3 Powerful Tips For Incoming Calls

Written by Sean McPheat | Linkedin thumb

16 November, 2011

Incoming CallIn the wake of the cold calling revolution (or devolution, whichever way you want to look at it), we see a ton of advice and tips on making outgoing telephone prospecting calls.   Sales professionals the world over know that their cold calling skills must continue to advance to keep pace with today’s modern and educated buyer.

However, often the value and significance of the incoming call is overlooked.  Many fail to understand the depth and breadth of skills needed to answer incoming calls with success.  Below are three powerful tips to help you or your staff turn more incoming telephone calls into profits!

#1:  A Clear and Simple Greeting
It seems thet everyone knows the old “K.I.S.S.” adage, yet not all manage to adapt the knowledge.  Please, keep your company greeting simple.  One of the most frustrating things in the world is to call a company for information and hear,

“Thank you for calling Absb*&#!alh, bakbesb&*)%…company, (unintelligible)…great service…(unintelligible)…may I help you?!”

What?!

Not even sure if they called the correct number, the potential customer is already dismayed!

Keep it simple and intelligible.  A quick thank you and the name of your company are sufficient.

“Thank you for calling ABC Widgets…”

Depending on the structure of your company, the person answering the telephone may mention his or her name.  If so, make sure the name is the last thing the caller hears.

Not Good…
“Thank you for calling ABC Widgets.  This is James speaking. How may I help you?”

Better…
“Thank you for calling ABC Widgets, this is James.”

If the last thing the customer hears is the name, they are likely to respond using that name, which will help create rapport.

#2: Give Something to Get Something
Do not put potential customers on trial by seeking a ton of contact information before attempting to address their question.   Too often, the customer is asked to provide their name, telephone number, address, interest and the age of their first born child, DNA sample ( ;-)) etc before they can get an answer to their question.

It makes sense to get some very basic information immediately, but address the customer’s question before asking for detailed “prospecting follow-up data.”

Asking the caller to divulge all of their information before you have earned the right…is not good.   Offer some help.  Offer some information. Become an adviser and earn the right to ask for future contact information.

Not Good…
Caller:             “Yes, do you sell the XJR Widget model?”

Sales Person: “I can help you with that…Who am I speaking with?”

Caller:             “Steve Smith.”

Sales Person: “Thanks for calling Steve.  And what company are you with?”

Caller:             “BBS Systems.”

Sales Person: “Great.  And what’s the best number to reach you….”

Arrrrggh!  Stop!  Answer the question!

#3: End the Answer to the Question with a Question
Trailing on the above tip, you need to answer the caller’s concern.  However, end the answer to the question, with a question.

Better…
Caller:             “Yes, do you sell the XJR Widget model?”

Sales Person: “Yes, Steve.  We do sell the XJR Widget model.  Now, that usually goes with the XJR infusion system…do you use the XJR infusion system at your company?”

Caller:             “Yes, we do, and we are having problems with it”

Sales Person: “How long has yours been running?”

Caller:             “Actually, just about two years.”

Sales Person: “Yes, most XJRs may need to be replaced if they have been in service for more than two years. What company are you with, Steve?”

Caller:             “I’m with BBS Systems.”

Be confident.  Answer questions. Offer advice.  Then ask questions.

Give to get.
Keep it simple.
End with a question.

Happy Selling

Sean

Sean McPheat
Bestselling Author, Sales Authority & Speaker On Modern Day Selling Methods

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