In-person v. over the phone? It’s quite the debate. Can you be just as effective, or dare I say, more effective, selling over the phone than in person?
This week’s question comes from Kim, who asked, “why and how would I sell my product over the phone?”
Let’s tackle this question.
I’ve done both. I’ve trained both types of reps.
In my corporate career, my phone teams ran circles around the in-person teams. Why? Different product? No. Different customer? No. The answer was simple, we took the time to learn the nuances of selling over the phone and operated within our strengths on the phone.
Instead of worrying and focusing on what we didn’t have since we weren’t in person, or missing appointments because they couldn’t meet in-person for several days, we focused on what we could do over the phone!
There are obviously pros and cons to selling over the phone. Some of the successes and failures might have to do with your personality and how you shine. But this phone market is a huge untapped source of customers when you look at it from a different perspective.
- You can’t see their body language.
2. Sometimes your customer can be distracted.
3. Wowing people with samples or a demo is a little more challenging.
- It opens up your potential customer base to everyone.
If you are working with recommendations or people you know, do you really want to be limited in your business to those you can drive to? Seems like a waste of contacts to me.
2. You, and your customer are not stuck in traffic or wasting time traveling.
Time is money. 30 minutes there, 30 minutes back. Waiting if one of you is early or late. In the time you spend traveling, you could help another person and do another appointment.
You can complete a high converting phone appointment in 30 minutes, not including walking through the order.
3. You have so many more resources at your fingertips.
It’s a lot easier to look stuff up since you are in front of your computer.
4. They can’t see your body language!
This sounds funny but you don’t have to sweat things like eye contact, or smiling the whole time while you are listening. It’s easier to take notes, and use your notes without feeling uncomfortable.
5. Technology like Skype or Google Hangouts overcomes many of the cons of selling over the phone.
Ok so let’s get into how to do this. If you are wondering, “Tasha, what do I do differently than I would do in person?” Nothing. Do it exactly the same.
Here is the big take-away. Do everything you would do over the phone exactly how you do it in person.
Tips to selling over the phone.
- Schedule the appointment via Skype or Google Hangouts.
It’s worth the extra 15 minutes for you to learn it and help your potential customer get it set up. It will allow you to see them, and for them to see you, and for you to screen share materials. If you want to do this with more than one person, use Google Hangouts as you can invite up to 100 people.
Here is a video demoing Skype (I’m a Mac). The screen share button is in a different place on a PC but it’s there.
Here is a video demoing Google Hangouts.
2. If sampling is very important to your business, send one in the mail prior to your phone appointment.
Sampling is not a prerequisite for making a sale. In many instances, sampling could be making your sales go on, but that is a topic for another conversation. If sampling is part of your strategy, schedule your appointment three days out and get your bad self to the post office. Do not count people out though, you will be surprised.
3. Keep your presentation tight.
Give your customer an agenda, learn about their goals and needs, thoroughly review features and benefits as they pertain to those goals, and walk them through the order.
Keep this part exactly the same as you would in person. Use your notes. Heck, read off your notes if you have to.
4. Do not send information for them to review ahead of time.
Control your phone appointment like you would be in control of an in-person appointment. If you don’t give the information for them to read ahead of an in-person, don’t email it over.
Use screen sharing to share a Power Point, and walk them through the order. Don’t send them off to order on their own. You will likely be chasing them for weeks. Have the price list handy on your end so you can navigate it with ease.
5. Encourage them to take notes.
Tell them exactly what they need to write down as you go through so they are able to retain the important stuff.
I have a couple of great resources for you to make sure you are successful. First, download my easy to implement phone approach to fill up your schedule. Second, watch me do a phone appointment and duplicate the format. I really want to make sure you do well with these.
Go out there and rock those phone appointments! Your non-local friends, family, and referrals will love to hear from you.