When your success depends on your ability to close more sales, a ringing phone can spark two very different reactions.
For those who have never learned a systematic way to handle a telephone sales inquiry, the reaction is often one of sheer dread. Their anxiety levels shoot through the roof the second they hear the phone.
To others, a ringing phone represents opportunity. It’s a welcome chance for a mutually beneficial outcome.
So why is it some people dread the ringing phone and others can’t wait to press the button to get things rolling?
It comes down to preparation and confidence.
And here’s the good news. Preparation is something any salesperson or business owner can do. And, as everybody knows, preparation creates confidence.
Take a look at 9 ways to boost your confidence AND your closing rate at the same time.
Heads up! At the end of this post, I’m going to share my free guide, “How to get more people to buy from you – TODAY!” Grab it here or read the rest of the post and get it when you finish.
Ok. Let’s get started.
You’d think that fielding incoming sales would be a welcome activity for someone who relies on selling to grow their business.
But for many salespeople and business owners it has the exact opposite effect.
They tense up. Their stress level starts to rise. By the time some them pick up the phone, any chance of arriving at a mutually beneficial relationship with the caller on the line is snuffed out.
The problem? Many have no idea how to inject the selling conversation with the key elements that lead to closing sales.
Here are 9 ways to turn any incoming sales inquiry into a relationship where both parties win…
1. Sell benefits, not features
Although the features of your product or service are important, they don’t get your prospect’s “buying” juices flowing.
For that, you need to help prospects understand the BENEFITS your offering will deliver. How are you going to make your prospect’s life better?
Successfully selling to prospects is all about creating an emotional relationship with the solution you offer.
Air conditioning in your home means nothing – but keeping your family comfortable during the hot summer months is something you can relate to.
Although prospects will be interested in the features your product or service, it’s your job to help them see WHY they should care about them.
2. Build questions into the selling conversation
Regardless of what you sell, in order to be successful, you need to learn about your prospect.
For that, you need to ask questions that demonstrate you have a genuine interest in who he is and what he wants.
Your approach should be conversational, with information being offered when necessary.
This can be as simple as saying, ‘My name is so-and-so, we’re in the business of helping our customers (achieve the outcome/benefit of what you offer.’)
In a sales situation, set your questions up by providing some context.
3. Be professional, not aggressive
Although your objective is to help your prospect and close every sale you can, it’s important to avoid selling too aggressively.
Push too hard and your prospect will feel that and likely react negatively.
Prospects want to buy. They hate being sold.
A professional approach is to help your prospect learn more about your solution via a selling conversation. Work at understanding your prospect’s needs and then showing how your offering is a fit.
Your job is to help prospects make decisions, rather than making them for them.
4. Showcase your belief
Your prospect considers you to be the expert. And being an expert means being able to communicate all the ways your product or service will benefit the prospect.
It’s also important to display enthusiasm. That will be picked up on by your prospects and make them WANT to do business with you.
Prospects don’t want a canned pitch. They want to hear passion. It’s contagious. If you aren’t enthusiastic about your product or service, why should your prospect feel that way?
Be upbeat but don’t overdo it. Find ways and words to make your prospects feel confident that they are dealing with a professional.
5. Focus on relationship building
In order to close a sale with your prospect, you first have to sell yourself.
He has to believe in you before he will listen to your selling story
Be curious about him. Ask him questions. Show him you are interested in seeing that both of you benefit.
Not only will this send a message that says you understand selling is about developing mutually beneficial relationships, it elevates you from salesperson to partner. Remember to think long term.
When you get a telephone inquiry from a prospect, he or she has no idea who you are.
It’s important to let them know who you are at every opportunity. By the way, a little humour never hurts.
(Click here to see 75 great sales jokes you can draw on to keep things light when the situation calls for it.)
6. Identify and challenge obstacles
Closing a sale rarely happens without some twists and turns and, rejection.
Even the top guns face rejection from time to time. And what do they do when that happens?
They identify what prevented the sale and figure out how to address it when they encounter it again.
A prospect may say that they can’t afford your price. That means you need to communicate that, while your price is higher, the overall lower cost makes it a shrewd investment long term.
7. Help prospects “see” the value
If you can get a prospect to visualize how investing in your product or service will make his life better, you’re halfway to closing a sale.
The ability to create desire is a key part of your role.
You can do it several ways.
One of the most effective ways is to get your prospect to describe the impact himself. He knows exactly how he will be better off. Ask him how your product or service will improve his life.
Obviously, you’ll only want to use this approach after you’ve established some rapport.
If your prospect doesn’t open up, you can say something like, ‘If you’re like many people looking for (your service or product), it doesn’t take too much imagination to “see” how (benefit you offer) can make a real difference. Does sound like it might be that way for you?’
8. Ask for the sale
Proactively asking for the sale is probably the fastest way to dramatically increase your closing rate.
Salespeople and business owners often go through their entire selling process and don’t ask prospects to take the next logical step – placing the order.
If you’ve done a thorough job of helping the prospect understand how your product or service can benefit him, closing the sale is a natural next step.
Unless a prospect has expressed objections that can’t be overcome or addressed, it’s your duty to get your product or service into your prospect’s hands.
That means asking for the order. And if you’re not sure when to ask?
It’s not a bad practice to try to close when the customer says something positive about your product or service.
9. Mirroring your prospect
By mirroring the characteristics of your prospect, you will find it easy to “connect” with him.
Although your prospects are interested in what you say, they are far more interested in feeling they have a connection with you.
People are people. Anything you can do to enhance the communication you have with your prospect and make him feel he can relate to you will be beneficial.
Mirroring a prospect’s tone and language back to him is a natural part of effective communication.
If you want to fast track your closing rate, click here to get my free guide, “How to get more people to buy from you – TODAY!”