Find out how to make sales calls that get higher response rates and boost revenue.
You’ve likely put a lot of thought into how to make sales calls. There are numerous strategies around cold calls, follow-up calls, the best days and times to make calls, and everything else sales-related. These are all important topics, and while there are some industry best practices, the details can change from day to day.
One thing we can all agree on, however, is that higher response rates are a sound goal. Whether we’re leaving messages on a cold call or we need to set up a meeting with a long-term client, a response helps us move forward. And at the risk of sharing an unpopular opinion, any response is good, even if it’s the customer telling you they aren’t interested. At the very least, that opens up a space for you to put energy into a more amenable prospect.
So then, how to make sales calls that get these responses? Let’s look through some details.
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Discover 5 tips for how to make sales calls that clients and prospects want to reply to
In thinking about how to make sales calls that put us on the path to success, one of the best things we can do is take ourselves out of the picture. No matter how great your service is or how many features your product has, your prospects aren’t going to care unless there’s something in it for them.
You know this story: you have to solve a problem, make something better or easier, or provide a unique experience. So if your response rate is low, an excellent place to start is by considering your sales pitch. Are you trying to “sell” something, or are you offering something your client truly needs?
What does that look like? Your prospects might think it’s nice that your insurance company is rated one of the best low-cost insurers in the region. What they really might like, however, is to save money and still get top-notch service. And try to be specific. “Our customers save an average of $240 each year on insurance, and 90% of our claims are paid out within 7 business days.”
What are some other ways to improve your response rate?
1. Use FOMO. Fear of missing out is a huge incentive, but you need to be thoughtful in using this strategy. For instance, you don’t want to call a current customer every few months telling them you have a special offer on software updates, but it’s only good for “today!” That might work once or twice, but after that, your client will catch on, and they’ll probably start thinking about ending their contract with you.
That’s not to say you can’t mention a time-or supply-limited offer. They can be great for upselling or giving someone that little extra motivation to make a purchase. But leaning too much on a FOMO strategy will make your customers feel like you’re just trying to get money from them.
2. Leave a voicemail. There’s more to increased response rates than strategizing about how to make sales calls. It’s also important to think about how to leave voicemails. Frustrated that they’ve reached yet another seemingly dead end, far too many salespeople hang up before leaving a message.
Yet, we know that it takes multiple attempts to reach someone. Don’t be overbearing, of course. You don’t need to make these calls every day. But always leave a message. You can even do it the easy way by prerecording your message. And if you use Call Logic, you can click the voicemail drop option and move on to your next call while the software does all the work for you.
3. Let the customer lead. One of the best approaches to sales and one of the biggest secrets behind how to make sales calls successfully is to let your customer sell the product or service. For the most part, we’ve reached a point where people don’t want to be “sold” to. However, asking the right questions can position your offering to be the logical choice.
For example, you could set your call up as a survey or a feedback session. Ask for help understanding the client’s needs. Don’t be afraid to ask questions that put them in the driver’s seat.
4. Be specific about the time commitment. Your customers are busy. If you leave a message asking for a returned call to talk about XYZ, you might not get the response you’re looking for. Why? Your customer or prospect may feel they don’t have 30 or 45 minutes to talk to you.
Overcome this obstacle by stating specifically how much of their time you’re requesting. And keep it short, at least for a first call. Ten minutes seems reasonable. That gives you enough time to gather a lot of information, but it’s not so much that it eats away at their schedule.
5. Be prepared with a follow-up email. One simple and effective way to increase your response rate is to prepare for prospects you connect with, but don’t have the time to talk. A follow-up email can do wonders to get your message across when this happens. It’s even more effective if you can send that email out right away.
With dialing software like Call Logic, you can set up email templates that only require you to fill in specific information, such as the person’s name and email address. Fill in the info and send it out while you’re still on the phone or immediately after ending the call. This gets your message in front of a prospect while the momentum is still there.
Will you ever reach a 100% returned call rate? Probably not. But the difference of even a few percentage points can do wonders for your overall sales.
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