Telephone sales – using the telephone to gain new customers
First thing’s first. Don’t be afraid of the telephone. We’ve all been on the receiving end of bad telesales experiences. By following a few very straightforward rules the telephone sales experience, you give your prospects will be a positive and mutually rewarding experience.
Attitude and mind control
Successful telephone sales are like running a marathon – it’s all about the mindset. Approach the task in a lacklustre way, and you’ll have lacklustre results. Train, even physically, to be alert and to be on form.
Focus on success, professionalism and gaining the right results. It’s important to remember that rejection and the word ‘no’ are part of the sales professional’s life. Learn to embrace the word and feed off rejection to make you stronger.
Preparation – getting and organising the data
Your first objective is to build a qualified list of contacts mined from reliable sources. Use the internet, of course, but also don’t be afraid of using the telephone. Your objective is to get the full name, position and direct dial number of the person you want to call. Pose as a customer, call the company and ask for the details.
When you have your data, take some time to organise your contacts into demographic groups. This helps you immeasurably when making numerous calls, enabling you to adapt selling techniques that suit each particular group.
Making the call – the Three Box Model
However you verbalise your telephone presentation, the cold sales call will go through three main phases; Introduction And Permission, Question And Short Story and The Close. I call it the Three Box Model.
For each phase, create a basic script then rehearse it, over and over. Be prepared to answer any question, strive to listen more than talk and make everything as relevant, logical and easy to understand as possible for the prospect. Your basic script should go something like this:
The introduction and permission:
“Hi, Is that John?”
“Good, this is Doug from … we’re a … and the reason for the call is …”
The question and short story:
“Before I begin, can I ask you a few questions?” (have your questions pre-prepared)
“So when’s a good time to sit down with you? Morning or afternoon? I’m available Tuesday at 10 or would Wednesday at 2 be better?”
Words, tonality and sound
As professional persuaders, the words we use are our ammunition. Use positive words, strong open questions and robust statements. The other weapon we have is our vocal inflexion. Simply, if you’re talking about something the prospect should be excited about, sound excited, positive and happy.
Over to you
Get into the zone, be positive, have well-researched data, work from a pre-rehearsed script that you can adapt. Practice makes perfect – make sure you’re word perfect before you make the call. And always be upbeat, no matter how the call goes.
Telephone selling isn’t easy. I hope these few basic tips will make your telesales experience far less stressful and a lot more rewarding. Good luck!