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Warm Up for Cold Calls

Mar 25, 2008
When closing a sale over the phone many of us think it is easier than in person. In many ways that may be right.

You don't have to worry about the garlic bread you ate with your lunch or maybe the tomato sauce stain that resulted from the delicious Italian spaghetti served with your garlic bread. If your sweating from being nervous from the conversation, your potential client isn't going to see it.

Phone sales just may be easier when it comes to presenting a sales pitch, but there are plenty of pitfalls that await any sales challenge.

One pitfall many salespeople may come across is not being fully prepared for the call. You may get excited and think you have all the answers but a prospect can easily turn the tables on you asking detailed information that you may have never considered as part of the introductory sales process.

Never expect one prospect to act the same as the other, these are individuals not a graph chart of a segmented market. Be prepared for the unexpected.

Make sure you have all pricing sheets (including special terms and conditions), product alternative lists, technical information, selling highlights, etc. so that you are ready and prepared for any questions that may be thrown at you. Make sure this information is stacked and organized so it can be easily referenced.

You do not want to be putting your potential customer on hold and you do not want to have too long of a delay in between questions and answers.

When calling a prospect always assume they will be answering the phone. You will find you can easily be thrown off guard if you relax with the notion it will be another voice mail or secretary. It has happened to all of us I am sure, just don't let it happen again. Nothing can make a prospect more uneasy than an unsure voice that sounds as if they have just been caught stealing from a cookie jar.

Another important aspect to being prepared for a sales call is to have a sheet made with questions for the prospect. These questions are important for you to better understand your potential customer and what their needs may be and how your product may satisfy their needs. Keep the questions relevant to your product and address barriers the person may have in obtaining the product. Keep in mind that some of the questions should also lead to what void your product can fill in their lives and the solution it provides.

Remember when making a phone call to acquire new customers that it is your first impression that is going to be the most important. They call it a first impression because that is exactly what it is. You cannot take back the damage done by not being prepared although you can always try to repair it with a second one. Avoid the extra work by doing it right the first time with preparedness.

In short be prepared mentally and have all you will need to educate your prospects and get them buying from you.
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