Phone Sales Tips, Techniques & Questions to Close Phone Sales

Shawn Casemore • No Comment
Posted: June 8, 2024

Are you somebody that closes sales over the phone? Maybe your role requires that you call cold or follow up on warm leads over the phone.

If that sounds like you, there are a few tips that you need to make sure you include if you actually want to close over the phone.

And, for those of you who don’t use the phone primarily, but it’s a tool or secondary tool you use, make sure you stay tuned. There are some tips in here that you’re going to love and you should apply.

Alright, let’s get into it.

What Makes Selling Over the Phone So Difficult?

Selling over the phone is not easy work. It’s not for the faint of heart. And the main reason for that is, well, there’s a few reasons for that.

1. You’re challenged to make physical observations and build dialogue
2. You have limited time to add value, and
3. Securing the close requires follow-up

Number one, you’re not sitting in front of somebody. You don’t have the opportunity to make observations and build a dialogue, which builds on point number two: you don’t have a lot of time. You’ve got very little time to have a dialogue and to add value.

If you’re trying to close sales over the phone, you must adjust your mindset for phone sales.

Consider non-phone sales like fishing. You’re throwing fishing hooks out and trying to reel in a catch.

In telephone sales, if that’s what you’re focused on, it’s like big whale fishing, right? You’ve got very little time to make that catch and reel that one in. There’s very much a time crunch.

add value quickly in phone salesSo you’ve got very little time to add value and to intrigue that prospect over the phone to want to know more.

The third thing that you’re facing when you’re selling over the phone is you can’t necessarily secure the close, right? Because there’s going to be some sort of follow-up.

Now, unless you’re taking a credit card number right then and there, you’ve got to have a method to close over the phone. I’m going to give you that in a minute.

Selling over the phone isn’t easy, but it starts with your mindset.

Your Phone Sales Mindset Tips: Focus on Adding Value

You are in a conversation with a prospect on the phone to add value. You’ve just got to add it in an accelerated fashion.

So don’t spend a lot of time at the front end saying,

  • “Hi, how are you?”
  • “Nice to meet you.”
  • “I’m Joe Blow from X, Y, Z company. We help….. “

And… your prospect is gone. They’ve hung up. They’ve hung up on you by that point, you’ve got to get to the point.

time is your prospect's valuable asset. Don't waste it!Instead, say this: “It’s Sean, and I’m calling from company X. A quick question for you…” and we move right into questions and start to build that value.

Your mindset has to be, “I am here to add value. That is my goal.”

As you learn and gain feedback, you can find different methods and ways and tips to add more value.

Adding Value Bonus Tip: Learn What Works (and Doesn’t)

Here’s a quick bonus tip, and I’m not even at the end of this post yet.

When you do make a sale over the phone, add a question. When the sale is done, it’s time to celebrate.

But before you do, ask a quick question: “Mr. or Mrs. New Customer, what was it that convinced you to move forward with the sale?

When you ask that question, you gain intelligence on what you need to do in future calls to close the sale. So, there’s a bonus, we haven’t even got started yet. Oh my goodness, let’s keep moving!

Your Motto: “Give to Get” (and Do It Quickly)

So this idea of giving value is a mindset I call “give to get”. You’ve heard me mention this before, you’ve heard that cliché phrase before, “give to get”, but on a phone call, you have to give immense value very quickly.

It also has to be very clear. It’s not time to ramble.

phone sales questions to engage with your prospect quicklyWhat I found in working with those that sell over the phone is it starts with questions like you saw in my last example.

“Hi, it’s Sean calling from Company A…. Quick question for you.”

You should have a series of three questions that will set up the conversation. The questions will allow you to add value.

If I ask specific questions that I believe are related to your situation (based on my initial research before I called you),I’m going to have my customer realizing, “Well, yes, that does sound like me. Yes, we are interested in that.”

Give Value to Your Prospect’s Time

Now, I’m adding value because I’m adding value to my prospect’s time.

When you’re in phone sales, we’re using our prospect’s time, right? Maybe it’s two minutes, maybe it’s 10 minutes, but I’m using up their time. I want to keep that time as brief as possible because that adds value.

