Could You Improve Your Phone Skills?
Not every call will be a customer. In fact, many calls are a complete waste of time. How does that affect how you answer the phone?
When a phone call comes in, there is a mystery at hand. Who is calling and what do they want? Is it another tire-kicker? Is it another needless interruption keeping me from more important work? Or is it a potential customer worth thousands of dollars over the next year?
If you’re a pessimist, it will come through making your chance of closing new business slim at best. A positive attitude is the foundation of a good call, but if you want to reach the heights of excellence on the phone it is not enough.
Here are 5 tips that can help you reach new levels of success in the phone realm:
1. Be in the right place.
You need to set the stage for a great call. Crying babies, TVs and music in the background, bad signal… these factors will block you from reaching your goals. Ideally you are in a comfortable chair (at least not moving), in silence, in a room with optimal signal strength.
2. Be conscious of how you sound.
Your voice can make or break a call. If you tend to mumble, don’t. Practice enunciation and project your voice through the phone. Do you talk loudly? Control your volume. If your caller can’t understand what you are saying, they certainly aren’t going to hire you.
3. Plan your speech.
You know where the conversation will go, so prepare for it. How can you communicate your message clearly, in a way that the listener will think, “that is exactly what I’m looking for”? Look at it from their side and articulate your message as well as you possibly can.
4. Be ready to answer every possible question.
Do you have a rate sheet for your products and/or services? Keep it at hand or risk losing business. Sending a caller to your website to find information is the same as sending them to your competitor. If you send an email with the information, you’re passively hoping for them to call you back and have no means of clarifying or justifying your offer. Information on hand shows you’re ready for business, organized, reliable… all the things we look for in a service provider.
5. Be ready for your caller to say yes.
Over 75% of business is closed on the first interaction. Whatever it takes for you to close a deal—be it paperwork, a scheduler, or even an order form—have it on you at all times. Remove every barrier or delay to close and say yes without hesitation.