Selling over the phone requires repeated calls to uncover each prospect’s needs. A series of statements, a different one for each call, will advance the caller to a sale.
A key to keeping positive and motivated in sales, especially in the face of repeated “no interest” responses to cold calls by telephone, is to adopt the attitude advocated by sales training veteran Zig Ziglar. He writes and teaches that the salesperson should think of himself or herself as being not an adversary of the prospect but a colleague. The sales person should be figuratively sitting not across a desk from the prospect, but on the same side.
The sales person should see his or her job as helping the prospect achieve an aim or overcome a problem. He or she should believe the product or service will be the solution to the prospect’s needs.
The most powerful sales technique is to educate the prospect, and education takes time and perseverance.
The sales person must take a genuine interest in the prospect and the prospect’s business by asking questions. The sales prospecting job is not to talk about the product or service. Instead, it is to listen to the prospect’s needs to be able to suggest solutions.
There is not much time to do that in a telephone sales call that should last only two minutes. To prevent frustration and discouragement, the sales person should remember he or she does not need to make a sale in one call. The ultimate objective is to make an appointment for a visit. The intermediate goal is to exchange information about the prospect’s business and the selling company.
Cold Call Scripts
This requires a series of calls.
Each call should add to the education of the sales person about the prospect, and of the prospect about the selling company and how its products or services can provide solutions to the prospect’s needs. To do that, the sales person needs a set of unique selling positions (USPs).
Sales trainer Paul S. Goldner, suggests a set of five, which are the five greatest strengths of the corporation or its product or service. The telephone sales person needs to develop a script around each one.
Corporate USPs are more powerful than product or service USPs in generating interest with a prospect, in Goldner’s experience. They help to answer the question in every prospect’s mid of he or she should buy from — i.e., trust — the company.
For a product or service, the USPs should describe benefits rather than features of the product or service. References in a script to the experiences of satisfied customers will help illustrate and give real-life evidence of a benefit.
Customer Relationship Management Software
The sales person should find common ground between the need or needs of the prospect to at least one of the USPs, Goldner writes in his book, red hot Cold Call Selling. That is one reason why several USPs are needed. The sales person should call each prospect regularly, introduce a different USP each time and log the response using customer relationship management (CRM) software. That way the sales person learns which USP interests the prospect and is relevant to the prospect’s needs..
Once the sales person has cycled through the USPs, it’s time to start again. If calls are made once every month or two, or at longer intervals, the prospect will probably have forgotten the USP in the first call, so it will sound different rather than irritatingly repetitive the next time.
Enhanced Sales Performance
Repeating the cycle of USP calls has another benefit in terms of enhancing sales performance. Just because a prospect is not interested this month or year doesn’t mean he or she will not be interested later. By making repeated calls, the sales person increases the chances of contacting the prospect when he or she is ready and able to buy.
Quit calling and the chance of that happening is zero.
Persistence pays. USPs are the vehicle to keep the sales person on track for maximum sales performance.