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5 Inbound Phone Sales Tips and Techniques Proven to Work
When it comes to closing sales over the phone, most business owners come to us with one of two problems:
- They aren’t getting enough phone calls.
- They’re having trouble converting those phone leads into new sales and booked appointments.
If you’re having trouble with the first, we have a great blog for you over here about getting more phone calls »
If you’re having trouble with the second one, you’re in luck—we know exactly how you can close more sales over the phone. One of our clients, an HVAC contractor in the Mid-Atlantic region, was having that exact problem. Getting phone calls wasn’t the issue—closing them was. Their CSRs had an average booking rate of 37% for new customers.
However, after only one month of using our techniques, they doubled their booking rate to 74%. The result? Almost $10,000 more in revenue in that one month alone.
Are you paying attention yet?
Here at Blue Corona, we’re more than qualified to speak on how to convert more calls into sales. Through our call tracking and call tagging services, we’re able to not only accurately track our clients’ phone leads, but also listen to their calls.
Through this service, we’ve listened to more inbound phone calls than we can count, and along the way, we picked up a few (and by “a few” I mean we hit the motherload) inbound phone sales techniques that drastically increase your chances of closing. Heck, we even launched an entire service—Smart Selling—that trains customer service representatives on how to improve customer service and close more sales.
What I’m saying is that below you’ll find THE top 5 inbound phone sales techniques proven to convert more calls into new customers.
Know you need help handling sales calls or with developing an inbound sales strategy? Contact us here—we got this.
Selling Over the Phone: 5 Secrets from the Pros
Use these five phone sales techniques to help you convert more inbound calls (and improve your customer service along the way).
Tip 1: Get In the Right Mindset (and Stop Slouching)
Have you ever called a sales or customer service representative and had a grumpy, unenthusiastic voice answer? You know what I’m talking about—it seems as if your phone call is an inconvenience and they can’t wait to hang up. Their voice says “how can I help you,” but their attitude and tone say “I hate you. Hang up so I can go back to playing solitaire.”
It’s almost like you can TELL they hate their job.
Have you ever—EVER—been motivated to buy something from or book an appointment with someone that has a bad attitude? I haven’t. Every time that’s happened I’ve thought to myself,
“Welp—time to find a new roofer/restaurant/hotel/art supply store because this one CLEARLY doesn’t want my business.”
Don’t let a bad attitude or poor posture be the reason you don’t close that sale. Sit up straight, put a smile on your face (yes, people can tell over the phone if you’re smiling or not), and treat the caller like a long-lost friend you genuinely care about. That genuine care is what will make a one-time customer become a lifelong brand advocate.
Tip 2: Capture the Phone Lead Right Away
One of the questions we get a lot is “How can I keep someone on the phone?”
Well, there are times when that isn’t possible—the customer’s phone service drops, their kid starts crying, their house is on fire, etc.—which is why it’s crucial to get the important information as soon as you can. That way, if you get disconnected, you can call them back. This benefits both of you—you get to close the sale, and they don’t have to start the process all over again.
Make sure to ask for the caller’s name, phone number, and location (if it matters) early on in the call. Not only will this help if the call is dropped, but it will also help you gather more information about your customers.
Our call tagging services allow us to recover a lot of these otherwise lost leads for our clients. In fact, we once helped one of our clients recover a lead for a $30,000 commercial job!
Tip 3: Develop a Relationship with the Caller
While most callers will shop around a bit for services, they will ultimately choose the company that has taken the time to develop a relationship with them. Unfortunately, we find that most customer service representatives (CSRs) aren’t trained to do this. In order to develop a relationship with a follower, you need to:
- Act professional – Whoever answers the phone call is the first and sometimes the only impression of your company. Your tone of voice is crucial, as well as your opening line. Make sure to include the company name, who you are, and of course, ask how you can help.
- Listen to the caller’s issue and ask questions to clarify the issue – This will allow you to assess the situation as well as the sales opportunity. Make sure to focus on the service the caller needs before attempting to upsell.
- Assure the caller that your company can resolve the issue – Don’t make callers question whether they’ve called the right company! Reassure callers that your company offers the service they need and offer suggestions. Statements like “We do that all the time!” or “That’s our specialty!” can go a long way here.
Tip 4: Close the Sale or Book the Appointment
Once you’ve captured the lead, developed a relationship with the caller, and assessed his or her needs, it’s time to book the appointment. Typical consumer behavior suggests that when looking to make a decision, most consumers will shop about three companies—reducing your chances of turning your call into a sale.
To convert more calls into the sale, try to book the appointment on the first call. You can do this by creating a sense of urgency by offering an incentive to book now as opposed to later, such as waiving the trip fee or offering a free estimate.
In addition, you should differentiate yourself as much as possible in a way to touch on your consumer’s pain points. For example, if you’re an HVAC company and the caller is looking for air conditioner repair, you can highlight that your company offers same-day, 24/7 service, especially if your competitors don’t do this!
Tip 5: Regularly Audit Your Call Handling Team
Whether your CSRs realize it or not, they are essentially a sales rep for your company—offering a first—and possibly last impression of your company to your potential customers. That’s why regularly auditing your call handling team is crucial for testing new sale strategies and tracking your success rate. One way to do this is through Blue Corona’s phone call tracking and tagging services (our BEST customers fully embrace this service).
But even if you don’t want to use our services, there are other ways you can audit your call handling team. For example, have someone call in for you to spot check your CSRs. Based on the audit, you can help to foster a standard for the way calls should be handled by your team. To do this, you’ll need to:
- Define your goals.
- Create a process.
- Implement a training program.
- Police and enforce your process.
Wondering How to Handle Sales Calls or Need Help with Your Inbound Sales Strategy?
Inbound phone sales are hard, and many business owners come to us asking how to handle sales calls. If you’re having trouble, we’d be happy to take a look at your inbound sales strategy or your inbound phone sales data.
Want more great tips on how to get more traffic, leads, and sales from the web? Sign up for our email newsletter. Or if you’re ready to get started with call tracking services, contact us today.
About The Author: Betsy is Blue Corona's Digital Content Manager. When she’s not directing Blue Corona's corporate digital content campaigns she’s urban exploring with her wife, diving into the latest marketing trends, or teaching horseback riding lessons. Twitter: @educatedbets
View more blogs by Betsy McLeod