The cold call isn’t quite dead yet. In fact, with so many people walking around with their primary phones in their hands all the time, sales calls are seeing a revival. It is more important than ever to make sure your phone pitch game is on point. This means working on the two most important moments of any call: right before you dial and right before you hang up. Here are three tips each that should help you make the most of every sales call.
Before Picking Up the Phone
#1. Know Your Goal
Not every call is the same. Some sales calls are initial connections between you and prospective customers. Others are follow-ups after initial contact or an on-site visit. Still others are just to spread the word of an offer to already loyal buyers, helping to maintain an established relationship. Depending on which the call is your approach will be different. Make sure your goal is firmly in mind before you pick up the receiver. This will help guide the call and keep you on target.
#2. Believe in What an Why You Sell
Let’s face it: no one sits by their phone waiting for a sales call. Most hang up the moment they hear the “familiar” sound of a stranger offering them something. But you can take steps to limit that feeling of “I’ve had this call before.” Before dialing, take a moment to reaffirm your belief in what you sell and why you sell it. This short meditation can help you achieve a compelling tone and enthusiasm that captivates customers when they pick up, leading them to stay on long enough for you to at least make your pitch.
#3. Review Your Opening
You have seconds once a call is answered to get the person on the other end of the line to pay attention. Flubbing your opening isn’t an option. Review what you’re going to say if someone picks up, be it a particular greeting, message or the person’s name. Make sure you can read vital information easily and clearly so you can refer back to it if need be during the first moments of your conversation.
Before Hanging Up
#1. Trigger Future Needs
If you’ve been in sales for any amount of time, you’re probably used to people saying some variation of, “Thank you, but not interested.” Your job before hanging up is to plant the thought that they may actually need you, in ways they may not have thought. As dealers, many may think you only offer car sales. But you can end by letting the prospective customer know that you also service cars and that they should keep you in mind the next time their check engine light goes off. Give them a reason to call you outside of buying a car and you have a higher chance that they’ll remember and follow up.
#2. Follow-Up While Talking
Generally, follow-ups happen after the call. The problem is if you ask for follow-up data, like a time to call back or an email address, you can find yourself dead-ended and without the opportunity to follow-up later. Circumvent this by following-up while you still have them on the phone. Ask if you can email them a promotional coupon or text them an exciting deal right not while they’re on the line. Then ask them if they see the email or have received the message so you know it’s gone through. This can increase your chances of getting accurate follow-up information that will allow you to connect more later.
#3. Leave a Message
It’s just as likely that someone won’t answer the phone at all, especially if they don’t recognize your number. If you get a customer’s voice mailbox, don’t hang up until you’ve left a compelling message. When possible, listen to the recording before sending, ensuring your tone and message match your goal.