If there’s a quick question on what the primary function of any business is and what gets them more revenue, the most likely answer will be ‘Sales’.
Handling the sales function is a tight-rope walk as it’s the frontline of your business. Every process you set up brick by brick may go awry if there are loose ends in the sales approach and the way the reps handle calls to understand the customer requirement and push your product to help them plug in the gaps.
At times, the fear factor takes over the reps and they are in a fix as how to ensure a smooth flow for the sales calls. The sales reps who find it difficult to take the plunge to initiate and close a call need a good dose of motivation and training before pulling the strings. The colder the call is, the more will be the fear of rejection. What is it that is stopping you from shedding your inner fears? – Sales reluctance, that’s an offshoot of the fear to attempt a call.
Follow these 5 tips and enter into your fearless zone of managing the sales call.
1) Develop a professional greeting and start all sales calls on a good note
Always be formal in your approach. Start greeting your prospects with ‘Mr’, ‘Miss’ or ‘Mrs’ rather than a simple ‘Hello’ or ‘Hi’. Don’t bother about what others are doing and how casual they are in their greeting. Just stay different and stay professional. Moreover, it’s all about striking the balance between casual and still being professional. Formal is bad, informal also is bad. What works is ‘professional’, which has the best elements of formal minus the stiffness.
2) Stay positive — even about your competitors
While it may be tempting to talk poorly about your competitors, resist the temptation. The urge to talk badly about a competitor when asked about the difference between your product and the competition is natural. However, negativity and a lack of objectivity will only cause the prospect to lose faith in your credibility. Talking badly about the competition hurts you more than it does the competition. Better to say “no comment” or migrate to another topic in a polite way.
When you open up a conversation start throwing some positive comments – about the weather, work, holidays etc. Never get into the zone of negativity with bad weather or bad traffic comments. Have confidence in your product and talk about how it can help people solve their problems. It’s all about fulfilling the needs of your customer and when the prospects are convinced of this value proposition, they will grab it.
3) Set the agenda and stay in control
Whenever you make a sales call, start the call by clearly outlining your intent for the call. A clear agenda puts the proceedings under control – the calls will be on track and the conversations more specific.
To illustrate, you could say, “Hello Mr. XYZ, I’m happy to connect with you. I’d love to go over the product specs and then would be glad to answer any questions you might have. How does that sound to you?”
When you have a clear agenda in place, there will be minimal distractions and the scheduled work will fall in place.
4) Speak to yourself and come up with a customer-focused script
If you are initiating a sales call through an integrated telephony feature in a CRM, you can use voicemail drops and call scripts effectively. A pre-defined message can be sent to book an appointment or schedule a demo with the prospect. Later on you can segment the lead based on hot, warm or cold, and run a call script that automates your messaging.
The key focus must stay on the customer and the script has to be attuned to his requirement. And while closing, thank the potential client for giving a few minutes in his/her busy schedule. Don’t drag it further and drop simple closing lines.
5) Follow up
Don’t let your patience wear thin if there is no response or no show from the prospective buyers. Just keep trying and later on drop a personalized message. Invest more time in following up warm and hot leads.
Follow-up with the prospects on a regular basis and send them messages in advance if you are scheduling a meeting. This gives them enough time to research about the product and get on a call with the sales rep. Have a number in mind and follow-up through phone, email or social media. This helps you to stay proactive and move out of the uncomfortable zone of cold calling and target more prospects on a daily basis. .
No more fear to initiate a call with an unknown prospect. Just man up and follow these tips for a better sales call routine that eventually ensures more and more sales.