Creating meaningful customer relationships by selling over the phone does not come naturally for most people, but making the effort can be a night and day different in the way clients and prospects perceive you and your company. These are some essential strategies that may seem simple, but many sales reps either overlook or don’t want to put in the extra work to get to the next level. Make a personal connection. When selling over the phone, you need to know basic facts about the prospect. Always address them with their correct name, and with the right company details. There is nothing quite like irritating someone because you called them Laura instead of Louise. These are simple things for phone sales, but can often be forgotten in the heat of business, when you are contacting dozens of b2b leads or consumer leads a day. However, you need to make that person feel as though they are the only person that you are contacting that day, and so getting these basics down is critical. Get them wrong, and the prospect loses respect for you and your company within seconds. Do a little more research to dig a little deeper than your competitor will. How long as that prospect been with their company? How does their role interact with their colleagues? Are they the decision maker? Do they have a family, children, or a particular hobby that they absolutely love? You should build up an accurate picture of who they are and then relate to them on both a professional and a personal level. Dropping in casual phrases about the golf season when you know it’s their favorite sport will make you appear more relatable and put the prospect at ease. If they write on the company blog, compliment them on their recent article. Building up trust by showing you care is essential for relationship building in a sales environment. Don’t make the prospect wait. As you communicate with your prospect, always keep to your word when you schedule calls, demos, or meetings ahead of time. There is nothing worse than being told that someone is going to call at a certain time so you wait around at your desk for ages until you finally realize you were stood up. It is a waste of their time, and you will definitely lose any credibility you’ve already gained. Make sure you have an appointment setting or inside sales system in place so there is no way you can forget! The client will be evaluating you and your company and if you are late for a demo they might think you’ll be late for support when they need help. Follow up with an email. It is always good to have something in writing, because that way you can refer back to it when you go for your next call. It also helps them to keep a record of your conversations to help eliminate confusion. In addition, it provides them with an easy way to contact you any time they have a question. When you follow these tips and tricks, it will definitely help you to progress and deepen your professional relationship with business partners across the phone. You may even never meet, but still end up signing contracts so you can work together – which is the nature of twenty first century business. Also – You never know, you might not just make the sale, you might just make a new friend and lasting relationship.