The general perception of a salesperson is that of a smooth-talking, effortless extrovert with a magnetism that makes people just want to buy. Everyone wants to be the rep that easily delivers a perfect pitch, nails the value prop, and has the prospect ready to sign in seconds.
If you are one of these reps, that’s incredible, but you’re in the minority. The majority of reps have their fair share of stumbles, bumbles, and obstacles, but they still make sales and their numbers quarter after quarter. The good news is that anyone can do it.
You can be introverted, unsure, or inexperienced, but you can still make amazing sales calls. The key is to realize what the people on the other end of the phone actually want. When it comes to making a decision, your prospects prefer someone who is there to genuinely guide them through the process that brings them to the best solution for their needs. They want someone who provides value and listens to what they have to say. So, instead of worrying about what to say, focus on listening. Here’s how to listen and make amazing sales calls, even if you are awkward.
True passion is one of the most contiguous feelings. When you are passionate about what you sell, actually selling it immediately becomes easier. The enthusiasm you feel is passed along to your prospects, who in turn get more excited about your products. Over the past seven years, companies with engaged and enthusiastic employees grew their revenues 2.5 times more than companies with low employee engagement. Passion also helps you overcome the jitters when speaking to prospects. The more confident you feel in your products, the better you will sell them.
Nothing calms nerves better than being sufficiently prepared for a call. Regardless of whether it is a discovery call, demo, or followup, do pre-call research. Know who you’re calling and what they are looking for. Review info in your CRM, visit your prospect’s social media profiles, and check up on recent news about their company and industry.
If it’s a type of prospect that you don’t speak with routinely, you may need to review the applicable persona information as well. Also, be sure to have your call script ready for easy reference to guide you through the call if needed. This all will help you understand the prospect’s greatest interests and help customize the questions you ask and the information you discuss.
Don’t try to be something you aren’t. If you are an introvert, don’t try to act like an extrovert. You’ll come across as fake and this will only harm your credibility, reducing the chance of building the trust needed for prospects to open up. So, act natural. Be your unique self is and your prospects will respond accordingly.
Ask open-ended questions
Once you’ve introduced yourself and confirmed that it’s a good time for the prospect, ask only open-ended questions. This takes the pressure off you, eliciting longer answers and helping you accomplish the right balance of speaking to listening. Besides, people like to talk about themselves and don’t want to be pitched immediately. You also gain far more information.
As your prospect responds to your questions, it’s important that you listen very carefully to what they have to say. This displays respect and reveals you’re truly interested in what they have to say. Plus it allows you to gather valuable insights to leverage when assisting your customer. If you listen and respond to exactly what your customers are saying, you will find that you instantly become a better talker and seller.
Confirm understanding and ask follow-up questions
Listening also allows you to confirm understanding by repeating back what you think you heard, ensuring you haven’t misunderstood. This demonstrates empathy and shows you’re listening. If you’re completely clear on what they’ve said, proceed by asking a thoughtful follow-up question to gain a deeper understanding of the subject at hand. Continue in this manner until you gain a complete understanding of the prospect’s needs, concerns, challenges, and goals. This enables you to craft the best solution to help the customer accomplish their goals. Plus, it helps you build trust and express interest while developing a relationship with prospects.
There is much to be said for just being present. Be ready, on time, and where you need to be. Focus on your prospects, customers, and tasks at hand, and you will find just how easily things come to you.
Follow these steps and it won’t matter if you don’t feel confident. You’ll become a successful sales rep in no time.