However experienced a salesperson you are, some sales calls can be challenging – really challenging! You never know how a customer will react to a cold call – if they’ll be willing to listen to your sales pitch or will simply slam the phone down on you! These are inevitable, and you need to learn to shrug them off – but what can be much more frustrating are the calls that start off promisingly but fizzle out of steam as the conversation progresses. How you respond to this gradual loss of interest will decide how successful your phone call is.
Some salespeople follow the script they’re accustomed to, and don’t work to convince the prospect. Other, better salespeople understand the need to alter their approach to secure the sale. Every salesperson can benefit from sales training, but in the meantime, here are some tips and recommendations that can help turn a bad sales call into a great lead:
Problem 1: “I don’t have time”
This is one of the most common phrase salespeople hear when they call; and in most cases, it’s just a polite brush off. If the prospect takes time to listen to you introduce yourself and say a few words about your product or services, they might be more willing to convert. If they really didn’t have time to converse, they would’ve ended the call immediately after you introduced yourself. If the prospect offers this excuse to you, don’t hang up immediately. You just need to arrange for another appointment so ask them when they have time to converse for a few minutes.
Problem 2: “Can you send me more information?”
“Send me an email” is also a dismissal and most prospects that offer this excuse just want to get off the phone. You don’t need to be discouraged by this because you can use the opportunity to engage them further. Instead of just agreeing, confirm that you will send them an email before you ask them what they want to be included in the email.
Ask specific questions about the kind of information they want to know and make a note of it. This will get the prospect interested in the conversation and also give you insight into their preferences and requirements. You can follow up the conversation with the requested email with all the information discussed.
Problem 3: “The product/service is too expensive”
Most prospects will hesitate to come out and say the product or service is too expensive for them, but some openly admit it. When they do, you can take the conversation further and explain how the initial investment will help them save money in the long run. Explain why the initial investment is justified and point out the merits of the product or service carefully.
However, if they still consider the product and service to expensive, make a note of their name and the information they provide so you can revisit them later. They might be more inclined to make the purchase when they’re in a better financial position.
Problem 4: “I can’t make the decision right now, can we discuss this at a later date?”
You can infer from this that the prospect is genuinely interested in the product but can’t make a decision regarding the final purchase. They might want to do some research on the products and services or discuss them with their business associates. At this point, you should arrange for the next call and ask them questions about the appointment. You might want to confirm when the meeting will take place, where it will take place, and who will be involved in the meeting. These questions will help you plan for the next appointment.
Problem 5: Lack of attention or distraction
It’s not uncommon for prospects to be distracted or engaged by other things during the call – whether that’s answering emails, flicking through social media. Many sales people are discouraged by this and often don’t respond appropriately – but the right sales pitch can turn this vague prospect into a real lead.
Don’t focus on what you need to say, focus on what the clients want to hear. Ask them questions and deliver your sales pitch in the form of answers. That will help you capture their attention and keep it focused on you. The best way to get their attention is to say their name and pause until they focus their attention on you. People are trained to ignore a constant stream of words but they won’t ignore a quiet but focused conversation.
Problem 6: “How much is it?”
Don’t get drawn into discussing the price before you’ve made the prospective customer aware of the value of your product or services. Some salespeople discuss the price too early, especially if they consider the price their ultimate selling point. Focus on value and highlight what’s good about your product or service before you discuss the price. Even if you consider the product affordable, your prospect might not, and the price tag might turn them off entirely.
Problem 7: “Sorry, not interested!”
When a prospect says, “not interested,” you should try to understand why before you end the call. A simple, “may I ask why you’re not interested in our product?” will suffice. Some prospects will take time to explain why they’re not interested and that will give you more information about your target demographic.
This will also give you the opportunity to convince the prospect that the product will actually serve them well if they give it a chance. Listen to what the prospect has to say and be mindful of any signs of frustration. You don’t need push them too hard and waste time trying to convince them when they’re dead set against conversion.
You’ll only be successful in sales if you learn how to respond to your prospects and alter your sales strategy accordingly. Once you’ve learned to determine when to stick with the script and when to try a more personal or versatile approach, you’ll be flying – and so will your commission!