Most people experience a natural aversion to sales calls. It takes a plan of action to build rapport. This aversion stems from the fact that people hate being “sold to.” But as sales author D Bnonn Tennant mentions here, it’s not because people hate buying things. It’s because people hate feeling like they are being lied to, manipulated and pressured – things typically associated with today’s salesperson. This makes relationship building a hurdle to even the most honest sales rep. Especially in today’s telesales and telemarketing environments. Most reps are expected to take a sales opportunity deep into the pipeline without ever having a face-to-face conversation.
So how do you overcome a potential customer’s sales-phobia when you can’t even look them in the eye? You make the following 3 steps mandatory before picking up the phone.
If you aren’t relaxed when you place an outbound call, then put the phone down. Have you ever answered the phone only to be verbally assaulted by a rushed, out-of-breath, mile-a-minute sales pitch? Then you’ve experienced the pain that many sales rookies cause. For some, being comfortable comes naturally. For others it requires training. Regardless, it is necessary to start any sales call completely calm. You will talk better. You will listen better. As a result, you will produce better conversations. When you can’t look someone in the eye, this is the first step to overcoming sales bias and building customer rapport.
Make a call, not a dial
This should be your mindset before any call you make. Let me explain. A call is a two-way conversation that benefits both parties. It is the desire and anticipation to connect with someone on every call made. It is the understanding that you are reaching out to another human, you don’t want to waste time, and you want to make every second count. A dial, on the other hand, is everything that shouldn’t happen on a call. It is the one-sided act of speaking at someone instead of with them. It is afraid, complacent, repetitive, scripted and robotic. Dials do more harm than good.
So before you make your next sales call: remember to take a deep breath, prepare for the call, and work to create better conversations.
It is vital that you approach your sales calls with the most accurate information possible.Verifying the most basic information can make a world of difference. Make sure you have a process to obtain accurate phone numbers, email addresses, and job titles. And don’t underestimate the internet. A web search can often turn up social media profiles complete with job history and descriptions. However, knowing the basics is only half the battle. Your calls will have greater success if you can quickly and confidently explain your value proposition.
Always have answers to the following questions:
- Why is the company you are calling a good fit?
- Why is the person you are calling a good candidate to speak with?
- What makes your product or service the best choice?
Don’t stop here. Continue to learn more about the space you operate in. It will improve the conversations you have and make you more comfortable on the phone.