Get Over Your Sales Call Fears with These Tips
Go ahead, you can admit it. You’re intimidated by cold calling potential customers. The idea of picking up that phone and trying to convince the person on the other end of the line they should buy your products or services scares the hell out of you. Email is a lot easier, you think to yourself, because you don’t have to actually talk to anyone. It’s much easier to get no response from an email you send out than to risk having someone reject you over the phone.
We get it. We’ve all been there before.
Though email is effective—and a lot of salespeople prefer it—there’s nothing like a phone call to give a potential customer the chance to get to know you on a more personal level. Though many people may feel that the traditional sales call is a dying tactic, according to sales expert Marc Wayshak, it’s still an effective sales tool.
Don’t feel discouraged, though. We’ve got some tips to better prepare you before, during and after the intimidating task of making a sales call.
1. Come up with a strategy
Before you even think about picking up that phone, you need a strategy. Making sales calls without a plan will almost always ensure failure from the get go. Some things to think about:
- Set daily phone call goals – Setting a reasonable goal for how many calls you’d like to make to new leads each day will help keep you accountable. You don’t have to make all of the calls at once. In fact, if you follow step 2 below, you won’t. Which brings us to…
- Schedule your calls for the right time of day – Think about the person you’re going to call. Do they work full time in an office or do they work from home? Do they have kids? If so, are their kids in school? Do evenings work better? These are all things you should think about when it comes to the best time of day to call your prospect. Do some digging on social media to get a glimpse into their lives. Then schedule those calls in your calendar.
- Use a script – Never go into a call without having a clear idea of what you’re going to say. Whether it’s short bullet points or a fully written script, you should have key talking points you want to cover in your call. Here’s a great article on how to write a simple sales call script. It even includes what to say if your call goes to voicemail.
2. Make the call
Now that you’ve got a solid plan, it’s time to execute it. During your call, you’ll want to:
- Record your conversation – One of the most effective ways to improve your sales pitch is to record your call so you can learn what went right and what went wrong during the conversation. Listening back to the recording will tell you if your tone wasn’t friendly enough, if you talked too much, and when your prospect began to lose interest.
- Tell stories to make connections – Emotion drives the way we buy. When you can, appeal to your potential customer’s emotion through nostalgia, brand loyalty or sentimental attachment. This requires good conversation and storytelling skills, engaging the person on the other end of the line by associating the product or service you’re selling with a mutual friend who uses it, a memory they may have of that same brand, or a personal story you have about using it. We recommend you read 9 Storytelling Techniques to Elevate Your Sales Pitch and Storytelling vs.Story Selling: May the (Sales) Force Be With You to help you develop your storytelling style.
- Limit the Options – Avoid overwhelming your prospect with too many facts about why your products or services would benefit them. Gauge from your conversation what their needs and wants are and choose to focus on just a few of those benefits. Only when you feel like you’ve lost the person to disinterest should you mention possible other solutions you can bring to their lives as a last-ditch effort to try to save the sale.
- If no one answers leave a message – If you’re sent to voicemail, always leave a short message. Include who you are, the reason for your call and ask them to please call you back. Be sure to keep it under 20 seconds.