In today’s marketing world of high-powered ad campaigns and high-tech internet marketing, its easy to overlook to lowly telephone. However, this simple device is still the lifeline of most business, and its often the best way to communicate with current and future clients.
People respond much better to a phone call than they do to a lot of other sales devices. Not only is a phone call much more personalised than, say, an email or a Facebook wall post, but it gives you an opportunity to tailor your speech to what the customer wants to hear, and gives you an opportunity to overcome their objections.
However, as powerful a technique as the phone call is, it also provides you with considerably more opportunity to alienate your clients that you get with most other sales techniques. Follow these three techniques to optimise your results when calling clients over the phone.
Bypass the Guards
As they say in sales, timing is everything. This is true in the most literal sense when you’re dealing with telephone marketing. The time of the day that you call can make or break you chances of success.
If you are calling a new client while they’re at work, you run the risk of getting stopped by gatekeepers, particularly if they’re a busy professional or manager. Gatekeepers are the secretaries and administrative personnel who surround your potential client or partner, and insist on taking a message. Bypass them by calling after before 9 am or after 5 pm. They’ll have gone home, leaving your client to take calls for themself.
Avoid Calling Your Clients at Home
Lastly, you run a risky gambit by calling people at home after work. People’s schedules vary widely, and you can never be sure that you’re calling at an appropriate time when you reach someone at home during the week. Calling a client during dinner or while they’re unwinding later is one sure fire to ruin the relationship. Unless it’s an emergency, save it for the daytime or the weekend.
Its sounds silly, but make sure that you’re happy while you’re talking to your clients. You can project confidence and enthusiasm through the telephone, and a lot of this is controlled by whether you’re smiling and thinking enthusiastically about building the relationship or selling your product.
On this same note, make sure to sound professional. Even more so than in face-to-face conversation, you can’t rely on pauses like “um” and “uh” to break up your sentences in a telephone call, and you must remember to be polite, and fill your speech with “thank you” and other words of consideration.
By following these few simple tips, you can improve your existing client relationships, and build new ones, over the telephone.