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A lot of time, effort and energy will be spent on encouraging prospective customers to contact your organisation. When they do call, everything about their contact must go well. This call represents a range of opportunities, from an immediate order to securing follow up business for future.
We will now look at how to make this kind of call sales focused.
Your voice is an important asset. But it's not enough just to be well spoken and polite; every call must be treated as if there is a genuine purchaser at end of phone line. You need to go about it in a way that makes what is being offered truly beneficial.
Every call needs planning.
Advantages of planning
§it overcomes nervousness §it assists ability to think/react more quickly §it helps prevent being sidetracked §the call is more customer focused
This will help you deal with most situations that occur without floundering. Long pauses and extended time while thinking makes you seem unprepared and unprofessional. Planning and practice is key. Do not adopt a scripted approach (customers will spot this at once and do not like), you should respond, yet control direction of call towards a specific objective. Please remember to be genuine when dealing with people, customer service and sales is obvious - you cannot avoid or disguise a sale, because sooner or later customer will want to know about nature of your call. If customer senses that you are just there to sell them something, they may not feel you have their best interests at heart and will go elsewhere because of it.
§Have product literature and customer details at hand §Make sure you're aware of objectives §Know your product/service inside out §Be ready to handle objections §Listen to what customer wants
Now, if you have customer's attention and they are willing to talk at some length, sale is actually almost complete. The intention is now to conduct call in way you want (make it persuasive), yet make it a call customer enjoys too (it meets their expectations). Don't think you will make a sale every time. It is unrealistic plus you will set yourself up for failure, art is to provoke interest, not to badger.
When answering first call, you must make a link to what is being said there, avoid repetition of information like customer's organisation name, if it has just been mentioned. Have a pad and pen handy for note taking - A MUST
The purpose of first reply
§To welcome customer and put them at ease §To make it clear you are there to assist them and not just sell them something §Give feeling of effectiveness - makes you look effective
Include a greeting - ‘Good Morning' - clearly state your company name, personal name and end with ‘How can I help you' Listen to what enquiry is about and then move on promptly to what you can offer.
Importance of Communication
Communication is a complex area for discussion, because we are using very function to study itself. Communication is transfer of an idea, in my mind, to yours, so hopefully, it will be understood. Good communication occurs when ideas are transferred and understood. Bad communication has many causes, but it involves non-arrival of a message or arrival of an inaccurate message.
Care should therefore be taken to ensure that language used is within understanding of receiver. One of most common problems of communication is not taking responsibility to understand message. If I throw a ball to you, you will need to catch it in order for us to win game. So, who's responsibility is it for us to win that game? The answer is both ours. Let's assume I throw ball, and you drop it, is it my fault if you fail to catch it? You, as catcher may think so, especially if you fumble ball. I may have thrown it too fast or direction may be slightly more to right than left. Then I may feel I've made best attempt to throw, so that you may catch it, so I will blame you if it is missed. This is usual way people see things, people always blame each other for silly things that could be put right or avoided altogether. All it takes is a little thinking about what is being said and how you say it.
Once we know how to communicate, we need to find out a customer's needs and wants, if cutomer service and sales can be attempted at all.
This article forms part of my e-book, and is available by contacting me.
Christopher Given is a Marketing and Promotion Expert.
He's worked for Major UK organisations such as Taylor Nelson Sofres Marketing, Olympus Sport International in total 10+ companies in all.
This article can be used by anyone providing the link to website isn't removed.