A career in sales isn't easy. If it was, everyone would be doing it. And despite technological advances in communication, including web chats and -email, selling over the phone is still the No. 1 method of selling in many industries.
There's an art to selling over the phone. You want to make a connection with your customer, build trust, and offer them service they couldn't get somewhere else. We do a lot of selling over the phone here at West Michigan Woman's parent company, Serendipity Media, and our sales staff has offered their favorite tips of the trade:
"In our industry, people are always traveling. When leaving a voicemail, I always include my e-mail address with my phone number. This allows them to reach me through whichever channel is most convenient for them. Also, SMILE, SMILE, SMILE! It may sound stupid, but the tone of your voice is much more pleasant when you smile on the phone."
—Monica Schafer, Media Consultant
"Make sure when speaking to someone on the phone that you adjust your voice and demeanor to their level. Not everyone is hip and happy. Some are mellow or just want to get to the point. We have no idea how their day is going or what situation they are in."
—Kary Moening, Media Consultant
"Successful phone appointments can be done in 10 minutes or less. Talk about them. (Remember, if they are talking, you are winning). Don't 'product vomit' on them. Once you have information, end the call with 'Thanks for sharing. I will put a plan together based on what we discussed and go over it with you. Will next week Tuesday work?'"
—Tim Compton, Media Consultant
"I don't like when someone says 'No problem' to me in a customer service situation. It makes me wonder, 'Was I a problem to begin with?' Instead, reply with something like, 'My pleasure' or 'Happy to help!'"
—Jill Carroll, Media Consultant
"The best tip I can give any sales person is to listen with the intent to understand. People buy from people they like ... be yourself."
—Kasie Smith, President
"People love to talk about themselves, both personally and professionally. Show interest and listen for things you may have in common. Not only do people buy from people they like, they buy from people they can relate to."
—Angie Dykstra, Media Consultant