Don’t phone it in! 97% of Americans own at least one cellphone, and most of them carry their phones with them everywhere.
Putting effort into your phone etiquette means reaching out to more people and becoming an effective sales representative. However, improving your etiquette is not just about minding your manners. You need to follow several steps in order to have great etiquette.
How should you prepare for your sales calls? What should you say during your calls? How should you speak, and how can you avoid seeming too informal?
Answer these questions and you can make great sales calls in no time. Here is your quick guide.
Prepare for Your Calls
Before you pick up the phone, you should prepare yourself for your sales call. You should place a pen and paper on your desk so you can take notes as the call progresses. You should also close the door and silence all background noise, including by closing your windows.
It is okay to reference a script during your over-the-phone sales. However, you should go through the script a few times before your first call. This will allow you to read off of the script more naturally and reduce stuttering.
Feel free to read other people’s phone scripts so you can modify your own script. If one of your competitor’s scripts is doing well, you should adopt some of their language in your script.
You should know who the person you’re calling is. You should know what their name is, how old they are, and what you can do for them.
Inform Your Customers
You should always be willing to give information to your customers. If they ask who you are, you should tell them about yourself and who you are with. Give them information about the products you are selling and what problems they solve.
Be specific. If your script doesn’t give clear information to answer someone’s question, go off script and talk about the product based on your personal experience.
It is okay if you don’t know something. Try to answer your customer’s questions the best you can and then refer them to your company’s website or another resource.
Take Control of the Conversation
Phone etiquette isn’t just about being polite. It’s about being assertive and bringing your customer through the sales funnel. Answering your customer’s questions with clear answers is one significant way you can be assertive.
Asking good sales questions is another subtle way. If your customer is interested in a product or service but seems confused about it, you can ask, “How can I make this process as simple as possible for you?” This question makes you seem knowledgeable, and it helps you address the point of confusion directly.
To assess what your client needs, you can ask them, “In the last year, what challenges have you experienced related to [the goal of your product]?” This question lets your client talk about different things that you can then relate to your product.
If your customer says they cannot speak to you at that moment, you should not hang up the phone. You should ask, “Okay, what time can I call you back?”
Try to avoid putting the customer on hold. If you get another call while you are speaking with a customer, focus on the customer. They will likely hang up on you if you put them on hold, and the other caller can leave a voicemail message.
Adopt a Good Tone of Voice
Your tone can make or break your chances of success. You should sound cheery and eager to help your customer out.
However, you should not sound too energetic. If you’re speaking too quickly or in too high of a voice, your customer may hang up the phone on you. Your voice should be even-keeled and easy to listen to.
Some people find that by smiling, they can make their voices more cheerful sounding. You can try smiling while you are on a call to see if it improves your voice. You can also stand up, which can bring more air into your lungs and make projecting your voice easier.
Though your tone should be professional, it should not be robotic. You can modify the sound of your voice to emphasize certain words or convey emotions. If you’re expressing sympathy for a client’s plight, your voice should sound soft, not flat.
Avoid Annoying Speech Patterns
You should avoid using speech fillers whenever possible. Saying “um” or “like” makes you seem unprofessional and ineloquent.
Most people use speech fillers because they don’t know what to say and want to fill the silence. If you familiarize yourself with your script, you will know what to say and can avoid pauses.
Slang is usually not appropriate. When you need to tell someone to wait a moment you should say, “Please hold on for one minute.” “Wait a sec” may be a little impolite.
However, you should not go too far and make your speech clunky or impersonal. You can add a colorful simile or metaphor to make yourself seem human. You may be able to include a joke, especially toward the start of your call, as a way of breaking the ice.
Practice Great Phone Etiquette
Phone etiquette requires your attention and due diligence. You should prepare for calls by reading over your script and researching who you are speaking to.
During the call, you should answer questions with clear and thorough details. But you should also ask questions of your own that make you seem attentive to your customer’s concerns. You should adopt an easygoing tone of voice and promote your fluency by practicing your lines.
Don’t be alone on your phone. The Automotive Training Network provides sales support for car dealerships. Contact us today.