Closing sales over the phone can be a real challenge. Without being able to read body language or look someone in the eye it can be tough to navigate your way to closing a deal. However, it’s not impossible – and once you acquire the skills for closing sales over the phone you’ll feel unstoppable.
Nurture client-centred selling
Rather than talking solely about yourself, your business and your product, focus instead on the client. What do they want, what issues do they currently have and what do they think? Switching perspective to a client focus is more professional and will make it easier to engage over the phone.
Avoid following a script
It’s very difficult to be conversational if you’re reading from a script and most customers will be able to tell if you’ve gone through it a hundred times before. Instead of a script, prepare an opening question – something that will get the client to describe their ideal situation or identify the biggest issues. From there it should be a natural progression into talking about their business’ market, budget etc.
Do plan a few questions
Blank airtime isn’t productive in cold calling so, although a script is inadvisable, it is often a good idea to have some questions prepared, as well as the one you open with. Start by planning general questions you could use at the start of the conversation and then move to those that are more specific. Make sure the questions are tailored to the individual client and not generic.
Keep it simple the first time you speak
In the same way as you wouldn’t want to overwhelm a client with facts, figures, presentations and spiel if you were meeting for the first time in person, keeping it simple also works over the phone too. Provide enough information so that the client or customer is interested and then plan to follow up with more rather than pushing everything at them straight away.
Don’t make selling your focus
The first cold call should be all about gathering information and establishing a relationship that could potentially lead to a sale further down the line. If you go for the hard sell straight away it’s likely that the customer will simply switch off, as most find this type of approach over the phone off-putting and overly aggressive.
It’s important to get the customer to relax
Whether you use humour or familiarity, the more relaxed the customer is when you’re speaking to them, the more likely they are to be open to what you’re saying and selling. This means being personable and taking a step back in terms of the hard sell.
What is the customer’s trigger?
Everyone has something that will make them buy from you and all you need to do is find out what that is. That could be identifying a specific benefit or overcoming an obstacle or doubt. That’s why it’s so important to ask questions and listen when you start cold calling.
These tips will make closing sales over the phone easier to do.