I started out my business and sales career in contact centres, so whenever I get an outbound sales call for a product or service, I always do my best to listen and hear them out. It’s a respect thing and I try to remember that at the end of the phone their is a person that has a family to feed and bills to pay.
Yesterday I receieved a call from a consultant respresenting St George Bank. Considering St George actually have won awards regarding their own contact centre and my experiences in dealing with their centres usually are great – I am pretty certain that this person was calling from an outsourced contact centre. Now I am all for outsourced contact centres – I started off in one and they employ thousands of Australians, but where they fail is when they do not up hold their clients image.
The call I received today was unsuccessful, this was due to it being rushed and too product pushy from the start. The fault does not lie with the bank however, it lies with the trainers and team leaders who are meant to be developing their staff in the contact centre not focusing enough on the fundamentals of outbound calling and instead drumming numbers and sales revenue into the consultants head – thus causing them to fail.
This contact centres client St George missed out on $18, 000 from me over the next 50 years, by failing to listen to the triggers I was giving them which would have allowed them to ask some great open questions, give me the answers I wanted and close the deal. When you look at the bigger picture, if the same mistake is made over 100 customers thats $1.8 million the bank will miss out on this week in policies. Now banks can afford for that kind of error – but can your startup or small business?
Here are my Top 5 tips when selling over the phone:
1. Know your product – If you don’t know what you are selling or why you are selling it, don’t pick up the phone.
2. Mirror the customer – If they speak calm and at an even pace, you should. Mirroring keeps the barriers down.
3. Ask Questions – If you don’t ask questions, you can clearly match the benefits to the customers needs.
4. Listen out for Triggers – So important, customers will tell you their issues, listen then solve them.
5. DON”T do all the talking – Allow customers to sell it to themselves, lead them don’t push them.