To learn how to close the sale over the phone, it’s important to make use of all opportunities you have at your disposal. Traditionally, it’s easier for most people to close a deal when they are sitting face to face with the potential client. So much of the way that we communicate with people is through non verbal cues such as body language and facial expressions. Over the phone you’re more limited in the clues you’ll get to try and read the prospect. Intonation is critical, so when you have a bad line, or a busy loud office distracting you, it makes even more difficult to close the sale over the phone. Based on how open the customer is, how friendly they are, and comfortable they sound over the phone can be used to make sure you provide them with the right message at the right time. So how can you ensure that you give yourself the best chances of closing the sale over the phone? Preparation is essential.
Do the key groundwork. Depending on what stage you’re in with your relationship with the prospect will determine your level of action. Have you provided your potential client with all the information that they need in order to make the buying decision beforehand? If not, then it will be more difficult, if not impossible, to get them to commit to your proposal because they most likely to not know the proper expectations. Providing the necessary information ahead of time to educate will give them the time and space to look at it on their own, and really mull over the different options. That means that by the time you have them on the phone, they will feel empowered to make a decision rather than feeling caught off guard.
Know the client. Have you done your research on their background, their company, and previous decisions they have made? Have you read the recent blog posts on their website? In the digital age we live in, information is available that we’ve never had access to before. Between Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Google, you should be able to find useful and helpful info about almost anyone. Know what makes your prospect tick and you will find it much easier to convince them to accept your sale over the phone. Many people do not believe that researching their potential client is worth the effort, but if it’s a valuable deal then going above and beyond to competition by creating a more personal connection could be the difference in the sale. They have almost certainly looked into your business history, and if you have not done the same, then you have an uphill battle ahead.
Create a sense of urgency. This is a time old trick that sales people have been using for generations, but human nature really hasn’t changed, so it can still work to your advantage. By putting your offer on a time limit attached, it will force your client to make a decision quickly, and they will not want to miss out on this opportunity (if you execute properly). Offering a discount if they commit to you today is a great way to close the sale. If they give you a hard time, blame it on your manager. During negotiations, put them on hold and speak to your manager, or act like you’re speaking to a manager. That way you’re the good cop and your manager is the bad cop. The phrase ‘time is money’ is definitely true, and scientific research has demonstrated that we are much more likely to say ‘yes’ to an option if there is a deadline.
Lastly, always be prepared to call their bluff. This is where your grit and determination comes up against theirs, because your potential client is not stupid. They know that you want to make the sale, and they may not believe that your proposed time limit is actually going to be enforced. That means that they may try to call your bluff – and so you should hold firm. Chances are they will respect you more for this. Think of it as a game of poker, and you should be prepared to hold your ground. You have to accept that you may lose the sale, but sometimes lost sales can save you from the hassle of cheap customers who aren’t the kind of clients you’re truly looking for anyways.
Never forget that just with everything else, if you do not close the sale on the phone, there is always another phone call tomorrow.