5 top tips for securing more appointments over the phone
5 top tips for securing more appointments over the phone.
Being able to generate a good number of sales appointments over the phone is clearly an important skill. Whether you set appointments on behalf of field based colleagues, or you set them for yourself, being able to convert potential interest into a meeting helps you get closer to the sale.
Here are five simple tips which will help you make the most of your telephone conversations;
1. Ensure you’re talking to the right person
It’s fairly common that you pursue someone only to discover that they’re not the decision-maker. However, don’t discard them. First you’ve got to be sensitive about how you now go after another decision-maker. Secondly the person you’re currently dealing with may be a strong influencer – so ideally you want to carry them with you. Be polite and respectful and ‘suggest’ that perhaps you should speak to their colleague as well.
2. Take your time
One common mistake telemarketers and sales people make is that they rush their calls. Assuming that you’ve got to get as many benefits over to them as soon as you’ve got their attention rarely works. Doing all the talking isn’t the path to success either. So take your time, ask them plenty of relevant questions early on to start to build rapport. They more they decide they like you and your approach, the more time they’ll give you.
Avoid starting your conversation by bombarding them with information about your services, and telling them how good your company is. Despite what you may think, they don’t give a damn.
3. Plan to succeed
OK, so you’ve got your elevator pitch. This is the bit where you explain your services in a couple of lines to your prospect. But make sure you’re planned for your calls. Hopefully you’ve heard the old adage, If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.
Make sure you’re aware of what you’re trying to achieve on the call at least. And try to get them talking. So some open questions help. Prospects like to talk, so get them chatting. You’ll then find that as they talk it will make your job easier because you’ll know what to say. Then just go back with stuff that’s relevant. Remember you only have a limited time to make an impact, and so keep it relevant. Don’t even try to tell them about all 47 different products you sell, in 24 different specifications and 14 colours. Nobody’s interested. Honestly!
4. Follow-up quickly
Hopefully you’ll get some ‘send infos’ from your phone activity. People that you’ll need to write to with further information. Make sure you do this rapidly. The sooner the better really, without losing the rhythm of your calling of course. Ensure that as many responses are in template form, so that you’re not writing the whole thing from scratch. Admittedly you might want to personalise the first line and maybe the last line, but that’s about it. The rest should be already written for you. Press Send – then move on.
5. Get them in the loop
You’ve invested some time in them, found out some information, and started to learn more about how much of a prospect they are for you. Make sure you get them in the loop. First this includes adding a next call date. If you’re about to send them a quote, make sure you follow them up quickly. You won’t lose an order by following up too quickly, but you may well do by following up too slowly. If they are interested in particular products or services that your company offers, add them to the relevant mailing lists. Start courting them now while your conversation is still fresh in their mind.
Doing these 5 things won’t guarantee success of course. But it is certainly likely to increase your chances compared with not doing them!
For this and all sorts of other nuggets of telephone selling advice, talk to us here at To Market. We run telephone skills courses in-house for businesses and organisations around the UK including Leicester, Derby, Nottingham, Milton Keynes, Bedford, Warwick, Coventry, Birmingham, Rugby, Daventry, Birmingham, Solihull, Lichfield, Northampton, Corby, Wellingborough, Peterborough, Bury St. Edmunds, Newmarket, Cambridge as well as wider parts of the East and West Midlands. e-mail us on firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.