You’ve talked through product options. You’ve talked about delivery, quoted a price and now you just need the go ahead. 

But there’s a long pause at the other end of the phone. You can’t see the customer, let alone read their body language. 

Covid-19 social isolation has meant there are a lot of big deals happening over the phone between farmers and retailers.

Here are five tips to help sell and close deals over the phone.

1. Simplify options

It’s hard to process too much information verbally. Reduce the number of benefits and features you present. And if you have multiple programs, highlight one in particular to help your customer make a decision.

2. Do your homework

Be ready before you even pick up the phone. Understand what you’re asking, know your customer, have an agenda. Don’t script a monologue but definitely think through how you’d like the call to proceed. You don’t have as long on the phone as you normally would in person.

3. Get emotional

Behavioural scientists have found that people rarely hinge their purchase decisions on purely rational, logical grounds. This doesn’t mean you should start sobbing on the phone but definitely be ready to be nostalgic or to remind the customer of your loyalty. 

4. Clarify value

Have ROI numbers at your fingertips to answer your customer’s objective (fact-based) questions. Use storytelling, such as a testimonial from another customer, to help get the customer’s subjective (emotion-based) buy-in. 

5. Silence is golden

Talk less. Listen more. If your customer talks about their situation, you’re on the right track. If you ask a question, give them time to answer. Don’t jump in with a follow-up question to fill the void. It can be tempting to keep on selling right past the moment when the customer was actually ready to commit.

Bonus tips – Texting 

Some people prefer to fire texts back and forth than to take up time talking on the phone.

Here are two texting tips:

1. Caps and punctuation

Watch your capitalization and punctuation. For instance, THIS MEANS I’M YELLING AT YOU. Also, texting back, “Okay.” seems aggressive. Try, “K” or, better yet, work in an emoji. Ask a teenager for help on texting style.

2. Emojis

You might not mean to come across as angry but your texts tell a different story. Emojis aren’t just for 12-year-olds. A thumb’s-up or clapping hands emoji can quickly diffuse tension and put a customer at ease. Just don’t get weird. Stick to the safe emojis and steer clear of the dancing lady.

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