Prospects do not want to be rushed through your buying process while feeling like just another number or box to check. When it comes down to it, buyers purchase from people they like and trust. In both B2C and B2B purchases, buyers develop emotional connections that influence their purchase decisions. To increase your chances of a sales win, you should work to develop trusting relationships with your contacts. Salesforce research found that 84% of customers said being treated like a person instead of a number, is very important to winning their business.
Demand Gen Report found 62% of buyers want salespeople to demonstrate experience with and knowledge of their industry. Further research performed by Google shows the importance of emotional factors such as trust, confidence, and reassurance as the most powerful differentiators for B2B brands.
Relevant and valuable engagements with sales is key to the development of meaningful relationships. The only way to create meaningful engagements over distance is over the phone and video conferencing. Unfortunately, email messages just do not have the capability to generate a true connection. Research has found that human communication is 7 percent verbal (what you say) and 93 percent non-verbal (how you say it). Of the non-verbal factors, tone of voice accounts for 38 percent of the impact.
Limiting your communication to just emails significantly limits your ability to build meaningful connections with your buyers.
So, to successfully close more sales, you need to give prospects what they want. Get to know your prospects and what they need by speaking with them, demonstrating your knowledge, and forming a connection.
That’s why the phone is an absolutely essential sales tool. It’s not just another outreach method, it’s a conduit to build relationships and connections. If you’re not using the phone to build relationships, you’re not using it correctly. Here’s why:
Email lengthens the sales cycle
If you rely primarily on email communications throughout the sales cycle, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity to build connections with your prospects. Plus, you’re most likely slowing down the process by having a disjointed conversation with your prospect. Email is easily ignored and often gets buried in crowded inboxes. It may take a number of dials to connect with a cold prospect, but when you do your homework the call will quickly become warm by leveraging the research done prior to the call. Furthermore, calls almost always conclude with an outcome. Emails don’t always drive to a point.
Messages get lost in translation
Email lacks context and social cues. In a message, you don’t hear tone, voice inflection, emphasis, pauses, personality, or emotion. A message will actually increase the possibility of misinterpretation, but a spoken dialogue allows for a more clear message. Subtle verbal nuances allow you to hear conveyed emotions and emphasis. It also allows you to confirm understanding, offer or request clarification and gain clarity around what you’re discussing.
The phone accelerates the process
Speaking with a prospect by phone allows for immediate responses. It facilitates a human to human interaction, the building of rapport, the start of a relationship and the ability to quickly disqualify prospects who aren’t a good fit. This enables you to dig deeper and garner valuable insights around a prospect’s priorities, situation, intent, goals, challenges, concerns and timeline.
Establishes you as a credible resource
A phone conversation allows you to demonstrate your understanding of prospects as people, their day-to-day work challenges, industry issues and company status. And reveals your genuine interest in comprehending and solving their problems with a custom-made solution as opposed to a one-size-fits all proposal.
Encourages an authentic exchange
The ability to hear all the different ways that your prospect expresses themselves as they speak, provides better context to what they are saying. It enables you to respond more appropriately, demonstrating empathy while asking better clarifying questions for greater understanding. This provides you with a clearer picture of the prospect’s situation while developing a bond with them.
Builds trust and authenticity
Through one-to-one conversations, it’s easier to prove that you are genuinely interested in solving your prospect’s problems. A personized exchange like this can only help build trust which is one of the most important characteristics desired by buyers today. This, combined with providing value, keeping your promises and following through can make all the difference when it comes to the close.
So, when you have a choice, use the phone to help build strong sales relationships with your prospects. You’ll find your sales interactions become more effortless and natural as your sales results improve.