Do you use the telephone to find new clients? Does selling on the phone bring terror to your heart? Most of us would rather have root canal work at the dentist, than pick up the phone and speak to strangers. In my twenties, I had to cold call, as part of my sales job at Rank Xerox. The butterflies fought to get out of my stomach and the phone kept slipping from my sweating palm. As we had two young children to feed, I persevered and learnt the secret of using the phone to sell. I am often asked how to sell to clients on the telephone. I can tell you that it is a lot easier if you begin with a marketing mindset. For example, differentiate your business, have clear messages and segment your list.
Mind you, perhaps this is why I became a big believer in marketing. Let’s face it, my last book was called How to Get Clients to Come You (buy it here and we will send you a signed copy) so my subconscious is clearly trying to tell me something. it is the combination of marketing and sales thinking which makes all the difference to using the phone to sell to clients.
If you insist on ‘hitting the phones’ (which feels a little unfair on them) here are some ideas for you:
* Plan your telemarketing. Decide what your objectives are, i.e. how many sales meetings you want to arrange within a given period. The key thing is to have numbers / targets that you can refer to, i.e. “book 10 meetings during this weeks’ telephone sessions.”
* Write a script to get you through the first 12 seconds of the call. Tests show that scripts outperform all other approaches by a factor of 9 to 1. You need to know what you are going to say, before you pick up the phone. There’s nothing worse than stumbling within the first few seconds of the call, is there? (Incidentally, I have a magic script which I have used to get an 80% success rate on a first call).
* Write down the first five people that you are going to call, before you start calling. Five isn’t very many, is it? Once you have made calling a habit, write these names down each evening.
* Play some fast music, before you start calling. Anything will do, as long as you like it and you can feel the rhythm.
* Stand up when you dial. Standing up makes you feel more powerful. This is why teachers all over the world prefer to stand up when they talk to their class.
* Towards the end of the call – if you can feel that there is potential business there – always ask for a meeting.
* Record everything within your CRM (Customer Relationship Management system). Not pieces of paper. Not a spreadsheet. My preference is a cloud based CRM which backs itself up automatically and which you and your team members (if you have them) can access. If you are confused about CRM technology – ask me – as I have studied dozens of them or ask via The Marketing Compass.