Working as a sales person requires from you the ability to communicate through various channels. The most popular ways of contact include: meetings, mail posts and – obviously – phone calls. The latter ones happen to be very stressful due to their ‘live communication’ element. However, they are limited to voice portion only what makes it hard for you to use all your charming skills. Check how to control your discomfort and boost your effectiveness on the phone.
STEP 1: PREPS & GETTING READY!
How to start?
Provide yourself with maximum of comfort by proper preparation to your phone call.
Start with organising your work space.
What should it be?
Make sure you have enough space to freely move or even walk. You should be able to stand up while you are talking – it will increase your confidence and give you some energy.
A good plan
Making your statement understandable, concrete and coherent is worth a few minutes of your time. Starting point of your preparation process is to determine your goal together with desired effect. Obviously, a number of accepted solution is up to you, type of the problem and policy of a company that you represent.
After you concretize your goal, wonder how you want to achieve it. Your statement should include intelligible message (content) and bring desired emotions (form) in dependency on the type of the case and relation with conversationalist. Don’t forget about organisation that you represent!
Its image and values are important determinants of your behaviour. However, it doesn’t mean that you have to give up your personality! A bit of a sense of humor can quickly lighten the atmosphere.
While preparing to the phone conversation you can find these questions supportive:
1. Who do you want to speak to? How are you going to act when they are not available?
2. What do you want to achieve? (goal)
3. What do you want to say? (message)
4. How do you want to achieve your goal? (form)
5. What result do you expect? (desired effect)
Substantive preparation is a foundation of professional phone call. While verifying your knowledge you should refer both to general information (about you and your partner) and recent facts (latest changes). This list of questions may be handy for you:
1. What is so great about your offer? What is its core function and what distinguishes it on the market? What customization tools are available? How flexible is pricing policy?
2. What are your company’s main values, goals and strategy? How are they being pursued?
3. What are company’s relation with competitors? (brand power, market position, innovations, insight in main competitors’ offer)
4. What needs does your offer fulfil? How? Show your respect for client’s time by proving wide knowledge about their business. Describe your proposal from their point of view (basing on previosly gained data)
5. How did last interaction between you (organisation) and your caller end? During the phone call keep some evidence close so you can refer to it or even quote it.
Seems like a lot of work? Easy! Once you get through these steps every next call (and meeting!) will be a piece of pie. Most of these information stay unchangeable. Besides, it is all more up to your intelligence than to your knowledge.
Make sure you feel confident about what you’re saying
and that you understand it all. The rest will come!
STEP 2: HANDLE THE PHONE!
This is the moment!
Regardless whether you make a phone call or answer it, remember to start every conversation with introducing yourself and company that you represent. In case of incoming call you are obligated to provide a caller with adequate information ASAP or transfer the call to a proper department (person). To avoid repeated transfers make sure you understand your caller’s problem properly. That will help you to send them to proper department. After transferring introduce the caller to a new speaker and intimate the issue. Always hang up as the second one.
Three absolute bans:
1. Don’t confirm any information that you are not sure about or you don’t know. It is better to provide reaffirmed information later than to correct some false messages.
2. Don’t make any decision on behalf of other people unless you are empowered to this. Do not make an appointment or other arrangement without consultation!
3. Don’t hold two or more conversations at the same time! There is better time to master your multitasking skills. When you are talking on the phone cease your computer work, press review or lunch. Stay focus and business-like and take care of comfort of the conversation for both sides.
Three handy tips:
1. be patient – it can happen that the moment you call is not best. Prove you understanding and stay kind if you are asked to wait or call again later.
2. be tactful – regulate formality of the dialogue. Give up old sale school tricks and try to keep the talk more free-flowing. Make sure your caller feels comfortable to talk but try to keep the control over conversation direction.
3. be honest – truthfulness increases credibility. Honesty in the dialogue emphasizes respect for conversationalist and your serious attitude to business.