Do you FEAR calling your customers, both sold and unsold? If you are like most salespeople, just the thought of calling a customer causes anxiety and a sense of FEAR.
FEAR of Missing those Non-Verbal Cues: Non-Verbal cues are the little pieces of extra information that you get when you look into a customer’s eyes, analyzing their body language, and expressions. You just cannot pick up on those same cues over the phone.
FEAR of Having to Think on Your Feet: When you compose an email or text message you have the luxury of taking your time to ensure that you are sending the right message. You just do not have this same luxury when you are talking to a customer over the phone.
FEAR of Being Judged: Most salespeople get anxious when making a phone call because they feel like they are being judged. They FEAR that is they stutter, misspeak, or sound nervous, the customer will think less of them.
FEAR of Not Knowing What to Say: This to me, is a salespersons biggest FEAR most salespeople have when it comes to making phone calls. When you know what to say or better yet, have something valuable to say, calling a customer is much easier, even exciting. However, the opposite is true, if you don’t know what to say or you do not have anything of value to offer a customer, making that phone call can be absolutely miserable.
When it comes to making sales calls to your customers, you have nothing to FEAR because FEAR is nothing but FALSE EMOTIONS APPEARING REAL! The most difficult part of calling your customers is just picking up the phone and doing it.
Ironically, most salespeople can’t go even an hour without their phone. They spend hours a day on their phone, sending text messages to family or friends, browsing the internet and social media accounts. However, when it comes to using their phone to call their customers and generate some business, you would think the phone weighed a thousand pounds, impossible to pick up.
Let’s look at 7 ways to make the phone a little easier to pick up and turn it into the money-making machine that it can be.
- Be Prepared – You may not realize this, however, your preparation for the phone call is actually just as important as the phone call itself. Preparation is a critical factor to the success of the call because it dramatically increases your confidence during the call. A major benefit when communicating with a customer who is not in front of you is that they can not see if you are reading from a piece of paper. Every time you go to pick up the phone to call a customer, you should have a script or outline of how you want the call to go. This ensures that you do not forget crucial information to the success of the phone call. Additionally, you should have a pen and paper available to take note during the call. This is better than attempting to rely on your memory. DITTip: You should always have a script prepared in the event the customer does not answer to ensure that you leave an effective voicemail that will get returned.
- Make an If-Then Follow-up Plan to Stop Avoiding Calling Your Customers – You must have a solid follow-up plan. Do not rely on your CRM system to create your follow-up plan for you. An effective way to do this is to implement an “If – Then” philosophy. For example, IF you need to reach out to a customer whose least is getting ready to expire, THEN you initiate an End of Lease Campaign. It is important that you have a campaign such as this for all situations. That will ensure that every time you have an IF you will have a THEN to respond with.
- See the Desired Outcome Before Picking Up the Phone – Use a Visualization technique to see your desired outcome before you pick up the phone. Close your eyes and think of yourself going through each section of your script, while getting the exact answers that you are looking for. This will reduce your anxiety about the call, boost your confidence going into the call, and more often than not, you will get the results you visualized.
- Stand Up, Take a Deep Breath, Smile, and Then Dial – As said before, the things that you do before the call can be just as important as the call itself. You must ensure that you are in the perfect state of mind before you pick up to phone and dial. To do this, first stand up. Standing up immediately raises your attitude and will put you in “game time” mode. Then take a deep breath through your nose, then exhale through your mouth. As you exhale, think about all the tension and anxiety leaving your body. Next, think of something that immediately makes you smile, for me it is my kids, they do some of the funniest things. After picturing this, with a big smile on your face, and an enthusiastic attitude, dial your customer.
- Ask Questions to Show You Care – Asking questions of your customer shows them that you care, that you are concerned about them, and you are genuinely working in their best interest. Asking questions will also make the conversation flowing, in exactly the direction you want it to go.
- Understand You May Not Have All the Answers – You must be prepared for the fact that you will not have all of the answers immediately. Do not be afraid to tell your customer, “that is a great question. I will need to do a little research and get back to you on it.” DO NOT let questions like this derail your game plan. DO NOT stop heading down the path you intended. Once you address the customer that you will find out that answer for them, get right back on the path you intended to head down.
- Just DO IT! – This is the most difficult step of making a phone call is just doing it. In the beginning of your journey to becoming a professional salesperson, the phone can seem like it weighs a ton, it is impossible to pick up, however, pick it up anyways. I ensure you that you can do it. Learn and practice the steps above, pick up the phone often and you will soon be dazzling customers with your ninja like phone skills and your co-workers with your phone-skills success!