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Posted by Lauren Barham on August 31, 2017

More and more, people rely on technology to protect them from people they don’t want to speak to. The ways you handle this technology will hugely increase your chances of selling successfully. Here are some top tips:

  1. Never hang up when you get an answer phone. You are already paying for the call so use it. At the very least, it gets your name out there. At worst, if you continually hang up, most people have caller ID and they will see this constant number come up with no message and assume – you are a sales person who is not worth talking to and never take your call.
  2. Listen to their voice if they have a personalised message. Another person’s voice can tell you so much about how to approach them. It will give you an idea of their style and if an informal, or formal approach will work best.
  3. Always record the times and days you call. Many busy people have set times, often start and end of the day, or set days even, when they are in the office and taking calls. Regular calls will build up a pattern.
  4. It is also proven that you get a higher response rate from messages left later in the day rather than earlier. People are more relaxed having got some work done.
  5. Never, ever use a script. And vary the messages you use to ensure they don’t become automated and sound like one.
  6. Around 30 seconds is about the right length. The last thing you want is to take up all their tape and ensure they lose other messages, nor bore them to tears, nor have half your message deleted. Around 30 seconds should be enough to get people curious.
  7. Sound interested and sound interesting. Start talking normally and slow down as you get into the call. Your voice is hugely influential to the message.  Elevate it when you talk about the benefit.
  8. As with all sales calls, don’t start the message with information about you. They don’t know you and are not remotely interested and are likely to delete before listening to the rest.  Start with something relevant to the prospect.
  9. Include a benefit in each message you leave to engage their interest. 
  10. If you know of a problem they have, you can try an intriguing hint type message, saying you have heard that they would be interested in … and you could just have the answer.  Avoid using this for vague problems like saving money though.  Use it only if you have done enough research to make it really personalized. This is far more important on a phone message than any other type of selling to stop them deleting.
  11. Consider the use of a very specific and personalised question that they will feel the need to call you back on. General “if you are interested” won’t get them rushing to their phones. It must be personalised again. It is far better to end the call on this rather than a generic “I will call you back sometime” which gives them an excuse not to keep the message.
  12. Also use strong, descriptive words to paint a strong picture to build their desire.
  13. Don’t expect lots of call backs. However well you have done, few people call back. View the calls instead as steps along the way of getting your message out there. The ones who do call you back are usually great leads.
  14. Use emails if you have to, but the success rate is a lot lower. A recent survey showed 8.21% on responses to calls as opposed to 0.3% to emails. Those figures must make you question if the time spent on emails is worthwhile! Emails are one way. Phone calls build a relationship.  Phone conversations build trust. Emails impart information.
  15. When you are using emails, again, think about the recipient. Get the subject line snappy and relevant. Keep the email as brief as possible if you want to get it read.
  16. Few people use the post but it works far better than emails. I am not talking junk mail, but a personalised letter. Hand written can be good if your writing is beautiful. And make the content personal so you are really writing to that individual.
  17. The argument for the email is that it is quicker and more efficient. This is usually an inaccurate argument covering up an excuse not to make the call. With an email, you are still going to have to have all the conversations later. It simply does not do the same job, so you are actually adding steps to your sales process, not saving time. 

Remember, all selling, though especially telephone selling is about perseverance. Most people give up after a couple of calls. The more calls you make, the greater your chance of success. About 80% of sales are made on call five to eight. Make sure you are one of the few who persevere while the competition gives in. Happy selling!

Author: Business woman and female entrepreneur, Jan Cavelle. Jan has started many businesses from scratch and has a proven track record for building to a multi-million mark. She writes prolifically for businesses and business publications, most regularly for real.business.co.uk, the leading digital magazine for SME's. In addition to writing, she coaches SME owners and helps support them in a variety of ways but specializing in sales, for which she herself won the coveted National Sales Decade of Excellence Award - http://www.jancavelle.co.uk


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