A well-executed sales call requires a lot of effort. Once you’ve done the necessary research, analyzed the data, and prepared your strategy, you’re ready to make a call. However, despite all that work, talking to a customer in real-time is still stressful. It’s quite different from online communication. For example, on your website, you’ll have predefined engagement options. Plus, website design, content, and tools such as callback software all work toward making interaction pleasant and engaging. On the other hand, there are many unpredictable factors in phone sales. The customer may ask an unexpected question, have objections, or mistrust you. Or maybe you’ve called at the wrong time or when your customer is in a poor mood. Anything is possible. Luckily, you can anticipate all of these situations and devise valuable strategies to deal with them. Here are some call control techniques your sales team should look into!
What is a sales call?
A sales call is a phone conversation between the prospect and sales rep about purchasing a product or service. It consists of many steps and its success depends on many factors. Not every phone sale is going to end in closing the deal. In fact, many of them won’t. However, even though turning prospects into customers is an ideal goal, there are many other valuable objectives you can reach. And every successful step will take you closer to closing the deal.
The key elements of the sales call
To boost your chances and increase conversions, a lot of preparation is necessary. You need to do some research and analyze data. Then, you need to come up with a plan for every step of the sales call:
- initial setting of the agenda for the call in question
- product pitch
- demonstration or presentation (this depends on the type of the call and other factors)
- prospect objections and your responses
- setting up the next step in communication
The best call control techniques worth exploring
So, why doesn’t every phone sales call end successfully? Sometimes, the prospect simply doesn’t need or want a product. While it’s not ideal, you can still establish a positive relationship and maybe interact with that prospect in the future. However, sometimes, the call gets out of control and a sales rep has a hard time getting back on track. That is where the call control techniques can help you. We’ve divided them into five groups based on the stage of the call where you can use them:
- Product presentation
- Communication (all throughout the call)
- Overcoming objections
- Closing the call
Ensure nothing has changed since the last communication
If you’re not cold calling, first check with your prospect whether everything is the same as the last time you talked. This will put both of you right on track and help you avoid misunderstandings and miscommunication. And, if there are changes, you’ll be able to adjust in time.
Set an agenda for the call
This is a similar tip – state why you’re calling and set the agenda for the call. Bring up the points you want to discuss and get the prospect on board. Of course, be fluid and ready to deviate from the plan if necessary, but stick to the agenda as much as possible. That way you’ll earn your prospect’s trust and set the right expectations for your conversation.
Focus on customer’s pain points
Repeating the prospect’s pain points is important. Not only does it show that you’ve been listening but also that you care about them and their needs. After all, you’re there to offer a solution to the problem they have.
Describe the product’s value
Also, when presenting your product, don’t focus on its features. There will be time enough for that later. Firstly, you need to sell the prospect on the product. Show them how it can improve and benefit their business and in what way. Try to be specific and show measurable results.
Distinguish yourself from your competitors
Whatever field you’re in, we’re sure that staying ahead of the competition is challenging. So you should show your prospect not only why your product is good but also why it’s better than anyone else’s. Focus on costs, quality, service, features, or any other aspect of your product that makes it the best on the market.
Greet your customer in a polite and friendly manner
Every conversation starts with a greeting. The same goes for the sales call. Whether you know the prospect from before or not, it’s best to be friendly, but polite. But, be careful to strike the right balance! Too friendly, and you’ll sound superficial and insincere. Too professional, and you’ll sound artificial and uncaring.
Use positive language during the conversation
Next, keep your tone of voice upbeat and optimistic. Also, choose words with positive connotations to create a sense of ease and accessibility about your product and what it can do. Keep in mind that both what you say and how you say it matters.
Now, we come to the most dreaded part – the prospect’s objections. Be attentive and listen carefully to what they say. That way you’ll show genuine interest in their wellbeing and concerns. Also, you’ll be better able to react in the right way.
Respond with questions to your customer’s concerns
A great way to address your prospect’s objections is to ask them questions about their concerns. Instead of going on the defensive, you’ll show that what matters to them matters to you and that you want what’s best for them. Be empathic about what worries them and ensure you understand right where the problem is.
Closing the call
Don’t leave the call open-ended
Now, don’t settle for nothing at the end of the conversation. A prospect saying ‘I’ll think about it’ is not good enough. Even when you don’t close the deal you want them to say yes to something – live product demo, next conversation, sending promotional material and samples, or anything else that will bring you closer to your goal. Be clear about the actions both of you are going to take after the call, ask for their agreement, and send a follow-up email to ensure they stay on track.
Record and review your call
With website sales, you probably use different metrics and software to measure the effectiveness of your sales strategies. So, when you wonder how to increase sales on your website, all you need to do is check these tools and plan how to improve the faulty areas. However, once the phone call is finished you might be left wondering: What went wrong? Recording and reviewing your calls will provide you necessary distance and objectivity to analyze the issue and improve yourself.
The bottom line
Phone sales require a lot of work, preparation, and skill. You need to keep your focus and be able to adjust to any situation. Luckily, these call control techniques will help you boost your strategies, keep the situation in control, and increase the number of conversions.
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