Outbound sales are a challenging aspect of your business. You must make your services or products appeal to people who perhaps know nothing about what you offer. In order to maximize results from your outbound sales call efforts, keep the following tips in mind.
Courtesy Is King
Start out with a somewhat formal greeting. By using titles like “Mr.” and “Miss,” you set yourself apart from businesses that take a more casual approach. Most people probably will not mind if you use their first name, but err on the side of caution. Also, when you ask the customary “How are you?” listen to the answer and acknowledge it appropriately.
Live up to your word. When people say they are busy and you promise to be brief, stay true to that promise. Remember that the goal is to build lasting customer relationships, and taking more time than you said you would does not leave a good impression.
Never neglect to say “thank you.” Even if you do not close a sale, you can still express gratitude for the person’s time and listening ear.
Be Professional and Friendly
Being polite and being professional are not always the same thing. A professional will sound calm and practiced. To discover how you sound on the phone, you may want to record yourself saying your normal greeting. If you were at the other end of the line, how would you react to your tone, pace, and choice of words?
There is nothing wrong with engaging in a little friendly conversation about the weather or your customer’s day, but be careful that the discussion does not become too personal.
Keep in mind that people can “hear” smiles when they’re on the phone, so try to present yourself as if you were interacting face to face.
Develop Knowledge of and Confidence in What You Offer
It isn’t enough to know the basic features of what you offer. Anticipate questions, and have the answers ready. Make sure you understand the products well enough to be able to stand behind them with confidence.
Knowing the products and knowing your audience go hand in hand. Which features of the product are most likely to appeal to the person you’re talking to? What things might make customers balk, and how can you navigate around objections? Know how you’ll respond in specific situations so you don’t end up “um-ing” and “uh-ing” your way through a conversation.
Up-sell and Cross-sell
It is important for sales agents not to settle. Practice techniques for up-selling and cross-selling. What products complement what your customer is interested in? What other departments could you refer people to if they do not express interest in the particular item you’re selling?
You don’t want to sound pushy, but if you can take a sale a step further, you should.
Battle Sales Fatigue
Enthusiasm is requisite for successful sales agents, but a string of rude or uninterested customers may chip away at your enthusiasm, hurting your ability to be effective. To fight sales fatigue:
- Take breaks. A cup of coffee and a walk around the block can recharge your energy and invigorate you for the next round of calls.
- Focus on your accomplishments. Even if you didn’t make any sales, did you find any leads you can pursue in the future? Did you sign anyone up for a mailing list?
- Look for a fresh approach. Perhaps you can tweak your script a little. Ask your fellow sales agents what techniques work for them.
Despite the challenges that come with outbound sales calls, such calls can help grow your business and establish lasting relationships with customers. Be courteous, professional, friendly, knowledgeable, and confident, and always keep looking for ways to improve.