Most prospects can tell if the caller is a telemarketer doing cold calls, unsolicited calls or a sales call. From the moment you said, “Hi, am I speaking with Bill Jones?” to the way you say your spiel.
Even if you’re an expert in sales, you may find yourself get confused and stutter when speaking with new a prospect on the phone. That awkward conversation can make or break your prospect’s decision to listen to you or hang up the phone.
If you are a salesperson doing lead generation for a living, you have to pick up the phone to set appointments, follow up prospects, etc.—then you must learn to sound natural over the phone so your prospects, gatekeepers, or executive assistants won’t notice that you’re trying to sell something.
Here are the 5 things I did that helped me sound more natural over the phone and close more sales.
Know the reason why you’re calling and what’s in it for them.
Knowledge is power. I make sure I know everything about the product or service I’m offering – its features and benefits. Before calling my prospect, I try to know my objective and why the prospect will take time and listen to me. How to do this?
You can always ask yourself these questions before making a call:
- Why are you calling today?
- What do you have to offer?
- What will they get if they listen to you?
Preparation before placing a call helps me gain confidence. Plus, you are more likely to sound like you know what you are talking about so prospects will want to listen to you. Here’s a closer look inside the mind of your Australian prospects.
Tip: Practice your script with your colleague or with your sales manager to make sure your preparation will result to a smooth delivery when you’re talking to your prospect.
Many sales reps still try to trick gatekeeper and assistants just to get hold of their prospects. And most of them are rude whenever they do this. Regardless if they are the person I wish to speak with, an assistants or a gatekeeper, I always use the following words when speaking with anyone over the phone.
- Thank you.
- May I…
- Could you please…
- That’s okay.
- I understand.
Here are some phrases of courtesy that I use.
- “Can you please direct my call to Bill Jones?”
- “Thank you” (When Gatekeeper asked you to hold for her to transfer your call)
- “May I have your name so I can address you properly in the email?“
- “Could you please connect my call to Amanda Smith?”
- “That’s okay. So when is the best time for me to call back for Bill Jones?”
- “I understand. How about if I send you information for future reference? Would that work for you?”
You may be surprise how words like these can go a long way when speaking with anyone over the phone.
I make connections with my prospect
Build rapport with your prospect. How? Greet them and address them by their first name. It usually works for me especially if I’m making a connection with my prospects. Many sales reps are still using Mr. or Ms, Madam or Sir when speaking with prospects as their way to show respect, but I don’t agree on that. You can always show your respect with someone by being courteous and professional when speaking with them. Know the basic do’s and don’ts on telesales.
Tip: By using the prospect’s first name, you are starting the call equal without giving them all the power. Plus, you will sound like you know your prospect when you asked for their first name from the Gatekeeper.
Be brief: “Less talk, less mistakes”
Most sales reps get excited to say their spiel and explain the features and benefits of their product the moment they get hold of their prospect. The more information you provide to your prospect may lead to an objection.
Be brief and direct to the point when introducing your company, saying your spiel and stating the purpose of your call.
Here’s a sample script I use when I introduce my company or state the purpose of my call:
“I’m with XYZ Company. We are a Microsoft Gold Certified partner and we specialize in MS Dynamics products.
I’d like to find out if your company has plans to evaluate or would consider changing your current software in 6-12 months?”
By being brief and direct to the point, prospect might think you mean business and is not calling to waste their time.
When doing lead generation, this is the most important of all. However, listening to what the prospect is saying is not enough. Listening and understanding what the prospect is actually saying is essential. It will help you know whether or not they are on their “buying stage” or not.
When you didn’t hear or understand what the prospect is saying, you can always ask him to:
- Repeat what he just said
- Elaborate what he means (for you to understand it well)
Reminder: Be careful as to how many times you are supposed to ask the prospect to repeat what he just said. It’s a turnoff on the side of the prospect if you will ask him to repeat his answer more than twice.
These are the 5 things I usually do to sound confident and natural over the phone. They are easy to implement, so you won’t have a hard time adjusting your way of calling. Incorporate these to your own telemarketing techniques to minimize call reluctance and start making more connections by increasing your phone time with your prospects.