Having polished Sales Skills and an understanding of a basic Sales Process will help you to write Scripts and design your call. If we link our knowledge on consumer behavior with these sales skills, we now have a winning formula that works!!
Building rapport with your customer is essential, because as we have discovered, people buy off people they like. Your first sentence tells your customer a lot about you and is your vital first impression. You deliver a good first impression with a combination of your words, tone, speed and enthusiasm.
If your first impression isn’t brilliant, then the client will rarely give you the opportunity to continue on with the call. For this reason rapport must be established quickly and is the first sales skill we will discuss.
We also now know that people like people like themselves. So what do you do if you are not like your customer? This is a good time to talk about mirroring.
Mirroring is doing what your customer is doing, it is being in some way, like them. So, clearly here we are focusing on telephone contact with a customer, so we don’t need to mirror how they look, but we can mirror how they speak.
If your client speaks slowly, speak slowly. If they have a very professional way of speaking, then mirror that and speak in a highly professional way. If they are very casual, then speak more casually.
Many telemarketers sound more like a receptionist. They treat sounding professional more important than connecting with their customer. I believe that connection in this rapport building stage is the most important thing. You want your customer to feel compelled to listen to you. You can’t connect with someone when you are playing the professional, but you can connect when you are genuine. We transfer that feeling through our tone.
So, we need to build rapport to open the sale. I use this term, open the sale, because so often when I talk to telemarketers about how to get better results, they tell me their problem is closing. They say they don’t know how to get an uninterested customer or a customer who has said “no”, to become interested and to say “yes”.
What I try to explain is that it is often too late at that stage. If we haven’t opened the sale by building rapport, then gone through the sales process at a rate that is comfortable to the customer and that takes into consideration consumer behavior, then we cannot close the sale. So take the focus off closing and put it on opening the conversation up and connecting with your client before you begin to ask them to buy anything.
Need building is our key Sales Skill. By need building, I mean that we have to show the client that they are missing something that we can fill the need for. We do this by asking questions about their current situation and then really listening to the answers.
By finding out as much as we can about them specifically, their wants, desires, experiences and needs, we have a list of the key reasons why they will buy a product. In the next section, we will then tailor our product presentation to perfectly fill this customers need.
It is not until this point in the sales process that we mention our product or offer.
So often I have heard sales people start a conversation with a tirade of how great their product is and how the client must have it. They essentially end up overwhelming the client and almost head butting them by answering every question with another sales pitch. Dumping all of your product knowledge on your client is not a sales skill. It is a sign of an inexperienced and over eager sales person.
Instead we need to listen to the client, ask the right questions to build need, use our consumer behavior knowledge and then offer a solution that perfectly fits the situation we helped the client to uncover that they are in.
The solution is always about Whats in it for your client. Not what you think is great about your product, or what other clients think….. be specific…How does your product help this client by enhancing or simplifying their life??
Do you get a feel for how much more comfortable this sales process is for the customer and the telemarketer alike? Now we are developing real sales skills!
So at this point we have offered our solution, but to make the sale we now need to close. We do this by asking a closed question. During the early part of our conversation, when we were gathering information (during rapport and need sections) we were asking open ended questions. That is questions that encourage the client to give us a lot of information and get talking.
However, during this part of the process we need to ask closed questions so as to get our answer. We need to do this in a way that assumes the client will say “yes”.
To do that, we must have an assumptive tone to our voice and be very careful with our wording (again why a script is so great).
It is essential that you slow down for the close part of your call. Be clear, concise and don’t be afraid to ask for the sale. After you ask your closing question, it is imperative that you be silent. Your customer must always be the next person to speak. If the silence makes you uncomfortable and you start talking, you will come across as unsure of yourself. You must be 100% committed to the fact that they should say “yes” to your offer – if you aren’t, why would they be?
After the customer has said “yes”, you need to make sure they are locked in. This is a sales skill that often gets overlooked, but that is just as important as every other part of the sales process.
Don’t forget the Lock In…
A Lock in is the process of ensuring the customer is happy with their new purchase or decision, that all of their questions have been answered, concerns have been addressed and that any payment or paperwork has been taken care of.
A lock in is important to avoid buyer’s remorse down the track. You see, people buy mainly for emotional reasons, for what the product will do to enhance or simplify their lives. Later on, they justify that decision to purchase with logical reasons. Buyer’s remorse happens when the client can’t remember why they bought or can’t logically justify their decision to themselves.
Towards the end of the call, we should remind our customer of the logical reasons they made the decision to purchase.