Are Your Callers Annoying?
Sales is a difficult field, and so is marketing. Many try to succeed, but most fail. So, what is the secret? Understanding a few basic principles is the secret. If you are calling prospects or existing clients, you are dead in the water if you are pushy or annoying. There are exceptions to this rule, and I will elaborate on this.
Beginning a sales relationship
Imagine that you are enjoying a Monday afternoon at work and the phone rings. Let’s say a very pushy salesman who you have never met before tries to push a sale on you while talking in a nasal mono-tone. Are you going to buy his product? No way! It doesn’t matter how good his product is, or how good his deal is, you will be offended by him and avoid his company’s future contacts as well. So, when you begin a sales call, being gentle and charismatic is the key.
Remember — a cold sale is a hard thing to do, but a warm sale is much easier. If you don’t know a prospect, either get introduced to them, or get to know them. The act of getting to know a prospect is the biggest part of the sale and is much more important than your sales pitch. Learning how to develop rapport is key here. Becoming liked and trusted is life or death in your profession!
During the call – try to feel out the prospect, and find out what they need, or what they like. Try to gently appeal to their wants and needs, plus their comfort level. A smooth salesperson can do all of this without a hard sell or any arm twisting.
Schmoozing? What does that mean?
Jewish business people love this Yiddish word. They love to schmooze, and they love schmaltz, or anything with a “sch” at the beginning for that matter. Nothing works better in business than schmoozing and adding a little schmaltz (grease normally from a chicken) to a business deal. The schmaltz makes everything much smoother. Arabs are the only ones who like schmoozing more than Jews although Arabs have a different word for it. Many people think that sales is about being pushy and meeting quotas, looking at graphs, and identifying salient features of your product verses the competition’s. In some cases that could be the case. However, if you pay attention (and I always do), and look at the low paid sales people, you will notice that they look at the clock more, are very anal about quotas and numbers and annoying factors that cause stress. These novices are poorly paid and under a lot of stress.
The gentlemen of the business
If you meet the gentlemen of the business — seasoned older professionals who are making $150,000 or more per year, you will see that they have a very different style. Although some might be really cool, while others might be really busy, they will know how to make good conversation and are often masters of interpersonal skills. The trick here with Schmoozing is to create a connection with others and to get comfortable with each other before talking about any deal. Talking about the deal comes LATER. In Arabia, they will talk for hours about Schmoozing type topics long before even beginning to talk about business — and this is after arriving three hours late to begin with. The business talk doesn’t begin until 7pm if everyone is running early (7pm solar time — Arabs look at the sun to figure out when to go to their meetings). I know a man who speaks five different languages and can talk about any topic known to mankind. He is very personable, interesting, and fun. He makes millions of dollars in sales per year as well.
Study from the professionals
If you hire call center staff members, realize that they can make you or ruin your name altogether. Training and proper selection is life and death. Your workers have to master the art of interaction before you even begin to think about sales.
Once you are done with small talk
Once everyone has gotten to know each other, and identified the other person’s needs, it is time to talk business. Now that you have been gentle and personable, it is time to introduce the deal. The key is NOT to explain why the deal is good. The key is to explain HOW the deal is perfect for solving the prospects particular problems and meeting their particular needs. If you are not tuned in to their needs, and just ramble on using a script speaking in a nasal monotone, and don’t listen to the prospect, you are dead in the water. Once the prospect is sold on how good the deal is for them, then you can put a little time pressure on them if your pricing offer has an expiration date, or if your availability might decrease later on. High pressure techniques have their time and place, and if you use them in the wrong time or place, then you not only blow a deal, but you blow your whole company’s reputation with a prospect forever!
(1) Are your callers annoying? Clients won’t buy products if they don’t buy the callers personality!
(2) Becoming liked and trusted is life or death in the call center profession!
(3) During the call – try to feel out the prospect, and find out what they need, or what they like.
(4) A smooth salesperson gently appeals to the clients’ wants & needs w/o any arm twisting
(5) Many people think that sales is about being pushy & looking at graphs, but it’s really about schmoozing
(6) Higher level sales-people make small talk before making the “big-talk” and closing the sale.
(7) High pressure sales techniques have their time & place. Use it at the wrong time & lose the prospect!
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