Many of the face-to-face sales skills you’ve developed are just as valuable now, as ever. They key is to ‘pivot’ and focus on immediately upskilling in successful telephone sales.
It’s no exaggeration to say that the sales environment you and your team are in
right now is different to anything you’ve experienced before. Suddenly you’ve gone
from meeting customers face-to-face to making all your sales calls remotely – most
often, by telephone.
Without warning, you’re in the dark. A whole swathe of information which you
used to simply be able to ‘read’ from the customer – and communicate to them – is
suddenly just… gone.
For example, when you’re face-to-face you can:
1. See your customer’s body language
2. Notice their reactions to your words
3. Demonstrate what your product or solution can do
4. Use body language to reinforce your credibility
When you’re on a phone call, all that goes out the window, together with a lot of
the ‘old’ techniques associated with conventional sales. You know – the ones where,
as long as you’re bubbly, extroverted, ‘gift-of-the-gab’ talkative and likeable’, you
can get by.
Instead, on a phone call, you just have one main sense – sound – that you can use
to both ‘read’ and communicate with your customer. That means your sales skills
have to be top-notch – because if they’re not working at 100%, you’re going to find
Before we delve into specific telephone sales techniques, we need to talk about mindset. A strong mindset is the foundation of everything you do. Once you genuinely come from the right mindset, all these techniques will be easy.
How exactly, do you work on your mindset?
1. A POSITIVE MINDSET INFLUENCES THE SUCCESS OF YOUR DAY
Make a point of acknowledging the importance of your mindset. Don’t just think about it in the moments before you sit down to make a call – focus on it the rest of the time too. Think of your mindset as being the bubble for your day-to-day life.
So, are you generally a positive person? Do you focus on the things you’re grateful for? If so, great. But if you tend to be cynical and negative, pointing out the downside of any situation, you’ll need to work harder to generate a positive mindset before you get on the phone. And trust me: your client will know immediately if you try to fake this.
Cultivate a positive mindset by:
• Being grateful for what you have
• Developing a thick skin so the word ‘No’ doesn’t flatten you
• Remembering what lights you up about what you do
With calling out on a cold call, be bold and courageous thinking ‘well what’s the worst that could happen? Optimistically thinking ‘nothing ventured, nothing gained’.
Embrace your positive mindset to start your day. There will of course always be ups and downs, yet it’s how you choose to react to those challenges that will strengthen your resilience and therefore heighten your positive mindset.
Embrace your positive mindset, it determines everything. Commit to focussing on it every day.
2. ENSURE YOU’RE 100% SOLD ON YOUR OWN SOLUTION
Do you want your client to understand how amazing your product or solution is? You need to 100% believe it yourself! So be very clear on what your solution does for them.
Know exactly what problems and pain points it solves – what value it is to them. You need to have 100% certainty. Remember, your client is buying into you, not just what you’re selling. If you’re not confident about it, how can they be?
Get clear on your USP and elevator pitch too – not just as rote words, but as concepts that unambiguously prove how different it is what you provide. Those concepts need to be etched into your subconscious so you can always pull out the version that will most appeal to the particular client you’re speaking with at the time. Unless you’re clear about what you’re talking about, your client can’t be either.
If you’re 100% sold, your client will be too.
3. REVIEW MESSAGES FROM HAPPY CLIENTS
One practical way to both lift your mindset AND remind you what’s so great about your solution is to review comments from satisfied clients. Make sure you keep a file of your own of ‘happy client’ messages, reviews and testimonials, and ask your colleagues to share theirs with you too. Regularly read through them. Motivation may wane when working remotely, away from your team, but right now you need to be on the ‘up’ more than ever.
Celebrating small wins is critical to maintain motivation. And let’s face it, emails from clients who are thankful about what they bought from you are well worth celebrating! This positive reinforcement will propel you to take action and pick up the phone more often.
Pump up your mood with happy client feedback.
4. AVOID NEGATIVE MEDIA OR LIMIT YOUR INTAKE
The media have a vested interest in making everything sound as dramatic as possible, because drama gets people reading or watching. And unfortunately, many media sources focus almost exclusively on negative events – completely ignoring anything positive, upbeat or inspiring.
You, however, can’t afford to let that doom and gloom enter your bubble to unwittingly end up projecting it onto your customer. So, notice which media sources spew non-stop negativity and cut them right out of your life. Then switch off any other media at least 30 minutes before your workday starts, and instead focus on abundance, gratitude and everything that’s going well.
Seek out positive stories so you yourself are positive.
5. REMIND YOURSELF THAT MONEY IS STILL OUT THERE
Even if you switch off the media, negative comments may still penetrate your world. You’ll hear about job losses, economic slowdown and times being tough on social media, from friends or family, and possibly even from the odd client. It can be easy to believe that all the money that ‘used to be out there’ has suddenly dried up.
The truth is, for many of us there are clients who need what we’re selling, and are very willing to pay for it. Don’t ever assume you know a customer’s situation better than they do. Even if your first few calls of the day involve clients caught up in negativity spirals, don’t pass their mindset on to clients you speak to later.
Money is out there, keep looking.
Once you have your general mindset under control, it’s time to look at how you prepare your week. Be organised, be clear on your structure, focus areas and priorities.
Skip to Part 3 Telephone Sales Techniques For Success: 18 ‘On-The-Call’ Actions.