Nervous about picking up the phone and making a sales call? We get it.
In this day in age, emailing or texting means you can contact prospects quickly and easily without the pressure of an in-the-moment interaction. But there’s something to be said about connecting on the phone — showing a potential customer you’re willing to take the time to speak to them. Phone sales can be challenging, but with the right approach, you can make better sales calls that result in further conversions.
Still convinced cold calling is dated? You may want to reverse that train of thought. According to Finances Online, organizations that think cold calling is no longer effective experienced 42% less growth than those that thought otherwise. And stats by Rain Sales Training said that 82% of buyers end up accepting a meeting with sellers that cold-called them.
So get ready to pick up the phone! But first, read these 23 phone sales success tips for making sales calls.
How do you prepare for a sales call?
Preparation is key when it comes to making successful sales calls. One of the most important things is to research ahead of time to ensure you understand your customer. Dig into things like their role, how big the company is, and how your product may benefit them.
Analyze and separate
If you have a group of prospects you plan to call, make sure to determine ahead of time which are the most qualified. Your calling and sales techniques may vary if you’re sure a prospect will convert to a customer for a quality sale versus if it’s a long shot.
Prepare your materials
Have everything you need ready to go before calling. You certainly don’t want to be fumbling for information or realize your Bluetooth headphones aren’t connected once you’re on the call.
What makes a successful sales call?
When both a sales rep and a prospect have a clear line of communication within the call, this can be considered a successful sales call. The most obvious form of success when calling a prospect is that they agree to a future meeting, meaning they might convert to a customer and be further moved down the sales pipeline.
23 Phone Sales Tips: Do’s and don’ts for how to have better sales calls
Below is a list of phone sales tips to follow for making successful sales calls.
- Set goals for your call. Before calling, make sure you’re prepared. One of the best ways to do this is to create a plan for the call, including what you want to achieve during it. Follow your plan to achieve your annotated goals.
- Prepare a script. Have an idea of what you what to cover and have several scenarios for it. This can help you reach those aforementioned goals.
- Practice your pitch beforehand. Yes, we all talk to ourselves in the mirror, and you can do it too. Practice makes perfect!
- Start off on a positive note. Be confident, enthusiastic, and friendly.
- Adjust your tone based on theirs. Immediately take note of your prospect’s demeanor, energy level, and tone, and try to match it so you’re both on the same page.
- Address the prospect by name. You want this prospect to feel important and valued, even if your list of prospects to call is long.
- Highlight the benefits of your service/product. Share case studies, follow up with marketing materials, and ensure the prospect understands your product’s value and how it can solve their problems. According to Rain Group, 92% of customers make decisions based on valuable insights you can provide about their industry.
- Be prepared for objections and concerns. It’s completely normal for prospects to have pushback, objections, and concerns. Be ready to address these, to compromise, or to explain and counter in order for the prospect to see the value in your product or service.
- Answer with questions. If your prospect does have objections, ask them more about these issues. Figuring out what the deeper issue is can make it easier for you to address or solve it.
- Reiterate the prospect’s pain points. Throughout the call, practice active listening. Pay close attention to the issues that the prospect faces and make sure to reiterate them so the prospect feels heard.
- Mention your top differentiating factor. What sets you apart from all the rest? Make sure the prospect is aware of why or how you’re company is best.
- Use technology to your advantage. Make sure to track all calls, information, and pipeline progress in your CRM so nothing gets missed.
- Learn from every call. Use each and every call to educate yourself. Ask yourself the following questions: What went well and should be repeated? What didn’t work, and how can you change it?
- Use risk-reversal language. Risk reversal refers to a proactive strategy that erases or reduces actual (or perceived risks) that the prospect might have. Using this specific language to lessen buyer anxiety, like speaking in terms that can protect the customer, can help the buyer feel at ease, and reduce their risk. Phrases like “money-back guarantees” or “easy cancellations” are ideal examples of risk-reversal language.
- Note the information. We already mentioned using the CRM to keep track of information and leads, but using tools like Surfe can help you connect their LinkedIn profile to your CRM, ensuring everything you need is at your fingertips — and accessible to everyone on else on your team too.
- Sound like a salesperson. Yes, we know you’re a sales rep. But don’t use hard-sell type language, which can come off as cheesy or overbearing. Instead, sound genuine to gain trust. Speak to the prospect as if they’re a friend or co-worker, which will put them at ease.
- Interrupt your prospect. Don’t blurt in when they start speaking. Let them finish their thoughts before responding.
- Speak too fast. Talk slowly and clearly.
- Disregard the prospect’s time. Your prospects have busy, demanding lives just like you do. Don’t drag on and on. Make your points clearly and genuinely, and keep the call brief so prospects can continue going about their day.
- Talk too much. Listening is really important, as you want the prospect to feel heard. We already discussed active listening and reiteration, and it can also be useful to do the 60/40 listen/talk ratio: 60% of the time listen and 40% of the time talk.
- Talk negatively about your competitor. Mentioning your top differentiating factor is already enough. Dissing the competitor makes you seem petty, so forget about your competition. Instead, focus on your product and service and how it can best benefit your prospect’s needs.
- Give up. If your first call didn’t go so well, that’s okay. Don’t give up! Making successful sales calls is a skill that needs to be perfectly honed. Keep practicing, and you’ll soon see results.