How to Land Sales on the Phone
Strategies to Increase Contact with Customers
It isn’t easy being a salesperson these days. With so many methods of communication competing for your customers’ and potential customers’ attention, it’s no wonder so many inside salespeople complain about how hard it is to get people to pick up the phone or pay attention to their messages.
What follows are a few strategies to make your life a little easier and increase contact and communication with your customers.
- First impressions are important. Have your elevator speech ready—be clear, polite and to the point. You want your message to stand out and make it very clear to potential customers why they would buy from you (over your competitors).
- Be clear about why you’re unique. Every good salesperson knows the importance of differentiation. How are you different from everyone else? Be sure to effectively communicate how your customers’ lives will get better and more profitable by working with you.
- When leaving messages, less is more. Treat every interaction as an important one, even if it’s with a voicemail inbox. Be polite, positive and keep it short and sweet. It also never hurts to give the impression of success, especially when the customer is a potential success, too. Remember that they’ll be judging whether or not to work with you based on how successful you are at your job.
- Be nice. Whether it’s the CEO or the person answering the phone, be respectful. You never know how much influence people have, and the best policy is to have positive and upbeat interactions with everyone. Many salespeople make the mistake of being rude to someone they perceive as low on the totem pole, like a receptionist. Being rude, hurried, or sharp with the person who likely has most contact with the majority of the company will not help you win any new customers. Taking time to be personable with a company’s communication gatekeepers will only help your chances at winning and maintaining business.
- Don’t be a fair-weather friend. It’s okay to have customers on a regular call schedule so that you are consistent (and persistent) in your communication with them. If you have a competitive deal, give a call and let your customers know. There’s no need to wait until the sale of the century to reach out to them. Everyone can have aggressive pricing, but not everyone will make an effort to create a relationship with their customers. You can be competitive without having the lowest price. Don’t forget that price isn’t all that matters—you can also be competitive with delivery options, stock or specifications, and having good inventory on product that no one else has.
- Email and texts are important, too. Texting is one of the easiest communication methods that salespeople use today. That’s why it’s important to get a new customer’s cell phone number as early in the relationship as possible. Consistent communication via email and text is just as important as a phone call, and often more convenient for your customers. Just be sure to only send offers and communication that is going to be relevant to that particular customer, and always ask for feedback on not only what you’re sending, but also if there’s anything you could be doing better.
- Look the (digital) part. Most people will do research online when working with someone new, so be sure you’re findable. You want your potential and existing customers to easily find you and you want to be sure that what they see looks good. Utilize LinkedIn and Facebook to create professional, approachable depictions of you (and your company), and control your message. You want to be personable, but not show too much of your personal life—avoid politics and religion. Feel free to connect with new customers on professional platforms like LinkedIn as a way to build your referral network.
Communication is forever evolving, and it’s important to keep up with industry trends. We can all attest to the fact that there are too many ways to communicate, and an overload of emails, texts and calls. That’s why it’s never been more critical to make sure that you stand out as someone who is knowledgeable and easy to work with, but also someone who your customers can connect to in whichever way is most convenient for them.
See more from the August 2017 issue of Dealer Digest.