Looking to boost your cold calling numbers? Stick to these phone sales techniques that close and see improvement almost immediately.
Any salesperson can tell you that it’s easier to close a deal in person than it is over the phone. Yet it’s likely that you’ll have significantly more opportunities to close over the phone. (And if you’re a telemarketer, over the phone is all you’ll have.) It’s worth the investment of your time, then, to learn phone sales techniques that close more deals, more quickly.
It’s important to remember that the close starts with the pitch. Your lead-in to the sale will influence your prospect’s decision to buy. That’s why this list isn’t strictly phone sales techniques that close, but also techniques that lead to the close. After all, you’ll have a much harder time making the sale if you lost them at “hello.”
Phone sales techniques: that close is yours for the taking
1. Practice proper etiquette
Practicing proper phone etiquette is crucial to setting the stage for a close. It’s easy to forget this, especially when you’re making one phone call after the next. But every prospect is a new conversation, which means you have to start each call fresh with as much charisma and enthusiasm as the last.
Start off each call introducing yourself. Be succinct and get to the point quickly. Ask questions. Listen to the answers, and let them drive your next questions. In short, make it a conversation. Doing this helps establish trust with the prospect, which is necessary if you’re going to close a deal.
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2. Lead the way
It’s tempting to ask open-ended questions to avoid being too pushy. There’s something to that philosophy, but it won’t net you very many sales. Phone sales techniques that close include leading the prospect to the place you want them to be. So instead of asking, “How many can I put you down for?” (aggressive) or, “What do you think about that?” (passive), ask, “Doesn’t it sound like this product would solve that problem?” (assertive). The question is suggestive without being authoritative, and most importantly, it puts the ball in the prospect’s court.
3. Relate to the prospect
Have you worked in an industry similar to your prospect before? Tell them about it. Does he or she mention any shared interests? Call it out. The more they can relate to you, the more likely it is that they’ll give you their money. In person, it’s easy to relate because you’re already sharing something, whether it be a meal, a drink, or just a conference room table. Phone sales techniques that close require a bit more innovation.
4. Be direct
One of the worst things you can do is to hint at what you want without saying it. When it’s time to close, go in for it and then stay there. If the prospect says no, get more information. Being direct is one of the most important phone sales techniques that close because it puts just a little pressure on the prospect without making them feel like you’re trying to get them to do something other than what you’re asking.
5. Trust in your pitch
Once you’ve delivered your pitch, don’t go back to it. When it’s closing time, it’s too late to pitch. All you can do is respond to the specific concerns of your prospect and demonstrate how your product or service can alleviate those concerns. If you start repeating information you’ve already given, they will likely tune out, and you’ll have lost the close.
6. Use reverse psychology
This is among the more risky phone sales techniques, but reverse psychology can be an effective way to get a prospect to make up their mind. If someone, for example, is hung up on price and you’ve already negotiated down as far as you can go, take the offer off the table, saying, “You know, I really can’t go any lower on the price. Maybe this isn’t the right time to add this service to your business.” You might lose a close or two this way, but nine times out of ten, a prospect is just trying to get you to go below your bottom line. Stick to your guns, demonstrate confidence, and throw the ball right back in their court.
7. Assume you’ve already closed
When your call begins, assume you’ve already made the close. Assume whatever you’re selling is something the prospect can’t pass up, get excited by that, and then outline those benefits. Assuming you’ve already closed gives you more confidence, which will only improve your sales record. Aside from that, it means that the prospect has to convince you that the sale isn’t closed, not the other way around. That doesn’t mean you’ll never have to take “no” for an answer, but it does mean that you’ll get far fewer of them.
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