To win new business, you need to understand how people think. Close more deals by implementing any of these telephone sales tips rooted in psychology.

Author and motivational speaker, Brian Tracy, once said, “Approach each customer with the idea of helping him or her to solve a problem or achieve a goal, not of selling a product or service.”

Tracy’s wisdom lays the foundation for all psychology based telephone sales tips. It not only addresses the pleasure and pain principles on which all human behavior is based, but it also recognizes the need to connect, engage, and ultimately build relationships with people before you can expect them to hand over their hard-earned cash, no matter how impressive your product or service may be.

But to build relationships—and interest in whatever you’re selling—you need to understand how your different customers think. We’re not talking about mind-reading here, but certain universal human behaviors that can be predicted and traced through patterns and strategic conversations. In other words, if you have a grasp on human behavior, there are telephone sales tips you can follow that will simultaneously help lead your customers to the proverbial water while also establishing the trust necessary to turn a prospect into a buyer.

telephone sales tips

Mental models and telephone sales: tips that lead to success

Mental models are a psychological concept that help explain a person’s way of thinking. There are dozens of mental models out there, and we all excel at certain ones while remaining mostly unaware of the rest, but the idea here is that we can learn as many models as we can identify. So, the more models you learn, the better chance you’ll have of understanding the ways your customers think.

While mental models are not themselves telephone sales tips, the concept presents the possibility of broadening your scope of customers through a more complete understanding of human behavior. If, for example, you think of the models as tools for understanding how someone thinks, then it follows that the more tools you have, the more people you’ll be able to relate to, which hopefully leads to more closed deals.


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All that said, you won’t learn every mental model overnight. For more immediate results, here are a few telephone sales tips still based in psychology that are all but guaranteed to give your numbers a boost.

Tip #1: Present solutions, not products

Like Tracy’s quote says, you’ll get more customers by solving problems than by selling products. Most people are naturally defensive when approached by salespeople. Put them at ease by asking meaningful questions, listening to their answers, and then offering a solution through your product or service.

Tip #2: Empower your prospects

Nobody likes to be sold to. Instead, people like to feel as though they’ve discovered a product or service, and that they alone have come to the conclusion the product or service is worth spending their money on. Let them think that.

Instead of telling them how your offering can solve their problem, ask them if they think your offering can solve their problem. This simple shift of words triggers a different response in the brain, one that is more likely to result in a close.

Tip #3: The pleasure/pain principles

All human behavior is based on the desire for pleasure or the desire to avoid pain. While appealing to either desire helps pique a customer’s interest, studies have shown that people are more likely to avoid pain than pursue pleasure.

So if a customer tells you about something they want, try to follow that path to something they logically don’t want, then demonstrate how your offering can help them to avoid that negative thing. Either way, with all decision-making narrowed down to these two principles, it’s critical that your strategy appeals to one or the other if you want to make the sale.

Tip #4: Stoke curiosity

This one is of particular importance among telephone sales tips. In person, a customer can usually see what you have to offer, but over the phone, they always have to imagine. Paint a picture for them, but one that leaves lots of room for curiosity and questions. Get them thinking about your offering in a way that excites them, tantalizes, and leaves a little to mystery. People are intrigued by that which they don’t fully understand, and that can be a powerful marketing tool.

Tip #5: Use storytelling

Finally, storytelling is one of the most effective ways to generate interest in your offering, whether you’re selling life insurance or magazine subscriptions. Stories are the way we relate to experiences that we haven’t necessarily had—how we relate to human life that extends beyond our selves.

People flock to movies, plays, and even bookstores where they pay to hear or read stories that tell them something about the human experience. Frame your offering in the same light. A story adds a human component, and that may very well lead to increased interest, and ultimately, another done deal.


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