Being in business means that at some point you have to sell. There is no secret about that. If your selling is done via email, on your website, in person or over the phone – there is going to be some interaction. And your success is often dependent on what you say and how you go about converting leads into customers. So looking for new selling tips should be part of any salesperson’s daily tasks.
Recently, we’ve had a flurry of telesales to the office. During these calls, I’ve noticed that some of the salespeople on the other line need to seriously rethink their tactics. Here are our quick selling tips to help you improve your business’ conversion rates.
1. Have A Purpose For Calling
A couple of weeks ago I was called by a very excited saleswoman who told me in no uncertain terms: “I am calling to let you know about our new water system.” When I asked her to explain further, she repeated the line. It was like she had no other purpose but to tell me that her company had a new water system.
So what was the point of the call? One might obviously state that it was to inform me about their new water system. However, why couldn’t that have been shared through a website, or in the news, etc.? And what was the next logical step? Was I supposed to buy this new water system? Well apparently not, as when I asked what this was about she repeated the statement, waited thirty seconds and then hung up. I checked the company’s name, and they did indeed sell water systems, but I would never buy from them.
When you make a call, ensure you have a specific goal in mind. Here are some goals you could use:
- Get the contact to buy a product.
- To acquire information about the decision maker.
- Persuade the contact to subscribe to your mailing list.
2. Have A Plan For The Call
Again, this is related to the above sales call. While they certainly had an aim – to phone as many people as possible, was it the right plan? As soon as they told me about the new water system, what was the next step in the process? Were they to send me some more information, talk to me about it, what?
The same must be said for you. Ensure you have a plan for getting from the first hello to your stated goal in point one. For instance, how are you going to secure the information for the decision maker in the company?
Also, have a backup plan. Sometimes you can’t always achieve your main goal. But having a second plan to achieve something else can help you always get something from your calls.
3. Don’t Read From A Script
This is the mistake that one well recognised bank employs. They kept calling us about their loans. Whatever our response was to their initial welcoming message, the salesperson would simply continue with the same script. Even when we said that we were not interested in their loan and that they’d spoken with us a few times before about it, they continued with the same information.
This style will just anger your audience. If you are reading from a script, you’ll have better luck printing it on a leaflet and sending it in the post. The point of a sales call is that you are interactive and can answer questions and respond to comments in real-time. If you don’t know your product well enough not to read from a script, you shouldn’t be selling it.
4. Be Honest
Oh, the amount of dishonest sales people who try to call. “I am just calling to confirm your listing information” was what one business directory started with recently. Then after about three questions they talked about their premium listing.
While they may have wanted to check our information for accuracy, it could have been done via email and anyway, it is my responsibility to keep this up-to-date.
Using another reason to call someone for a sales call is a bad trick. It will generally mean that people will start losing trust in your brand. And trust is the cornerstone of a great business-consumer relationship. Don’t lie – tell the person the real reason why you are calling.
5. Don’t Harass
The number of times I’ve said no thanks and yet I still get calls on a daily basis. A major bank, a national animal charity, a telecommunications company, the list is endless of those that seem to think that phoning me every day will eventually convert me. The charity found it was the very opposite – instead of supporting them; I decided to withdraw.
Think carefully about contacting potential leads. If they say no, ask them for permission to email them further down the line. Switching from phone to digital marketing could turn the lead around in the long-term and will stop you from looking desperate to sell.
6. Don’t Try To Sell Wood To A Tree
I had a phone call about social media marketing. I was intrigued and so while they were on the phone, I checked their social media accounts. Their Twitter account had only 15% of my follower numbers, and their Facebook had tumbleweed blowing around. I asked them what they could likely achieve that I couldn’t. They stated that they could increase my social ranking on metrics like Klout.
So I checked their Klout score. Ours is at about 56; theirs was 36 – below the average. I then asked for their prices. They stated that the cost of basic marketing, which included three updates a day on Twitter, one on Facebook a week was £600. Our price is a quarter of that and does not limit updates.
I then asked what they thought my business did, and the salesperson said they didn’t know. So I explained who I was, what I did and why they had wasted their time but had given me some great insight into a competitor. They didn’t hang around long and hung up on me within seconds.
The fact is – if you are going to sell to someone, ensure they need your product.
Now It’s Your Turn For Selling Tips
We’re always looking for the top selling tips. They help us support our readers and wider audience to improve their business. If you have any selling tips, let us know in the comments or contact us.