The perfect sales call. You ace the introduction, spend just the right amount of time talking about your company, leave a little room to chat off-topic, thank that person for their time and end the call with a good deal of anticipation on both sides.
But not every call works in that order. Sometimes you get cut off because of time constraints. Maybe it becomes too much of a Q&A and not as relaxed as it should be? Or maybe you disrupt the flow of the call because of simple etiquette breaches?
And that last bit is where I’m focused on today.
Sales call etiquette is just as important as email or in-person etiquette. It doesn’t matter if you think your pitch is impeccable or feel you're the most personable cold call this prospect will have in a long time. If you whiff on any of these tips, it could leave you with egg on your face in the eyes of a potential customer.
Here are 5 tips to be mindful of when making a sales call.
Keep A Consistent Tone Throughout The Day: Cold calling can be rough. You might see yourself barreling through 200+ calls on any given day, and as the missed opportunities pile up, you may start to get discouraged. So much so, that when you begin those late-afternoon calls, you sound defeated or uninterested on the other end. Thing is, you never know what time you break through with a prospect. It could be from a call within the first 10 minutes of walking into the office or the waning seconds before you clock out. Through good and bad, always be upbeat and make your tone resemble the same all day long.
Resist Calling From Your Cell Phone: Even though cell phone call quality has improved since the days of the big, clunky cell phones from the 1980’s, you still must try and make every call from a desk phone. The sound quality is better, there's no white noise to deal with, and you avoid the prospect from having to question every thing you say because of technical issues or "dead zones" from a cell phone.
Don’t Hog The Dialogue: Being a good listener isn’t something we’re born with. It takes commitment. When you connect with a prospect, resist the urge to dominate the conversation and remember that a great pitch is only as good as the time you spend hearing the other person out. Stop thinking about what your pitch is going to be as your prospect talks on the other end and just listen. Patience will let your sales pitch in on the fun soon enough.
Don’t Talk At A Fast Clip: Getting someone on the line beyond a simple, “No, thanks. Not interested,” level is an exciting time. You forget about the last 30 or so calls who gave you the cold shoulder and start devising how this conversation will go in your head. But don’t let that excitement show in your voice. If you start talking like a bid caller at an auction, that prospect might throw in the towel before you even ask how the weather is. Micromanage your speech patterns, take a deep breath and speak in a slow, direct manner. Don’t break their confidence by disrupting your own because you talk too fast.
Don’t Forget A Written “Thank You”: In the day and age of social media, email and texting, too often you’ll find the art of the written “Thank You” being cast aside. And that's a big mistake. Appreciating their time through a follow-up email is great, but don’t assume that replaces having to write a “Thank You” letter. Remember, big things come from small beginnings. Sometimes a good cold call can become great because you did the little things, like send over a formal “Thank You” in the mail.
The next time you go to phone a prospect, remember the little things. Take the time to practice your delivery, be a better listener, value their time just as much as they value yours and turn cold calling on its head to the point you become more personable and confident with each and every pitch.