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Mastering phone sales: A guide for SMEs

Discover expert strategies for mastering phone sales in this insightful guide attributed to Damian Hanson, Co-Founder & Director of CircleLoop, prepared exclusively for MarTech Cube.
phone sales

Navigating the art of phone sales requires finesse and timing. Success hinges on your ability to strike the right balance between tenacity and knowing when to recalibrate your sales approach. In an age where remote communication reigns, the phone becomes the primary gateway to substantial business opportunities.

Our Chatterbox Matrix sheds light on just how crucial the role of business communication is across the UK. Vibrant business communities in towns like Watford and Macclesfield are a testament to the increasing dependence on phone-based prospect conversion in today’s landscape.
In light of these changing dynamics, we’ve crafted six invaluable strategies to sharpen your sales game, enabling you to secure deals swiftly and effectively over the phone.

#1 Embrace spontaneity

Entering the world of cold calling can be intimidating, especially when faced with the uncertainty of how the conversation will unfold and the potential reactions of the individual at the other end of the line. To combat nerves, salespeople may feel the need to develop a script. However, regurgitating the same lines could make the conversation sound robotic and dull to the potential customer.

Try to make each call sound as close to a real conversation as possible. Provide a level of small talk and ask relevant and relatable questions to add a human touch to the process. Not only will this allow moments for genuine conversation, but it allows you to add a personal touch that will help the direction of the call.

#2 Master your product knowledge to exude confidence

Prospective customers are more receptive when they engage with a salesperson who conveys confidence and demonstrates their knowledge of what they are offering. To seal the deal, it’s vital that you exude a sense of assurance and enthusiasm during the conversation.

Knowing your product or service inside out is one way to boost your confidence in what you’re selling. This will help you feel certain that you can answer any question or handle any scenario that may play out during the call.

#3 Practise active listening

It goes without saying that listening is vital but even the most seasoned sales professionals occasionally overlook it. Because you’re so focused on what you have to say you can forget to listen intently, but that only pushes you further away from your prospect. If you actively listen, on the other hand, you absorb the information you need to advance the conversation and close the deal.

Reiterate what was discussed on the call, and ensure that you have established a mutual understanding based on what the potential customer wants. Listening will enhance your ability to make recommendations, quickly find the right solution and make you a better communicator over the phone.

#4 Don’t be afraid to hear ‘no’

Occasionally, some cold calls might not go your way but there are always several factors causing this that are out of your control. It could be that you’ve called during a meeting or you’ve spoken to someone who can’t authorise the purchase on behalf of the company. Nevertheless, recognising that a ‘no’ in sales can often mean ‘not right now’ rather than ‘never’ is crucial.

60% of customers say no four times before saying yesDon’t be a salesperson that is willing to burn a bridge to try and secure a deal. Take a step back if necessary and revisit at a time that makes sense for you and the potential customer. Showing humility is noteworthy and can work in your favour over time.

#5 Develop through your experiences

One of the most exciting parts of working in sales is that you’ll speak with individuals from various walks of life, and every interaction will be a unique experience. Some may prove to be awkward and challenging, while others may kick off as immediate successes. All calls – good or bad – can offer an opportunity to learn a valuable lesson that can be implemented in the future.
Don’t rush the process. Take a moment to identify what went well and what could have been better to ensure you give each call moving forward your best performance.

#6 Remember, you’re speaking with another person

Finally, never neglect your human touch. It’s the winning factor and empathising with the individual on the opposite side of the line may very well be the difference between a ‘yes’ and a ‘no’. Sometimes we have a way of exaggerating the sales process on the phone compared to a face-to-face conversation, but it’s key to show you’re invested in the person you’re talking to.
Be realistic – speak calmly, confidently and pleasantly. Get to know who your potential customer is beforehand and find out their story and how you can add value to their world.

What’s lies ahead…

Phone sales isn’t just a phase; it’s a permanent fixture in the world of customer acquisition. While we can’t be everywhere at once, a phone call opens the doors to connect with people from all corners of the world, at any given moment.

Mastering these tips and techniques for phone sales will not only lead to immediate success but also set you up for any new challenges you wish to embark on such as starting your own business. Sales is a fluid, ever-changing craft, and your ability to adapt to the evolving customer landscape will be key to any job you choose in the future. And remember, never let one call bring you down because there’s always another opportunity waiting for you on the other end of the line.

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Damian Hanson Co-Founder & Director of CircleLoop

Damian Hanson has a significant background in executive positions, particularly in the technology sector. Damian is the Director & Co-Founder of Mission Labs, where they focus on providing cloud-based solutions for digital customer experiences. Damian also served as the CEO and Co-Founder of One iota, a company specializing in retail technology and multi-channel strategies.

Prior to that, Damian was the Group Sales Director at 2ergo, where they played a vital role in the commercial growth of the business in the UK and EMEA region. Damian also worked as the Head of Internet Services at The National Computing Centre, where they were responsible for launching and monetizing the NCC Managed Internet Domains and Services offering.

Damian’s earlier experience includes a role as a Business Development Manager at GE Capital ITS. Overall, Damian has a proven track record of driving growth and success in the technology industry.

Damian Hanson’s education history shows that they attended the University of Life. However, the specific years of their enrollment and graduation, as well as the degree pursued and field of study, are not provided.

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