Trying to make a sale over the phone is much different than trying to make a sale in person. There is a clear difference in the approach, interaction, and tone of the sale.
Pitching a sale over the phone comes with a unique set of challenges which include:
- Less time to make a sale
- More often than not they are cold calls
- More likely to hang up before the introduction is over
But, phone calls still prove to be the most effective way of all the modern social networks (social media, email, etc), at making sales. Which begs the question, what’s the best way to pitch a sale over the phone?
Plan and Practice
When pitching a sale over the phone the two old sayings: “think before you speak,” and “practice makes perfect,” have never been truer.
Be sure to plan ahead on what you are going to say. Have your introduction memorized as well as any answers to oft-asked questions? Customers know they aren’t the only ones to ask certain questions and a simple ill time “uh” and too long a pause can ruin everything.
Likewise, after finishing crafting the sales pitch, it’s time to practice. Practice, practice, practice. Stand in front of a mirror for the first few times to shake off any cobwebs, but the real trick is to record yourself making the pitch.
Pay attention to the sound of your voice, your tone, how often you pause and say “umm.” It may also help to roleplay with a friend or family member. They can play the customer providing an opportunity to receive feedback and to practice.
Develop a Good Phone Speaking Voice
How a person’s voice sounds on the phone can often have an effect on a person’s assumptions of them. Which mean it can have an effect on the outcome of a sale.
A good sales pitch voice helps to gain a customer’s trust while providing an air of authority over the item or service for sale.
The goal of a sales call is to convince the customer they need the item or service for sale. The customer needs to trust the salesperson and recognize them as an authority.
Use family members and friends, as well as a tape recorder, to get feedback on your voice.
Highlighting the benefits to the customer is where the trick is. Often a salesperson can lose a sale by forgetting to explain to the customer how they benefit from the item or service.
The item or service your selling can be the best in the world but if the customer can’t see why they need it with ease they’re less likely to buy.
Start by getting to know your customer, build a rapport with them and find ways to relate the product or service to them. Often times a potential sales lead will say no before having a chance to realize they could benefit from the sale.
It’s All In the Details
Much like when pitching a sale in person, the devil is in the details when pitching a sale over the phone. Don’t be overconfident; make sure to have plenty of water on hand to wet your whistle to prevent coughs and throat clearing.
It’s also important to pay attention to how fast you’re speaking. No one wants to listen to someone talking so fast they sound like a chipmunk. The potential sales lead also doesn’t understand what is being said.
Also, be conscious of the words you use. There are words that are far worse than others to use in a sales call, and they can have an impact.
Rely more on your voice and less on those physical traits and skills you’ve honed for years to make a sale. Build a rapport and earn their trust. And be sure to reward that trust with an explanation of how your product or service benefits them.
The next time you get ready to pitch a sale over the phone remember to plan ahead, practice, use your best telephone speaking voice, and earn the customer’s trust. The rest, from there, falls into place.