Here are 5 notable steps to better enhance any inside sales/tele-sales initiatives. These steps have been vital to my lengthy success of picking up the phone and making those calls, and further, making those sales! While these steps are specific to my telephone sales duties, they can, and should, be applied to any sales scenario.
1. Gather intelligence
Every call should garner some piece of information that can be used at a later date. Whether it’s as simple as first identifying a decision-maker, or gaining vital knowledge of your prospect’s work schedule, or even getting the correct phone number extension…information gathering is imperative!
2. Use open ended questions
Yes, it’s the tried and true method of gathering vital information—you avoid yes-or-no answers that may leave you with little latitude for follow-up questions. Simply open the conversation up with easy, yet important lines of questioning. For example, “What are you doing to maintain your [A, B or C]?” or “What process do you use for [X, Y or Z]?” This simple format will hopefully get your prospect talking and sharing knowledge that will soon become important.
“Don’t fall in love with your own voice! It’s not about you.”
Here we arrive at the most critical skill—and yet probably the least mastered one—when it comes to sales calls. Even seasoned salespeople are guilty at times of not listening, of getting so wrapped up in presenting their product that they forget to open their ears. Not listening will surely lead you to miss subtle (or even overt) buying signals. The moral here is, “Don’t fall in love with your own voice! It’s not about you.”
4. Ask for the Sale
All too often, average salespeople will forget (or aren’t sure when) to ask for the sale. And if they do, all the preparation and expertise in the world will be for naught. Typically, once your prospect has offered some “buy-in” to your proposal, then—though not prior—would you present your trial close.
…ABC (Always Be Closing)!? or the KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid) principle
We’ve all likely heard these acronyms before…ABC (Always Be Closing)!? or the KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid) principle. They may seem potentially outdated, the core meaning still rings true. My interpretation of the “ABC” principle is that, no matter how long the sales cycle, during every step of the process we should interject closing questions to help reach our elusive goal…a sale!