended questions is that it creates value for the customer, who is free to express his or her thoughts.
Businesses must understand and connect with their customers to be successful, and these questions satisfy both of those points. Do this and you will rock at telephone selling techniques.
10. Hang Up Last
Sales representatives usually have many calls to make, so it is understandable for them to hang up immediately and move on to another customer, but this is a bad practice.
The customer may have thought of an important piece of information or have another last-minute question to ask, and hanging up on them would result in a missed opportunity.
In more extreme scenarios, the customer may also mistake this as a sign of rudeness and move on to another company.
In sales, every deal matters and it would be foolish to lose a deal for a few extra seconds. I hope this article answers all your questions and doubts in regards of the topic on how to sell a product to a customer over the phone.
Looking for innovative tool that will help you improve the results of selling over the phone? Try CallPage, a callback solution that helps companies increase the numbers of sales calls from potential customers and teaches hw to sell on the phone. Order a personalized presentation or test our tool for free for 7 days!