10 Tips for Converting Phone Calls Into Sales
There have been thousands and thousands of words written about how to get people to use that “click-to-call” link on your mobile site. There’s good reason for it too. According to Marchex, consumers were expected to spend more than $1.1 trillion through click-to-call mechanisms in 2016.
Beyond direct sales, nearly 61% online searches end in a phone call. People still want to call and talk to a person when doing research. In fact, 75% of consumers say a phone call is the quickest way to get a response to their question.
Here are ten steps that can help you translate all of those calls into sales.
1. Answer the Phone
One of the best ways to turn someone off to your business is to not have an efficient and professional system for answering the phones. Whether you have a small, mid-size or large business, having a phone system that is capable of handling the call volume you receive is crucial to success. This includes having enough staff to answer calls in a timely manner, call waiting for those who cannot be tended to immediately and a professional message that prompts callers to leave their information to be called back.
2. Train Employees
Your employees are a direct reflection of your company and how they are trained can have a serious impact on your sales and overall profit. Having standard training procedures in place for all employees will both ensure everyone has access to the same information, as well as give you the opportunity to set expectations for all interactions. The Houston Chronicle outlines great tips in the article, How do I train Employees on Customer Service including defining your customer’s needs and catering the training program to meet them.
3. Know Why They Are Calling
If you have custom tracking numbers, knowing which ad was the reason for their call will be easy for employees to note. If custom tracking has not been implemented or does not fit into your marketing plan, train your staff to ask during their conversation with customers. This information will help you make better decisions in the future about where to invest your marketing dollars for the best results.
Often, customers just want someone to listen to their complaints and respond professionally. Sometimes it can be difficult to do this when the tone being used is negative and off-putting, but by listening you are giving them an outlet to allow their voice to be heard.
5. Test Your Team
The best way to understand the type of experience your customers are receiving is to put yourself in a position to receive the same experience. While role play training and audits can be effective tools for making sure employees are interacting with customers the way you expect, it is no secret that when they know they are being observed, employees will be on their best behavior. By calling as a prospective customer, not only will you get a true sense of how an employee communicates, but you will be encouraging everyone to behave as if they were talking to their boss.
6. Ask Questions
Getting more information from your client will help you make a more educated sales pitch later in the conversation. How did they hear about your company? Have they done business with you before? What are they looking for? What do they not want to learn more about? The questions you ask will vary depending on the type of business, but taking the time to gather more details will help you in the long run.
7. Always Be Closing
You can have great conversations with customers, but without the ability to combine your knowledge of product offerings with a confident and effective sales pitch, you will not receive the outcome you are looking for. There are a number of different closing techniques that have been discussed at length, from directly asking a customer if they are interested in making the purchase to making suggestions and allowing the individual to make a decision. Knowing the difference between the techniques and when they should be applied will help your success rate. This list of Top 10 Sales Closing Techniques explains a variety of these and when it is best to use them.
8. Stay Focused
We live in a society that is full of opportunities to multitask, and there are plenty of distractions available. From apps, browsing the Internet or simply thinking about other things, the potential for missing a sale increases the less engaged you are with the customer on the other side of the phone. While you may think you are great at multitasking, the fact is that a delayed response or not hearing a person’s entire question are indicators that you are not committed to the conversation and the customer will take notice. For some, it may be enough of a reason to take their business elsewhere and you just lost a sale.
9. Refine Your Skills
No matter how long you have been in sales and how effective you are at closing, there is always something new to learn. When you begin thinking that you no longer have to improve your skills, you have a greater chance of becoming complacent. Challenge yourself to refine your skills. You will be better for it and your team members will appreciate your efforts. If you cannot think of anything you should work on, ask your manager. They may be able to identify something you did not see.
10. Follow Up
We all get busy. When a customer calls and expresses interest in your products or services, do not assume they changed their mind because you did not hear back from them after your initial conversation. Customers can change their minds, but sometimes they simply forget to call back and are still interested. Call, follow-up and you may find the results worthwhile.
Turn Calls into Sales
You can get started with an evaluation of your current system. Are you tracking calls? If not, Valpak offers a complete call tracking program and performance dashboard product that can help you track and improve every step of the sale. You can learn more about that here.
Do you have a structured training program for all employees? Based on your evaluation, determine what improvements can be made to increase your marketing ROI. You may be surprised to find that simple adjustments can result in big changes.