If you’ve decided to give telemarketing from home a try, you’ll need to know how to sell over the phone. This article is about successful phone sales techniques that will give you an opportunity to stand out when talking with prospects.
We’ll discuss tips and techniques on how to sell over the phone, as well as how preparing yourself mentally for a call can help make it go more smoothly.
Tips and techniques for selling over the phone
- Keep in mind that the person you’re talking to is a human being. They might not be able to see how hard you work or what your day looks like, but they can hear it in your voice and will appreciate someone who respects them enough to show their appreciation for them as an individual.
- Don’t underestimate the power of a smile. A genuine, happy smile can help make even the most difficult call go more smoothly.
- If you’re having trouble coming up with something to say on your own, have an opener prepared ahead of time and ready for when it is needed. They could be as simple as “Thank you for taking the time to speak with me today. I’m _____, and I work as a consultant at ___________,” or they could be more complex depending on your industry and what type of company you represent.
- Your tone is just as important as anything else when it comes to selling over the phone. Be sure to sound friendly and welcoming, even if you’re calling with bad news.
- Don’t forget your manners! When you are done speaking with someone on the phone, say thank you for their time before hanging up. Ideally, this should be a habit that is practiced every single time without exception.
- Make sure that you are using your words to emphasize the benefits of what it is you’re selling.
- Practice your pitch out loud in front of a mirror. Saying the same thing over and over again will help you perfect your delivery, making it easier to sound natural when on the phone with prospects. Make sure that you’re also practicing nonverbal cues – eye contact is important!
- Keep track of your call stats and performance. This will help you stay on top of what’s working for you over the phone, which is a valuable asset to have when it comes time to get in touch with your supervisor or team leader.
- Dressing for success. It’s always tempting to stay in sweatpants and fuzzy slippers, but if you want to be successful over the phone, then you you need to take the time to get dressed and feel confident. This means putting on business attire, applying your makeup as necessary, and getting a good night’s sleep so that you look bright-eyed and bushy-tailed in the morning.
Rookie phone sales mistakes to avoid
These are some of the most common mistakes that rookies make when they’re selling over the phone:
- Putting your prospect on hold for long periods of time. If you need to put them on hold, try not to go more than ten minutes without checking in with them and updating their status.
- Talking too much or giving up easily when faced with a prospect who is unresponsive.
- Not asking the necessary qualifying questions. You need to know your prospects pain points BEFORE you start pitching them on anything. The more information that you can get about their needs before they ask, the better chance you have of meeting their expectations and earning business from them!
- Talking too fast or forgetting to listen.
- Sounding too scripted, robotic, and uninterested over the phone.
- Not being aware of how your tone sounds on the phone. You must be careful about speaking with a monotonous voice as well as not using enough inflection in your speech.
- Not knowing what they want.
- Assuming that your prospect knows all about your company’s product or service before you’ve had a chance to explain it fully.
- Not being able to make a strong connection with your prospect.
- Talking too much about benefits and not enough on the features of what you are selling.
You’ll need more than good intentions, enthusiasm, and positive energy to be successful – you’ll need the right words, tone and delivery.
Advice for inbound calls
If you’re feeling frazzled and don’t know what to say, let the prospect do all of the talking. Let them “sell” themselves to you by telling their story without any interruption from your side. When they’ve finished speaking, ask a few questions about how they feel or what might be standing in their way before moving on.
Be polite and attentive to your prospect’s needs, even if they seem unreasonable or demanding.
If someone sounds annoyed with you when it’s not warranted, apologize sincerely without being too apologetic. “I’m sorry that I couldn’t find the answer to your question. I’ll be happy to look for it and get back with you as soon as possible.”
If someone becomes angry, never lose your temper or raise your voice in response because that will only escalate the issue. If necessary, politely hang up on them — no matter how much they yell at you.
Advice for outbound calls
- Whenever possible, have a script prepared before you start your call.
- Don’t be afraid to ask questions and talk about anything that might come up in the conversation — whether it’s related or unrelated to what they want from you.
- Be polite and attentive but don’t let people walk all over you. Learn how to take control of a conversation.
- Know the company’s products and services well to be able to communicate them effectively in different situations.
- Never make promises that you can’t keep, especially if they involve money or deadlines; this will only escalate the issue.
What is successful phone sales research?
Most of the time, you’ll need to know what your prospect is looking for and how they pose questions. Researching their needs will give you an idea of where to start a conversation or which way it might go in order to be successful with them.
It’s important that when you’re researching you don’t forget to research yourself. Try to find out what your prospect’s objection might be and try to prepare a response for it in advance so you don’t feel the need to make something up while on the phone with them.
You should also do your research on what objections prospects might have and prepare some responses ahead of time so when they ask a question you can respond with ease, which will make them feel more comfortable about talking to you and being honest about their needs.
Another thing is not only be knowledgeable in your product, but also in your prospect’s industry and their specific needs.
When you’re on a call with a customer, remember that you should always be proactive- ask questions to find out what they need so you can offer them the right solutions to help them reach their goals.
What are the types of sales calls?
There are three different types of sales calls: cold, warm and hot. There should be a specific strategy for each type to make the call more successful at closing deals.
- Cold Calls: This is when you have no prior contact with the prospect beforehand. It’s best not talk about anything too personal or sensitive because they’re most likely not going to want to talk further with someone they don’t know.
- Warm Calls: This is when you have had contact with the prospect in some way, shape or form beforehand and are trying to make a follow-up call. It’s best not try too hard because this could be seen as being overbearing and pushy.
- Hot Calls: This is when you have had contact with the prospect beforehand and they are expecting your call. It’s best to be as direct as possible because there should not be any confusion about what you want, why you’re calling, or how it will benefit them if they buy from you.
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