Sales calls aren’t just random conversations. There are lots of key elements to ensuring the structure of your outbound sales call gives you the best chance of a successful outcome. Our sister company Associated Learning Systems sells 3 audio CDs on the subject for goodness sake. So I won’t give you a lengthy checklist. But how about these 3 for starters?
Understand the background
First thing to do, is look briefly at the previous call notes. Hopefully these are yours, if not you may be flying a bit blind, but remember that ‘knowledge is power.’
Review the notes. See what has been discussed. What they said on previous calls. Perhaps what products they’ve bought from you before. It shouldn’t take more than a minute or so, but it is so important. One obvious benefit is that it stops your call being a cold call doesn’t it? You can also use it to get past the gatekeeper. “OK, well when I spoke to him about it back last summer he said that it’s something he might start looking at after the move to your new factory.” At this point the receptionist / gatekeeper will know you’ve spoken to him before. So they’re more likely to put you through.
Hopefully you’ll get to a point in the conversation where you’ll be ‘talking turkey’ to the customer. Trying to get them interested in what products / services you have to offer. Make sure that you describe them positively, and with some imagination. You need to gain the customer’s attention, and engage them, rather than just ‘listing’ what your product is. “Yes, and we’re really pleased with this product, it got great write ups in ‘so-and-so’ magazine. We’ve just sold 3 of them to ABC Ltd in the the next town to you (where that type of information isn’t sensitive of course.)
Make it sound interesting. Use anecdotes, imaginative examples, and comparisons to other everyday products or examples. “And you can even set a little reminder for when the process has finished, like your morning alarm clock.” Benefit statements are key.
It is important to summarise at the end of the call. Professionals do this naturally, so be a professional. The main purpose of summarising is to remind them what will happen next (even if that action is a long way off.) It also shows that you’re clear in your own mind what you’ll be doing next. This action reassures them.
“OK, so I’ll send you the specification details later this afternoon, and then I’ll call you back after next Tuesday, when you’ve had your meeting with Jane.”
Or possibly if the next contact is a long way off, “OK, it’s good to talk to you again. I’ll call you after April next year when you’ve got your new budget through. In the meantime, when our new model comes out in January, I’ll send you some details via e-mail for you to have a look at.”
The 3 audio set on Selling on the phone goes into a lot more depth than space allows here, but a bit of time structuring your sales calls will pay large dividends.
To Market carries out telesales and telemarketing training across the Midlands : Birmingham, Leicester, Derby, Nottingham, Coventry, Daventry, Hinckley, Lutterworth, Rugby, Northampton, Kettering, Corby, Wellingborough, Market Harborough, Warwick, Nuneaton, Cambridge, Newmarket, Milton Keynes, Peterborough and wider parts of the East and West Midlands.