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Telephone selling in commodity markets – ask for the order

By andrew on November 26, 2010

Telephone selling in commodity markets – ask for the order.

You may well work in some form of commodity market. I always feel selling in these situations is particularly challenging. You don’t get much chance to use your selling skills, and certainly limited opportunities to talk benefits. The customer is simply doing a phone round, and frankly unless you’re the cheapest – the lowest price, you’re unlikely to get the order. This may make you feel a bit downhearted like the lady in the picture below. 

Ask for the order - telephone sales tip
Ask for the order – telephone sales tip

It is important though to remember to ask for the order. Basic advice I know, but how often is it neglected? Especially when you’re already conditioned to think that they won’t want to buy from you, at least not until they’ve completed a phone round.

I was recently sat with a client who is in a commodity selling market. We have carried out a range of training and one of the key things has been to get the team of 7 to ask for the order whenever they quote. The client proudly told me that the team has generated 13% more sales in the 3 months since training than in the 3 months before! Admittedly this is not all down to the team just asking this one question. We’ve done a fair amount of training, and the client has also been proactive in developing more attractive packages and training on product knowledge. However a 13% increase in sales volume is good – however it has been achieved.
Part of my advice was to ensure that the question – asking for the order accompanied requests for quotes. Then back it up with a benefit statement. So it might sound like this “OK, I can supply that for you at £120 per kilo, and we can have it delivered for you by the day after tomorrow. Would you like me to organise that for you?”  After all, remember the old maxim if you don’t ask they can’t say yes!
You might be expecting a fob-off, but ask the question anyway, you’ll be surprised how many times it works. And what’s the worst that will happen? They’ll give you the fob-off anyway. Remember customers just want life to be made easy for them. And sometimes, they can’t really be bothered to carry on phoning around especially if what they may save is fairly small beer.
Remember fortune favours the brave! So be brave and you will be rewarded. Enjoy your selling.
To Market runs telephone sales, telemarketing and customer service training courses across the East Midlands, Peterborough, Cambridge, Leicester, Northampton, Derby, Nottingham, Kettering, Corby, Wellingborough, Coventry, Birmingham, Lichfield, Solihull, Peterborough, Wolverhampton, West Midlands, Milton Keynes, Lincoln, East Midlands as well as wider parts of Leicestershire, Northamptonshire, Cambridgeshire, Suffolk, Buckinghamshire, Warwickshire, Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire.

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