Some Tips to Help You Improve Your Sales Calls

  in  Marketing and Advertising
Research the person you are calling
It might sound like a pain, but spend a moment researching the person you are about to call. This assumes you're only given a company phone number to call. Imagine one phone call where the salesperson says "Can I speak to the procurement manager, please?" and ANOTHER call where the salesperson says "I wonder if James Henderson is available?" - both are asking the same question, one is so obviously a cold call, the other is asking for the specific person. The secretary can't dismiss your call outright (as they are likely to do if you ask merely for a titled position). Remember, half the battle is actually getting to talk to the right person. Research on LinkedIn and the internet in general to find out the name (and possibly other information) of the person you need to speak to.

Be candid
People expect salespeople to lie. If not lie, then exaggerate. It doesn't mean YOU are a liar, but how do you convince a stranger you're different from that stereotype? Be candid. It doesn't mean you have to talk negatively about the service/product you're selling, but perhaps you can give your candid view on the state of the current economy or politics if that kind of topic becomes appropriate in the conversation. It adds authenticity and makes the conversation more real. Put it this way - ONLY talking about how great your product/service is will only feed into the stereotype the person very likely has about salespeople - they expect you to give a "pitch". Surprise them.

Don't speak ill of competition
A creative salesperson might be ITCHING to mention the competition, because they know their weaknesses. However, it rarely works. It comes across as inauthentic, even if your points are absolutely valid. Prospective customers expect this kind of talk and when you deliver on their expectations, you fit the salesperson stereotype. One thing you want to avoid is to sound like the stereotypical salesperson.

Tell them how they benefit
The software you sell might have 17 amazing features, and you could go on all day about each one...but that means nothing to the person you're talking to if you're not talking about how THEY benefit from these features. Mention the KEY benefits early in the call regarding your product/service - put them in a position where they need to perform due diligence and weigh up your product/service seriously. Don't allow them to get in a position to dismiss your product/service out of hand.

Be passionate
You have to truly believe in the product or service you're selling. I don't really believe you can "fake it"...the energy that belief gives you will drive that passion all day long. "Fake" passion (a contradiction in terms) can't even last the length of a half-decent phone call. When it comes to sales, the service or product comes first. As in, find a product or service you love, then find a way to sell it. THAT is probably the best piece of advice I have ever heard about selling. The best sales people are big fans of what they are selling. They have an authentic voice, they have the emotion, they have the passion. EVERYTHING follows from there. The sophisticated sales person who has perfected 17 techniques to sell ice to eskimoes is technically brilliant, but he/she lacks the authenticity of the "fan recommending a product/service they love". Be a fan of what you sell.

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