L & D Mail Masters’ number one call-to-action is “Call Us! 812-981-7161.” You’ll see it on our website and on our printed materials. While, we’ll gladly answer e-mails regarding our direct mail services in a timely manner; we actually enjoy speaking to the customer, directly to the customer. Despite the new-age way of communication, the use of the telephone in sales is still very prevalent. According to Brevet, 92% of all customer interactions happen over the phone. Here are six best practices for answering inbound sales calls:
- Greet customers properly. First impressions are everything. This is your opportunity to gain credibility and build rapport. Take advantage of this time. Introduce yourself, ask for your customer’s name, company and phone number (in case you all get disconnected) and ask them how you can help! (Another pro tip: Reference your customer by name throughout the call. It is the little things that count.)
- Understand your customer’s needs. An inbound call is sparked by a need. Let the customer explain what they need from you. The lack of understanding seems to be a big problem between customers and sales. According to Brevet, only 13% of customers believe a sales person can understand their needs.
- Death to scripts. Customers speak to enough automated systems when calling out, don’t be another robot. Toss the script and get to know your customer and their needs. Ask them what their end goal is and base your conversation solely on their answers, not what you expect from the call. Remember, they called you!
- Smile through the phone. Phone calls are the next best thing from meeting someone face-to-face, so give them the same energy you’d give them in person. Customers can hear when you seem preoccupied, annoyed and/or frustrated. Remember, this is your chance to make a lasting first impression. Be encouraging, and reassure them they’ve called the right place.
- A return phone call is best. Try your best not to place the caller on hold. If they are persistent on a quote, tell them you will work one up and get it to them by a certain time. If they ask to be transferred, transfer them, but make sure you check in every 60-seconds to reassure them their call will be answered.
- Restate next steps. So you’ve got their contact information, you understand their needs; they understand you must work up a quote and get back with them by a certain day and time. Get a commitment from both sides, so the trust will remain. Thank them for calling and restate the time you both will speak again.
Refresh your sales call processes and you will be rewarded! Brevet says, continuous training gives 50% higher net sales per employee.