People who’ve never worked over the phone before to sell something might not have a good grasp on the dedication and commitment needed to complete the task at hand. These same people may also have a negative impression because of those few sales reps who refuse to follow the rules. Or maybe they’ve experienced sales reps who try to push the boundaries, trying whatever it takes in order to make the sale. No wonder everyone blocks sales calls! There are federal standards in place for anyone doing telesales, but unfortunately, unless the higher ups in every company enforce the rules, reps who aren’t committed to handling their jobs ethically can slip through the cracks. If you’re a telesales rep, especially if you’re new to the industry and trying to make your mark, bypassing some of the rules to up your number or increase productivity can be tempting. However, as every highly successful agent will tell you, while following the rules may not seem fun or advantageous, they help you get you much further in the long run.
Ethical Sales Builds Trust
Ethics is a tricky subject for anyone – there are college courses taught on the subject! You probably have a base understanding of ethics (positive or negative) from how you were raised, and you can learn a lot from your employers. Whether you see it or not, your view on ethics determines how you live your life. In the sales industry, ethics play more of a role than people think. There are plenty of studies out there that have determined that consumers bases their buying decisions on whether or not they think a company is ethical. But how does that affect a sales rep trying to build their business over the phone? There isn’t a single code of conduct for sales representatives, but there are general standards that should be followed. If you aren’t seeing these standards followed in your company, it may be time to look for a new job.
So what standards should be followed? Here are 5 points to follow when ethically selling over the phone:
Build Trust and Credibility
To acquire repeat business, produce higher quality referrals, and build larger, more profitable sales, you can’t rely on the occasional one-time purchase. You need to build a group of customers who trust you. Trust and credibility mean having and showing a belief in your company, your products, and the way you do business. You need to know the basics of business phone etiquette and stay committed to excellence in your daily work. To be trusted and found credible means that you have to have a thorough knowledge of your products and their applications, which shows your customers a willingness to gain a full understanding of their needs. Trust and credibility take time to build, but the investment is worthwhile for long-term sales success.
Present the Whole Picture
Customers want to be confident that sales representatives know what they are talking about, and they want to be sure they can rely on the information. Information that turns out to be wrong can raise doubts in the customer’s mind, and destroy any previously built trust and credibility. If sales reps do not have the information a customer wants, they should be honest enough to admit it, let the customer know, and offer to find the answer, without any hesitancy. Dealing with a customer might not be enjoyable when you don’t have the information they need right away. But if you stay true to your word and work to find the necessary information, your usefulness to that particular customer will be solidified. Maintaining proper communication – email, phone calls, providing accurate estimates for when a problem might be fixed or an answer found – shows customers that you’re willing to do the necessary work to get them what they need.
Understand Your Customers
The key to providing accurate information is to understand a customer’s needs and expectations. You can research your potential targets all you want, but being direct and asking questions will save you both time and can help you move to your next call more quickly. The needs they have may go beyond product information and advice, so you need to be prepared. Customers may expect a lot from you as a sales rep, and your responsibility is to be fully aware of what they require. However, if you’re making cold calls to find out more about a potential client, make sure you handle the call the right way. Claiming that a cold sales call is “customer research” is not ethical. The so-called “customer survey” is a common technique for engaging a prospect but the tactic is misleading if the sales rep doesn’t disclose the true purpose of the call. Techniques like the survey or the claim to be returning a message are simply ways to overcome initial sales resistance, and most consumers see through the trick easily.
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Be Honest and Accept Responsibility
Sales reps never want to deal with problems, but like everything else, problem-solving is part of the process. You can’t handle everything exactly right every time because no one is perfect. Problems could range from quality issues, unforeseen costs, delays, changes made by you or the customer, or inaccurate information. In some fortunate cases, a problem will resolve itself before the customer ever notices. However, if you’re not honest about the situation, or you’re not willing to take responsibility for an unsuccessful sale, then the more likely outcome is that the problem will become more serious. If you handle the hard stuff well and are able to provide options or changes for the customer while maintaining a positive attitude then the customer will be more likely to stay loyal because of your hard work.
Be the Right Person for Your Customers
Ultimately, if you’re committed to ethically staying the course in sales, you will find yourself moving up the ranks steadily, building trust with your customers, and creating a positive sales atmosphere for yourself and others around you. If your sales business is built on sales made over the phone, and you’re looking for ways to increase productivity while ensuring you and/or your sales reps are fully TCPA compliant, then call us at Call Logic. We have created a cloud based power dialing system to help you call more numbers from your contact lists by automatically connecting your agent to the next call when the first one is finished. Let us help you do more with your time and your phone calls – sign up today!
Be the Right Person for Your Customers
Ultimately, if you’re committed to ethically staying the course in sales, you will find yourself moving up the ranks steadily, building trust with your customers, and creating a positive sales atmosphere for yourself and others around you. If your sales business is built on sales made over the phone, and you’re looking for ways to increase productivity while ensuring you and/or your sales reps are fully TCPA compliant, then call us at Call Logic. We have created a cloud based power dialing system to help you call more numbers from your contact lists by automatically connecting your agent to the next call when one is finished. Let us help you do more with your time and your phone calls – sign up today!