How do I sell more over the phone?

Published by Alison Gittins

The-Fear-In-Cold-CallingWe regularly get asked to help people sell more of what they do over the phone. This can be selling an appointment, selling a product or service, raising awareness or cleansing data on a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system.

Let’s start off with the basics, what are we trying to achieve? What, in fact are you selling, if anything?

If you are cleansing data on a system, are you selling anything? Yes, you are asking someone to commit to giving you their company or individual information. To achieve this you need to “sell” yourself as a credible and reliable person over the phone.

If you are booking appointments then you are asking people to commit some of their time to meet you or the person you are booking appointments for.

So with that in mind you need to sharpen up your fundamental sales skills, no matter whether you are updating a database, booking meetings or selling your products or services over the phone. Where to start? Focus on the fundamentals:

  • Do your research, even a 2 minute look on their website and a look at their LinkedIn profile will provide a starting point for a meaningful business conversation
  • Ask their permission to talk, do you have time now? When would be a good time to discuss this with you?
  • If you agree a call back at a specific time and day, stick to it!
  •  Be curious and ask great questions, find out about the person and business you are speaking to. Engage them in a business conversation (not one way traffic from you)
  • Listen and make notes. This is so often overlooked, you have a load of things to achieve on a call, make your life easier by making notes. Making notes will force you to listen and confirm details (not many people can do this well)
  • Take control of the call. At the end summarise any key information and recap on agreed actions, what happens next, and who is involved
  • Remember to follow up. Send an email or a calendar invite (whatever works best for them, not you!)
  • Politely ask for what you called about, the sale, the appointment or clarity on their data. Many people get wrapped up in lots of other things and assume they can’t ask. You will be surprised how many people will say yes if you ask in the right way, at the right time and in the right manner

All of this is simple stuff that can be learned in the time it takes to read this blog a couple of times. BUT, it’s your choice here, you may need to step out of your comfort zone and do something a little different. From our perspective this is all about doing the basics extraordinarily well. Get these parts right and you have a great foundation to go on and build your sales over the phone.

If you want to find out more about the fundamentals of phone based selling then please come along to the half day workshop we are running with Durham Business Skills Builder  – see the details here:

Author – Nevil Tynemouth – New Results Training