So, getting right into questions is a way to build value, but make sure you’re approaching this that I’ve got to “Give to Get”. I’ve got to give, and give, and give, in order to:

  • get my prospect’s time,
  • get my prospect’s attention and
  • get my prospect’s response to close the sale.

Ask Questions, Then Stop & Validate

So, ask your initial questions based on your product or service. Typically, you’ll have a script to do so. I would suggest it’s no more than three questions.

ask questions to build interest in your productAfter which, you pause and you say, is this something that is of interest to you right now or at this time?

  • If they say “No”, you narrow the question to ask if it is of interest.
  • If they say “Yes it is.”, you respond, “When would be a good time to call back and discuss?” And then you book that time.

Now keep in mind, they might be trying to get you off the phone.

So, that’s why that question is important to clarify. Do I think they’re telling the truth or not? If they say, “Yeah, now’s the right time, I am interested. I’m so busy right now.” Just say, look, “Let’s book another call. What’s a convenient time for you and the best time to reach you?”

Now, I’m not suggesting you move from the phone to another call because you can lose the prospect, but sometimes it’s very difficult to move people in that first call to a close.

It can happen if you use the questions correctly and they’re power questions, questions that are going to get to the heart of the issue, the challenge, the problem that your prospect is trying to solve. You’ll capture their attention.

But, chances are you might have to move to a second call, which would be to explain how this works further, or to sign or discuss some agreements in place to get things started, whatever the case might be.

Ask your three questions and then stop and validate. You want to know if we’re in the right place.

ask open ended questions

Ask your prospect, “Is this something that’s of interest to you right now?”

From their response, you know what next steps to take. Notice at this point, we’ve probably only taken two minutes of their time.

They suggest they have interest and now is the time. You say, “Great! All I need from you is [blank] (It could be a credit card number, could be another call maybe to sign an agreement.
Maybe you’re going to send the agreement to them again.

Whatever your process is, if they say now is not the right time, you say, “I completely understand, I probably called you out of the blue here. When is a good time and what’s the best time to reach you?”
And you:

  • book that meeting while you’re on the call, and
  • send them a calendar invite while you’re still on that call.

It’ll only take you a minute if that, and you want to make sure they accept it.

The third thing then you want to consider is if they say, “Now’s a good time, but I’m just not sure if I’m interested.” Ask this question: “Well, it seems like there’s at least some level of interest. What questions have I not answered for you so far?”

Now here’s the interesting part. That’s a question! And really, all I’ve done is ask you questions, right?

I’ve responded a bit, but I’m asking another question.

See, questions open up the sales dialogue. They don’t close it, they open it up. And that’s an open-ended question.

So I’m trying to get the prospect to share with me what else they’re seeking so I can share that with them relative to my product or service. That’s a key question you’ll want to include.

Before you part ways, you’ll want to do this next step. Avoid closing the call with, “Well, thank you very much. Been nice speaking with you. I look forward to the next call.”

one final questionThe last step that I want you to take before you part ways is to ask one more question before you move to the next phase of your sales process.

Say this: “I’ve appreciated your time today.” Then, ask,

Did you get value from this conversation?”

And then wait to see what they say.

Because if they say to you, “Well, no”, but they told you they were interested, it’s almost like an assumptive close. It tells you, ut-oh, something’s wrong here. And you don’t want to go back and say, oh, interesting, you didn’t get value. Why is that?

So this is a way to test, to make sure you are where you think you are in the sales process.

If they say, “I DID get value”, then say, “Well, do you mind me asking? What was it that you found the most value in?

That is not only going to re-solidify in their mind that, hey, this has been a valuable conversation and they’re telling it to themselves. Essentially, it’s going to give you the insights as to what you need to lead with on your next call.

So there are some different questions and tips for you if you sell on the phone, how you can move from that initial “Hi there” to close.

Again, your process, your method that’s already in place is something that’s going to be somewhat stable. I just want you to include these extra steps with questions that can improve your ability to move to that next step or to close if that is the next step.

If you sell on the phone and you have strategies that work well for you, comment below, share them with others. This is how sales professionals help one another.

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© Shawn Casemore 2024. All Rights Reserved.

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