I made a call to a company today to find out about their legal services. The guy on the phone used the word “like” every few seconds. This made him sound unprofessional, and made me uncomfortable having him handle any legal issues. I would feel equally uncomfortable with a doctor who talked that way, but it really goes for anyone in a business position.
This got me thinking about how people can make slight changes in their voice and etiquette that will help them sell more over the phone. Eliminate the word “like” – We all like to be liked on Facebook, but like, the word is like, totally overused. Nothing screams being unprofessional more than overusing that word. Like anything (used correctly here), you can break yourself of the “like” habit. The next time you start to say the word, pause briefly and continue. The more you practice not using it, the easier it will get. Practice not using it at all and you will eventually become more articulate.
Here are some tips to help you sell over the phone successfully:
Prepare and research
Before you sell over the phone, gather information about your potential customers, their needs, and their pain points. This will help you tailor your pitch and demonstrate how your product or service can solve their problems.
Know your subject inside and out. If you’re pitching a product or service, focus on the benefits. Try to use an example from another client and how they benefitted from your offer
Plan your approach
Outline your key talking points and objectives for the call. Know what you want to achieve, whether it’s scheduling a meeting, making a sale, or arranging a product demonstration.
Develop a script
While you don’t want to sound overly scripted, having a rough outline or script can help you stay focused and ensure you cover all the important points. Practice it to sound natural and engaging.
Start with a strong introduction
Grab the prospect’s attention right from the beginning. State your name, the purpose of the call, and mention a common connection or a benefit they might be interested in. Be enthusiastic – If you don’t love your product or service, nobody else will either. This should come through in your voice and sound authentic. If you have passion for your product you will automatically have natural energy.
A good storyteller will vary the pace and pitch. You should do the same. After all, you’re telling the story of your company.
Humor alone won’t make the sale, but you’ll have a much better shot if you can make the person laugh. Build rapport. Establish a friendly and professional rapport with the prospect by using active listening and empathetic responses. Ask open-ended questions to encourage them to talk and share their needs.
Highlight the benefits
Clearly articulate the benefits of your product or service and how it addresses the prospect’s pain points. Focus on the value they will receive by choosing your offering.
If you really believe in your product you will know that you’re giving the person on the phone a great opportunity to be involved with it. You’re doing them a favor by letting them in on the secret.
Be prepared to handle objections by anticipating common concerns and providing compelling responses. Address their specific objections without being defensive and offer solutions.
Urgency can help motivate prospects to take action. Use limited-time offers, special discounts, or incentives to create a sense of urgency and encourage a quick decision.
Close the sale
Once you’ve addressed the prospect’s concerns and built value, ask for the sale directly. Clearly state the next steps and guide them through the process.
If the prospect is not ready to make a decision, schedule a follow-up call or send additional information as agreed. Persistence and consistent follow-up can often lead to successful sales.
Remember to maintain a positive attitude, be confident, and genuinely focus on helping the prospect. Developing good phone etiquette and active listening skills will also contribute to your success. Practice and refine your approach over time to improve your selling skills. Selling over the phone is the next best thing to selling in person. Use the same techniques you would use if you were face to face and it will come across on the phone. Most of all, have fun!