With 2011 behind us, many salespeople want to increase their sales. Unfortunately, they typically don't know where to start or, for that matter, what they need to do.
Telephone Skills Should Be A Salesperson's #1 Area Of Focus In 2012.
When most salespeople initiate their first verbal communication with a prospect, it is typically done over the phone. That said, don't you think this should be an area of focus for your sales training? If your answer is yes, then you might not only find today's e-tip of particular interest, but also one that can make you and/or your business more money.
13 Telephone Training Tips For ALL Salespeople To Review.
1. Avoid All Background Noises: When making your calls, always keep background noises to a minimum. If you are a sales leader, make sure your salespeople have a quiet "sanctuary" to use at your office - this will help them tremendously when making their prospecting calls. If not, your salespeople will avoid making calls altogether.
2. Avoid Negotiations On The Phone: If you sell in a local or regional area, drive to the person's location - it will be to your advantage due to being able to judge his/her body language.
3. Avoid The "Price" Discussion On Your Initial Call: A lot of times people will ask you about "the prices you charge" on the initial call, especially if you are selling a commodity product or service. The best way to handle this is to give them a low and high price for what you are selling and then immediately explain that so much depends on X, Y and Z. Now the key to this technique is to immediately ask the prospect to take the next step in the sales process, i.e., face-to-face meeting or webinar.
4. Don't Look At Your Cell Phone Or e-Mail: It is easy to get distracted by our cell phones or e-mails; therefore, turn them completely off when making your calls. If not, you run the risk of being distracted or projecting the wrong impression by not giving someone your undivided attention.
5. Keep The Person's Name/Company Name In Front Of You:If you are making a lot of phone calls at one sitting, it can be confusing at times. To help you avoid using the person's wrong name or company name, use a CRM program like ACT! and have the person's name in front of you. Not only is it embarrassing to use the person's wrong name, but it also projects a poor image of you; two things you want to avoid.
6. Know Your Objective When Calling Someone: When making a call to someone, you need to have an objective, i.e., appointment or a webinar. No matter what, keep this in mind as you make your call. Doing so will not only keep you focused, but also keep your eyes on what you are really saying.
7. Paint a Mental Picture: It will help you tremendously when you are able to create a mental picture for a person.
8. Think Everyone Who Answers The Phone Is An Owner: The person who answers the phone is not just the receptionist. It could be the owner or a decision maker for buying what you sell. In fact, it is always good practice to assume this on every phone call.
9. Use A Headset: High performance telephone users know the value of a headset, because it allows them to 1.) Take notes using both hands (great when using a CRM tool), 2.) Talk with their hands, 3.) Walk around or 4.) Make changes to a document or 5.) Send off an e-mail to the person you are talking with.
10. Use A High Quality Connection: There is nothing worse than being on a poor connection with someone. This is why you should be making your calls on a wired line or on a cell phone that has a "5 bar" connection.
11. Use Open-ended Questions: Asking someone an open-ended question will help keep the conversation flowing versus a closed question. Case in point: Are you happy with your present source of X, Y or Z? or If you could wave a magic wand over your present source of X, Y or Z, what would you change? See the difference in potential answers!
12. Use The Person's Name In A Sentence: People like hearing their name, so use it. In most phone calls, experts all agree to use the person's name three times.
13. Your Tone Matters: The tone of your voice matters -- and more than you think. If your tone lacks enthusiasm, people know this and will react negatively.
Executive Summary: The key to your phone success hinges on many elements - elements that can be learned. So if you are the sales leader, spend some time just listening to your sales team make their calls. Not only is this a great exercise for you and your salespeople, but also one that keeps everyone focused on great phone skills. Because, if you don't have great phone skills, you run the risk of poor sales production. Don't believe me; go and listen to your top producer on the phone, and then listen to your less successful salespeople.