Tips and tricks10. 10. 2023

How to successfully sell over the phone

B2B phone sales still work. Although it is not the most popular form of sales among traders, it is definitely one of the most effective. How to take full advantage of it? We have written down proven advice for successful sales over the phone in the B2B segment.

 

You work as a telephone operator from home and do you want to move to a higher level and achieve better results? Alternatively, is the work of a home office operator appealing to you?

Or are you in charge of business development at your company and would you like to increase sales efficiency?

Be that as it may, we believe that the following “ten” will be useful for you.

Proven advice on how to sell over the phone

As we mentioned before, selling over the phone is not easy. This is especially true when it comes to the so-called cold calling , i.e. calls that the other party does not expect in advance.

With the amount of business offers we all get bombarded with, many of us automatically respond to them with a “no, I’m not interested” spirit.

A telephone operator, or telephone salesman, then has a difficult task: Gaining the trust of a potential client, finding out what he needs , and reacting accordingly .

We don’t want to pretend that the following list of tips is complete and that it will guarantee you 100% success. But it will definitely help you feel better about selling over the phone and be able to take advantage of even more business opportunities.

So let’s get down to it – here are our 10 tips for selling over the phone :

1. Set your head

It is said that up to 90% of sports performance is made by the “head”, the psyche. It is similar with telephone sales. So before you start calling:

  • get to know the solution (product, service) you offer as best as possible
  • specifically name its benefits – what it brings to customers
  • remind yourself that rejection is part of your job—it doesn’t mean you’ve failed

But of course, the goal of a marketer is not to listen to rejection all day. So how do you increase your chances of success?

 

2. Prepare a list of potential customers

Allow enough time for its preparation. (Though you might be tempted to grab the phone and start selling as soon as possible—either because you’re looking forward to it or because you want to get it over with.)

  • Determine for which type of company (industry, turnover, number of employees, location, etc.) your solution may be interesting.
  • Select specific companies that match this assignment.
  • Think about who in the company to contact (i.e. who is a competent person with decision-making authority).

At the same time, you can divide individual contacts into individual segments. This is especially practical if you are preparing an individualized offer for each segment.

Want to make it easier?

At Intedat, we are happy to help you with the selection of potential customers. Ours the company database contains approximately 1.5 million companies in the Czech Republic and 100 million companies in the world.

  • Thanks to advanced filtering options (including mirror selection ), you can easily select those that match your ideal client profile.
  • With many companies, you will also have direct contacts at your disposal to competent managers. This way you will be sure that you are reaching the right people in the right companies.

Contact us and arrange a free consultation.

 

3. Prepare perfectly

There are several steps involved in good telephone sales preparation. We have already talked about two:

  • Prepare mentally.
  • Prepare a quality list of potential customers.

Other steps include:

  1. Get to know the product or service perfectly, which you offer. What makes your solution unique? What are your selling points? Don’t forget that slightly different rules and arguments apply to B2B sales than sales to end customers.
  2. Get to know your future clients (and think about them individually). What exactly do they need? What problem can you help them with?
  3. Prepare a call script, i.e. the call script. As you create it, think: How to generate interest as quickly as possible? What might a potential client ask? How to respond to the most common objections?

Think through the style and tone of communication , which is in line not only with your brand, but also with the expectations of your customers.

 

4. Think “elevator pitch”

What exactly is the “elevator pitch”?

It is a short presentation aimed at attracting potential customers and convincing them that your solution is right for them.

The name “elevator pitch” comes from the idea that you should be able to present the benefits of your solution (product, service) while riding an elevator, i.e. in a few seconds. Well, maybe in a few tens of seconds. (Try to fit in thirty, anyway.)

And how to create a quality “elevator presentation” for B2B sales over the phone?

Four tips:

  1. Focus on customer value. It is not enough to describe what you do or what you offer. You also need to show how you can solve your client’s problem or respond to what they need. Use specific examples or statistics.
  2. Speak briefly and clearly. As we already said, the “elevator pitch” should be no more than 30 seconds long and contain only key information. Avoid technical terminology or complex explanations. Communicate simply and to the point.
  3. Try to spark curiosity and action. The goal of the “elevator pitch” is not to close the deal on the spot, but to establish contact and start building trust. Therefore, you should end your presentation with a question, offer, or challenge that motivates the audience to further communicate or collaborate.
  4. Train and improve. An “elevator pitch” is not something you write once and then use it over and over again. It’s something you have to regularly practice and adjust according to the situation and target audience. Ask colleagues, friends or mentors for feedback and test your elevator pitch in different situations.

 

5. Address the potential customer by name

The first four pieces of advice in our article were about preparation. Now we go to the sale itself. And we will start almost literally from Adam, that is, by addressing.

Personalization does a lot – this is true in general, and of course it is true for B2B sales over the phone. Breaks the ice, creates a pleasant atmosphere, builds trust.

Of course, personalization does not consist only in the right approach. It consists in tailoring your offer (to use a worn-out cliché) to a specific client. But reaching out is an important first step.

So before you call someone:

  • make sure you know his full name
  • if it is more complicated, check its correct pronunciation and inflection (Mr. Ševč? Šveci?)

