Pick Up the Phone!
The number-one phone skill you can have is simply the willingness to get on that phone. These days, there are many forms of communication between your sales team and the customer base. Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are all social media sites that can be used to get information to your customers. You can even pick up a cell phone and send text messages including pictures, but they are just not the same as an actual phone call.
People like social media because they do not have to respond immediately or in person. I discuss with my salespeople that selling is not about filling in paperwork and test driving cars. Those tasks are part of the job, but selling is the art of persuasion. You have to compel people to come see you. Maybe a DVD player giveaway or cheap prices will entice some to your store, but many of your potential customers need to be convinced. You have been doing it all your life, from your mom to teachers to girlfriends and maybe a spouse, convincing someone into or out of something. That is the basic idea of selling.
We already know that our customers are not comfortable on the phone, hence the rise in Internet use. However, you cannot make a convincing sales pitch via text or Facebook. Voice inflection, silent closes and projecting your best while asking for the business are what selling is about.
I have been through many training schools and met some of the greatest (proclaimed) phone experts around. These trainers have contradicted each other as to what is the best method for doing phone work, but I learned more from one particular trainer than anyone. He was intense and kept a strong focus on what he considered the basics, which were to make the call, engage the client and be confident.
Facebook, Twitter and texting will get some to call, but your best work will be on the phone discussing the customers’ needs and desires as you get them to see why they need to come to your store. You need to be comfortable and willing to do the work, making call after call to get your message across and make your prospect comfortable with you. You have to know what you are selling and do it with a smile on your face. Yes, I know it’s hard to see a smile through the phone, but it works. Be confident that your attitude will come through.
The key to success with the telephone is picking it up and making the calls. Be confident when you call, have a reason for your call, talk to the buyer and sell while you have the opportunity.