From the moment you dial a prospect’s number to the moment you hang up the phone — do you know exactly what you’re doing? Most salespeople totally wing their sales calls, a surefire way to squander opportunities for great sales conversations that lead to meetings and revenue.
If you want to strengthen your prospecting this year, it’s time to take a good, hard look at what you’re doing wrong on the phone.
Chances are you’re making at least one of the following eight phone sales mistakes. Check them out below — and then banish these mistakes from your phone selling strategy, so you can dominate your competition in sales.
8 Phone Sales Mistakes Destroying Your Ability to Close
1) Procrastinating your calls.
It might sound obvious, but the worst thing you can do in phone sales is to procrastinate making calls in the first place. This is one of the most common ways that salespeople sabotage their own phone selling goals. Do you find yourself checking your email multiple times, re-organizing your desk, or revisiting your to-do list when you should be on the phone making calls? Stop letting distractions prevent you from making the call. Commit to a certain number of calls per day, dial the numbers, and repeat.
To learn more about this pitfall and others like it, watch the video below:
2) Greeting like a salesperson.
When you hit your prospects with a wave of enthusiasm as soon as they answer the phone, they immediately sense you’re trying to sell them something. It’s as simple as that. Their walls go up, and the call is over before it even begins.
Instead of greeting your prospects on the phone with a loud, cheery, overly enthusiastic opening, try a more genuine and low-key greeting. Your prospects won’t be expecting it, and you’ll get them to stay on the phone longer — increasing your chances of setting a sales meeting.
3) Not following a call structure.
If you think following a template or call structure makes you sound too scripted, then you simply haven’t practiced it enough. Structure keeps salespeople focused during sales calls, and that’s always a good thing. Failing to plan out the important points you must hit in every phone sales call will do far more damage to your conversation than “sounding scripted” ever could.
4) Failing to address the prospect’s challenges.
What do your prospects really want to talk about on the phone? The answer is simple: How you can solve their deepest frustrations. Whatever loses them money, gives them trouble, or makes them work harder than they want to are the key challenges you need to address on every sales call you make. If you don’t, you’ll lose the prospect’s attention and fail to generate interest in another call, a sales meeting, or any type of follow-up conversation.
5) Talking too much about your offer.
The purpose of phone sales calls isn’t to tell prospects about your product or service. This is a deadly misconception that many salespeople are guilty of acting on. If you’re talking about your offer during an initial sales call, you sound like an infomercial instead of an expert. Prospects don’t actually care about your product or service — they only care about themselves. It’s just human nature. Focus your call on your prospect and their key issues, and you’ll find you get much further in your conversation with any prospect.
6) Not establishing a clear next step.
Just because you have a successful first call doesn’t mean you’ll be able to easily get that prospect back on the phone. To ensure the next step is crystal clear, get the follow-up call on your calendar during the first call, and have your prospect confirm it in theirs. This quick and simple task will ensure that there’s a future appointment on the books, and keep you on the prospect’s mind until you talk again.
7) Making calls from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Yes, you read that right: One of the biggest mistakes salespeople make is to call prospects during normal work hours. Your chances of getting through to a high-level prospect skyrocket during odd hours. Start making your sales calls before 8:30 am, after 5:30 pm, and even on the weekends. You’ll bypass those dreaded gatekeepers who keep you from connecting directly with prospects.
8) Not having contingencies in place.
What’s your plan if a prospect says, “Sorry, I can’t talk right now”? If you don’t have one in place, you’re not alone. Most salespeople are caught off guard when prospects push to get off the phone, and they end up losing the call — and the potential sale, too. It’s important to have your own contingencies in place, in case you face this common situation. So be prepared to say something like, “I totally understand. But would you mind if I just took another 20 seconds to explain why I’m calling? After that, we can hang up if it doesn’t make sense to you.” This type of preparedness will help you close sales you would have lost.
Have you been making one of these 8 critical mistakes in phone sales? Share your thoughts in the comments below. Check out this free e-book on 25 Tips to Crush Your Sales Goal for even more sales advice to turbocharge your strategy.