Even if you are good at selling in a face-to-face situation, using the telephone for a introductory call needs additional, different skills. Known techniques must be applied in a new way. If you normally work in an office in a sales function, you may not see yourself as a salesperson. For you to make an introductory sales call you also need additional different skills.
Concentrate on doing the job professionally by:
- Doing an amount of simple research. Have an idea of what they do. That will give you an insight into their likely problems.
- Getting the name of the buyer. During the call use it.
- Holding fire until you speak to the buyer. You will get nowhere trying to sell to those with no need or buying power.
- Giving brief details of your company – and showing that you know about theirs.
- Collecting and recording information about their present situation. To do so avoid asking closed questions which result in yes/no answers. Use open questions. Those are questions which contain the words why, what, where, when, which, or how. That way you will be given more information.
- Exploring past problems and future worries.
- Underlining Benefits – what’s in it for them if they buy from you?
- Finishing with an order or a commitment to the next step – for example an appointment for a salesperson to call.
- If possible get an order number.
Do these things and your cold calls can be more effective. Don’t – and you’ll be wasting your time and everyone else’s.
To make effective introductory sales calls on the telephone avoid:
- Rushing into the call without preparation
- Trying to sell to the wrong person – assistants, interns, etc.
- Wasting time with irrelevant chit-chat
- Making no notes of the call and its contents
- Asking questions which call only for a yes/no answer
- Running down their existing supplier
- Failing to convert interest into an order or other form of commitment
- Not tailoring the information you give to the person to whom you are talking
- Inviting rejection
- Rushing into your sales pitch