Do you have sales call reluctance?
You know what I mean, that feeling of dread when you know you need to follow up some leads for new business, and you would rip your fingernails off with rusty pliers in preference to calling potential customers?
Interesting. I used to feel like that.
Particularly since I'd been on the receiving end of so many bad sales calls. The pushy sales rep who calls at least three times a week and won’t take no for an answer; the rep who is intent on hard-selling me something completely irrelevant to my business; and, my personal bug-bear, the rep who tries to become my best friend in a bizarre effort to create a 'rapport'.
But since making sales calls for other small businesses is one of my most sought-after services, I have grown to love it!
However! I only take these jobs if I feel I can properly represent the business and if I have faith in the product and feel that it’s offering genuine value to prospective customers. For those of you who think tele-sales is on the decline, I have seen for myself how leads generated by telephone definitely outweigh those generated by email and social media. Plus it’s relatively cheap, it gets instant results (positive and negative!) and it’s personal.
So how do I make it work?
Firstly, as with so much in business, it’s about personality. Calling up folk on the telephone only works when it’s done in a non-robotic, personalised and friendly way. A sunny, optimistic, confident personality is a key requirement – but don’t be mistaken in thinking that this is the perfect job for the ultimate chatterbox. Yes, you have to be great at talking to relative strangers, but in my view the best sales people are those who spend as much time listening - understanding the customer is what builds the relationship.
It’s also about attitude. You need to have a great attitude to this work, as it’s very easy to get jaded by the rejection you inevitably face, as well as the customers who may be dismissive, negative or even rude. The ability to stay professional, resilient and focused is crucial. A positive attitude is what helps me bounce back if I need to.
And finally, it’s about being prepared. This means having a targeted list, understanding the types of businesses you are talking to (and ensuring your product or service is a good fit), and being able to fully articulate how the product or service matches your customers’ needs. Some sales folk will advocate the use of scripts, but I feel if I have done my homework, a natural conversation is much more credible and productive. And I always follow up calls with an email and supporting information.
Anyway, I’m not going to share all my secrets, you’ll need to sign up to my newsletter to access those! But if telephone sales is not your favourite activity, I will happily take it on for you. Drop me an email, or give me a call and test me out!