As anyone who’s ever had to generate sales knows, it takes a certain type and skill set to get on the phone and call prospective clients. Irrespective of whether you are cold calling, or following up on an in-bound lead response, picking up the phone to sell something seems to be anathema in today’s “you don’t need to sell anymore” business culture. We seem to have constructed a “PC-version of how to sell” around business, yet nothing is further from reality foe the majority of businesses still. From the receptionist to the MD, every individual needs to be selling their organisation, or it will fail.
While not many of us have much sympathy for interrupted mealtimes from telemarketers selling us something we really don’t want or need, there are countless times during a business day, when we need to pick up the phone and sell. Personally, I spend at least two decent chunks of time a week on the phone talking to people, selling our proposition – and that’s just with prospective ones.
The statistics we will turn up in the next few weeks are not new, in fact they are extremely well-known, they just happen to be largely ignored. We get asked endlessly by our clients for structure and strategy around their selling, but for many, simply building these statistics into their rhythm would vastly improve their sales performance.
We hope you see the value too and implement!
Recent research has turned up some interesting statistics:
1. 92% of all customer interactions happen over the phone.
2. It takes an average of 8 call attempts to reach a prospect.
3. The best time to call is between 4:00pm-5:00pm; the second best time is between 8:00am-10:00am.
As the statistics show, it can be a worthwhile exercise that’s the best way for some businesses to sell their products/services. However certain skills are mandatory in these circumstances.
Perseverance – You’d need to be self-motivating enough to keep dialling regardless of any response you receive. Even as the resounding “no’s” accumulate, you’d need to keep dialling.
Politeness – Regardless of the way you are spoken to, you’d need to mind your own manners. It’s not a personal call; you represent a company and their reputation is at stake. If someone doesn’t want to talk to you or listen to your spiel, then thank them for their time and wish them a pleasant day.
Respect for the consumer – Sometimes you will go through an entire conversation and not make a sale. Or you will be part-way through your sales dialogue and the consumer will tell you that they’re not interested or that they have to go. You need to respect them and respect their time. You can always ask if you can call back at a more convenient time, but if they decline, you need to wish them well and move on.
Honesty about your product – You may be asked about the qualities and benefits of your product/service. If you don’t know, then don’t make something up. Or if your product/service can’t deliver what they’re asking for, then don’t make any promises it can’t fulfil. For more information direct them to your website or give them a customer service number to call.
A thick skin – Above all remember that these are business calls and you represent a business, so don’t take it personally. This is not The Bachelor, and you are not being rejected – your product/service is.
If you really can’t bear to pick up the phone and talk to your potential customers, then at least call us and our Sales Directors will help. Don’t forget, good sales people pay the wages of an entire organisation!
Written by Rebecca Laskary