Salespeople have to be expert communicators. As Mark Hunter said, “It’s not about having the right opportunities. It’s about handling the opportunities right.” In order to do that, today’s salesperson has to master a number of tools, including organizational software that makes their job easier, communication platforms that are convenient to their customers and, of course, the professional communications skills that all successful salespeople have to hone.
1. Get to know your client
The age of the “cold call” may be coming to an end. Salespeople have access to a multitude of information about prospective clients before ever dialing a number. Thanks to social networks, you can learn about a prospect’s lifestyle — marital status, music preferences, if they rent or own, even what color of socks they’re wearing today.
ALSO READ: Going Cold Turkey on Cold Calling Scripts
The more information you have about your client, the warmer your “cold call” will be. So put the effort into finding out the details, highlighting anything that’s particularly linked to the product or service you’re selling.
2. Use a CRM system
If you’re not already using CRM (customer relationship management) software, you’re missing out on an essential tool. CRMs automate daily tasks such as activity reports, calendars, and emails. They help you target customers more precisely based on valuable and easy to access customer data.
They generally make life easier for sales teams, allowing them more time to contact customers and close sales and removing menial tasks like data entry.
Mobile CRM, in particular, is on the rise. Sales reps are achieving a 15 percent rise in productivity with mobile CRM and 65 percent of salespeople who use mobile CRM reach their sales quotas (compared to 22 percent without).
More and more, customers are expecting businesses to anticipate their wants. Information that doesn’t hit that target is considered at best, extraneous, and even sometimes, offensive. Using CRM and other tools to build profiles on existing clients will allow you to send the right message to the right client, increasing the conversion rates and cutting down on unnecessary efforts from mismatched marketing.
4. Use mobile for communication
This is the age of mobile and the majority of consumers have their phones within reach 24/7. This makes text a strong tool for lead generation because of its wide reach and high open rates. In fact, texting a client during a sales process can increase their likelihood to convert by 40 percent.
Using mobile to talk to client, whether it’s through text, live chat, or messengers is convenient to the client and gives you more options on how to connect.
5. Be human
Scripts can be useful as they help you remember key points and get new reps up to speed quickly. But you don’t want to sound like a robot. Put the prospective client at ease by adding a human touch to the conversation. This could be as simple as small talk or adding a couple of personal details or humorous stories. But the overall key to this approach is listening — the better you listen to the prospective client, the better you’re able to react.
6. Stay professional
While you want to sound like a human, you have to remember that you’re not BFFs with the client. Maintain the professional distance and avoid talking about any deeply personal subjects, politics, religion, or using slang.
You want the client to like you, but in the end, the relationship is client-salesperson, so the emphasis should always be on your professional demeanor. This will establish trust between you and the client.
7. Let them talk
Okay, you know everything there is to know about this prospect (see #1) and you’ve done the small talk and have them chatting. Now it’s time to let them talk a little. If you’ve got a client who isn’t just giving you monosyllabic answers, you’ve hit sales pay dirt. Pay attention to what they’re saying and make them feel heard. Whether or not they’re giving you information that can be used for the sale, they’re establishing a bond with you and that’s already half the work.
8. Be well-informed about what you’re selling
Just as you need to know your client, you also need to know your product or service. The ins and outs, what’s negotiable and what’s not negotiable about it, who it’s appropriate for and who it may not be so appropriate for.
If you have the client’s attention, you need to be prepared for their questions so make sure you have all the information at your fingertips before you reach out to make the sale.
Hubspot’s training process involves each salesperson building both a blog and a website using Hubspot products. That way, they understand exactly what kind of roadblocks and benefits users will experience with their products.
9. Have a role model
All of these tips are important, but having the ability to watch and study someone who embodies all of them in action is priceless. Ask someone with experience in your company to mentor you. Read books and watch videos that demonstrate the type of salesperson you want to be.
10. Be yourself
In the end, you’ll have to take all of these sales strategies and make them yours. Pretending to be someone else won’t work. The best salespeople call upon their own life experiences and the best parts of their personalities in order to make those vital connections with prospects. Find out your angle, your story, and your strategy. Then own it.
Alexa Lemzy is the customer service manager at business bulk SMS service TextMagic. She is passionate about technologies that help businesses improve their customer support and sales communication. Alexa is also a supporter of automation where it saves time without losing quality.