 

Right from the start, you will create a more personal and friendly atmosphere than if you just blurt out:

“Hello, I’m calling from Rychlík & Pospíšil and I have a great offer for you.”

 

However, personalized addressing should not end only with a correctly pronounced and inflected name.

It is also good if in the introduction:

  • you mention the company in which the person works
  • you mention the position he holds
  • explain why you turned to him in particular

 

It might look like this:

“Hello, I’m talking to Mr. Petr Novák, business director of Alfabetagamma? … Mr. Novák, I noticed that your company started expanding into foreign markets in the last year…”

 

A name is an important part of our identity. Therefore, when someone uses it, we consciously or subconsciously perceive it as a sign of respect and recognition.

Therefore, before you introduce your potential client to your irresistible offer, don’t forget to reach out to them. You let him know that he is for you a unique personality , and not just part of a nameless crowd.

 

6. Be pleasant, empathetic and professional

What exactly does that mean? A few tips:

  • Even though you may be nervous, try to relax and smile naturally (it’s only over the phone, but your voice will tell).
  • But don’t overdo it with relaxation. You still should be matter-of-fact and professional , not overly jovial.
  • Be considerate and empathetic. Ask the person if they have time at the moment. If not, arrange another date with him.
  • Notice the tone of voice who you are talking to. If you sense he is stressed or irritable, offer to call another time.
  • Don’t overwhelm the amount of words and information in question. Aim for a dialogue, not a monologue.
  • Listen actively.
  • Remain polite and courteous at all times.

 

Selling over the phone is not an easy discipline. And always being pleasant, empathetic and professional can take a lot of work.

But don’t forget that your way of communication can be the important first impression a potential customer gets about your company.

And that you can significantly influence whether a potential customer becomes a real one.

 

7. Sell benefits, not features

It is a well-known principle, but it is sometimes forgotten. And at the same time, it is absolutely essential for successful sales over the phone.

Do you offer a product or service that you helped create? Then it is natural that you perceive the functions and features of your solution as absolutely crucial. But nothing like that is true of your potential clients.

 

They are only interested in what your solution will bring them:

  • Will it save/make money?
  • Does it save time?
  • Will it simplify your life?

 

For you, this means that you must:

  • get to know your potential clients well and understand what they want and need,
  • let them know you understand them
  • clearly demonstrate to them what you can do for them.

 

And then there’s another “little thing”: You have to reach out to companies who may really need it and people who have decision-making powers with your offer.

We will be happy to help you with that .

 

8. Offer something extra

If you are in the field of business and marketing, the acronym USP it is certainly not a mysterious cipher for you. You know very well that there is a connection beneath it “unique selling proposition” , i.e. a unique selling argument .

 

But the fundamental questions are:

  • Do you have your USP clearly formulated?
  • Can you offer your potential customer something that your competitors can’t?

If so, don’t forget to emphasize your USP in the interview. If not, try to discover and clearly name your USP, your “trump of all trumps”.

 

Some recommendations on how to do this:

  • Don’t just focus on what makes you different from the competition. Focus on differences that are relevant to the customer .
  • Remember that the B2B and B2C worlds are very different. Business clients may be approached by something completely different than end customers.
  • Pay attention to the details. What may be a matter of course for you may be a major selling point for a future client.

 

9. Value your time and the time of others

Some may have the idea that a good operator is basically a “chatter”. With a cheeky forehead. A man who can sell sand to a Bedouin and honey to bees.

But the goal of a good salesperson is not just to sell.

He wants to sell to people who will benefit from the offered solution – not to impose himself on those who are not interested in anything similar.

 

That’s why it’s so important that you, as marketers, reach out to:

  • the right companies (i.e. those that can really use the solution in a meaningful way)
  • the right people (i.e. competent managers who can best assess the feasibility of your offer)

 

And if it turns out that despite a careful selection, the approached company is not interested in your solution?

Nothing happens at all. As we’ve said before, rejection doesn’t mean you’ve failed. It’s part of your job.

You can make a great deal on your next call. With a person who will really benefit from your solution.

 

10. Learn, learn, learn

Of course, there are also natural talents in the field of cold calling (and telephone sales in general). Positively attuned extroverts who simply “do it” with people and don’t break down when something doesn’t work out.

But talent is not the absolute basis of success. It is regular training and self-education.

 

Here are some tips for your business growth:

  • Don’t expect miracles from yourself right from the start.
  • Learn from more experienced colleagues, look for “best practices”.
  • Learn from your mistakes and successes. Track what works and what doesn’t.
  • Continuously improve your call script. Gradually polish it like a diamond.
  • As you prepare, fine-tune your response to questions and objections.
  • Ask more experienced colleagues for honest feedback.
  • Don’t give up. As you gain experience, you will become more and more confident.

 

We hope that our advice will be useful to you and that you will be successful as a telephone operator or business development manager.

Selling over the phone is not a job for everyone, but if you learn how to do it well (perhaps thanks to our series), you are almost certainly “destined for success”.

You can also outsource B2B sales over the phone

If you would like to take advantage of the benefits of B2B sales over the phone, but do not have the capacity to reach out to potential customers, we have a solution for you.

In Intedat, we can not only find future customers for you , but also address them on your behalf. Systematically, professionally and efficiently.

Contact us and we will be happy to tell you more.

 

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