Here are three telephone sales skills that all salespeople should develop and practice.
Despite the growing popularity of other communication methods, telephone sales are still a key revenue channel. The ease of email, instant messaging, and other methods of interaction have led some salespeople to stop working on their telephone sales skills. Allowing your telephone sales skills to get rusty will eventually come back to haunt you. Although sales can begin through a variety of different channels, the majority of them are still closed over the telephone. Keeping your telephone sales skills sharp will help you close deals quicker, and with less need for negotiations that can cut into your profits. Here are three telephone sales skills that all salespeople should develop and practice.
Sales offices can be a busy place. There will always be distractions around that can divert your attention away from a sales call. It’s your job to eliminate as many of those distractions as possible, and to learn to ignore the distractions you can’t do anything about. Choose the quietest place you can find to place the telephone sales call. Close any open browser windows on your computer, and silence notifications from your phone. The only thing you should have in front of you is the script for the telephone sales call, information on the person you’re calling, product information, and something to take notes on. While you’re on the phone with a prospect, they should get your complete and undivided attention. If you’re checking emails, surfing the internet, or responding to text messages, you won’t be giving them the attention they deserve. It’s unfair to the prospect, and it will affect the success of your telephone sales calls.
Nothing bores a prospect quicker than a flat, monotone voice reading a product description. The point of a telephone sales call is to get a prospect excited enough about your product to make a purchase. If you don’t exhibit any excitement, how can you expect them to feel any? Practice your telephone voice whenever possible. It should convey enthusiasm and excitement about your products, while still maintaining professionalism. You want to speak quickly enough to get the information across in a timely manner, yet slow enough that they prospect can understand and absorb the details. It’s a careful balancing act, and not something you want to try to learn on the fly. Take the time to practice your telephone sales voice so it’s always ready when you need it.
Preparation covers a wide variety of concepts. While there are many different things you can do to prepare, there are a few basics that you absolutely must cover. The first is knowing whom you’re calling. You should have any relevant customer data in front of you so you can easily refer to it throughout the sales call. There’s nothing worse than having a salesperson call you by the wrong name, or refer to you by the wrong gender. Before dialing the phone, you should know exactly whom you’re calling. You also need to know exactly why you’re calling. Is it just prospecting? Are you trying to close a sale? Is it in response to a customer query? Don’t go into a telephone sales call blind. Have a brief script prepared for every telephone call, so you can be sure that you cover the basics.
Whatever the purpose of the call, you should always have relevant product information on hand. A prospect can come up with off-the-wall questions at any time, and you should be prepared to answer the majority of those. Being prepared will ensure that you remain in control of the telephone sales call, and that you are always able to present yourself as a professional.
Rhys is a tenacious, top performing Senior Sales Recruiter with 11+ years of focused experience in the Digital Media, Mobile, Software, Technology and B2B verticals. He has a successful track record of headhunting top performing sales candidates for some of the most exciting brands in North America. He is a Certified Recruitment Specialist (CRS) and has expert experience in prospecting new business, client retention/renewals and managing top performing sales and recruitment teams. Rhys enjoys spending quality time with his wife, son, and daughters, BBQing on a hot summer day and tropical vacations.