– What’s the best tool for a sales rep?
It was a rhetoric question and he immediately replied:
– Phone. Use it.
If you still consider using live calls as an addition to your web forms and emails, stop pondering and make a new habit of using actual direct conversation with your potential customer to be efficient, personal and stand out.
This can be a tremendous boost to your conversions and winning rate.
Asynchronous vs synchronous
The ultimate pro of a phone is its disadvantage. Calling people is a synchronous means of communication. It requires the other party to be available for a call, ready to answer and engage into a discussion.
Spoiled by texts, emails, voice messages, IMs, and all other asynchronous tools of nowadays, many despise phone, as you actually have to answer it right away, just as it rings! You can’t boomerang it, you can’t ignore it for 30 minutes, you have to take an immediate action.
For a salesman it’s a great opportunity. Live conversation with a prospect or your customer regarding the proposal you sent last night is a revelation for many. It’s easy to lie on the phone, as you don’t have to match your body language to linguistic aspect. Nevertheless, it’s easy to catch a person off guard with follow-up questions, etc.
In addition to getting more answers you can trust, you will be able to grasp interlocutor’s mood and figure out the best next steps.
Ever tried organizing a party via emails or a movie night for two via texts? In about an hour you think it’s not a mere vibration of your phone, but an earthquake; your thumbs are numb and for some reason movie night discussion has cats attachments.
A simple traditional call is a great tool to be efficient. One more lesson I’ve learned during my sales career:
If email has more than two bullet points, call the person.
Not only will you have a chance to ask additional questions, but what is more important, build a relationship with your customer.
I agree with you – emails can be personal, no doubt. However, when you are on the same wavelength with your prospect or a customer discussing rainy weather or a sunny weekend, your offer is not viewed from a single perspective anymore.
People, generally, can’t separate work matters from emotions, and this mix is tightly packed into our vessels. What seems like a rational behavior, in practice might be an impulse action or a decision taken through an emotional veil.
Hint: People are afraid to say “No”. It’s harder to say “No” to a friend, or to a person we feel obliged to.
Furthermore, among 10 contenders for a tender, only about 5 will try to call. Be among the best 5, not the ones that “never called”.
Forrester Research conducted a survey in 2011:
- 77% users who abandoned an online purchase (didn’t convert) cite the inability to speak to a representative as their primary reason for leaving;
- There are still around 20 billion(!) inbound sales calls in the US each year;
- Most high-value or complex product/service vendor actually prefer calls because of the higher conversion rates (10-15 times) and higher value at closure (up to 2 times) due to up-sell & cross-sell potential.
- Don’t fear your phone or Skype;
- Draft a script and FUP questions for your calls;
- Make sure phone is a first means of contact in your signature;
- Get to know convenient times of your customers for a call;
- Don’t hide a phone number on your website;
- Add Skype or click-to-call integration to your website;
If you agree with us and think that calling your prospects and customers can boost your conversions and help you win a deal, do you think we should integrate a simple click-to-call button to proposals? All it takes in technical terms is a mic and speakers, and I haven’t seen a device without those for a long-long time. We are thinking about Zingaya or your own Skype buttons.
Please share your ideas and experience in the comments!