Tips for Successful Phone Sales

With the high cost of gas, time and opportunity, phone sales are becoming one of the best way to get your foot in the door with a potential store buyer.  My best sales successes are face-to-face meetings — mostly because I am very good at reading body language — but even I use the phone more and more to save time for both me and the buyer.

Phone sales, just like face-to-face sales, is an art than can be learned.  Many of the same principles apply to phone sales as to sales of any kind.   Doug Dvorak with the NASP (National Association of Sales Professionals) published an article with some helpful tips:

Successful Telephone Selling TechniquesTelephone Sales

Selling over the telephone may lead to the closing of a sale or leading to an opening for a presentation and possible deal. The same principles that apply for face-to-face selling, is applicable for telephone selling. This means that you will follow the same rules like providing product information, handling objections and closing. You will have to be cordial to the prospect, not interrupt them, and give priority to their needs. In other words your mindset should be on adding value and trying to solve the client’s problem with a cost-effective solution.

You may not close the sales over the phone, but you can probe the prospect with open-ended questions like: who, what, when, where and why. You may have to first make many calls to get to the decision-maker. The decision-maker must have four unique and present factors: need, desire, financial capacity and authority. Then you will have to: present the product, anticipate and handle objections, and close the sale over the telephone to that person. This can be quite difficult, but just like a face-to-face sale and if you do it right you can close a sale or at least get a solid opening for an appointment and presentation.

First impressions are always important. When making a cold call, responding to a lead, or following up on a business reply card you have to impress the prospect within the first one-two minutes. It is really important given the fact that people are bombarded with email, phone calls and sales solicitations daily and they love to avoid such calls. Actually reaching a prospect on the telephone is not as easy as it used to be. If you manage to get the prospects on line you should hold their attention and help them to or service quickly by listening and mentioning the benefits to help make the clients life easier….. When people find someone is talking about a solution to their needs they get interested. Speak in an unhurried voice. A hurried voice will put off the prospects instantly as they wouldn’t understand what you are saying and if they do, they will fathom that you are a desperate sales person. Speak in a cool, calm, and assured voice. Talk about the needs of the prospect. That is more likely to grab their attention.

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Phone sales can be very effective for finding the decision maker; determining the level of interest in your products; and for arranging follow up via appointment, mailing or email contact.

For some folks, calling is often easier than a face to face meeting.  Although I dislike using the phone for sales, phone calls are now my main venue for selling my products and the products I represent as a sales rep.

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