Emails are easy, quick and convenient–but could we agree that nothing is more impactful than speaking to a live person on the phone and face to face. But it’s also not a secret that a lot of people are annoyed by phone calls.
People know this. That’s why emails and texts are the go-tos for communicating. Some people’s phones are also in perpetual voicemail so if you want to tell that person something, don’t even bother picking up the phone anymore.
These are real situations–but communicating by actual speaking still has its value beyond the message.
A study by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences suggests that we listen to our own voices to have a feel for our own emotions. We don’t just listen to that of others to make out what they’re trying to say. Yup, while our thinking influences our feeling, the way we sound influences our mood too.
This explains why talking gives so much impact in communication. The way we perceive someone changes once we hear their voice.
So if you want to make an impact and build a relationship with someone, pick up the phone. There’s something lost in non-voice communication. Especially in business and sales where people make decisions based on trust, you want to get that person on a call or meet them face-to-face.
Email is so powerful in sales but it rarely gets the close. That’s why streamlined phone solutions like sip phones are still making waves in business.
What is a SIP phone?
Ever wonder how your company makes international and long-distance calls without going under? Well, if you don’t know, now you know. In many business situations, making free voice calls over the internet is easy and convenient. Not to mention, it’s cost effective–it’s free!
It’s called Internet Telephony. And through the use of a hardware and software combination, anybody can make these calls.
SIP. Have you heard of it? Short for Session Initiation Protocol, SIP is a signaling protocol for Voice over Internet Protocol calls. SIP is responsible for connecting and disconnecting phone sessions over the internet.
SIP is used to establish voice connections for online gaming, teleconferencing, and video chats. All the calls are connected and transmitted through IP addresses and IP protocols.
Still confused? SIP basically makes it possible for your Internet Service Provider (Say, Comcast and Verizon) to integrate basic phone capabilities with your browsers, email and even chat.
What’s the difference between SIP and VoIP?
The quick answer: SIP is a specific protocol that enables VoIP.
Okay, that’s a bit confusing since I just introduced another acronym. PSTN, PRI, VoIP, SIP. It’s like R2D2’s talking. And, truth be told, a lot of non-IT professionals get confused. Do I need this…thing? It’s sometimes hard to understand. To make matters worse, those who are in the know tend to use similar term interchangeably even when there are nuances that still matter. VoIP and SIP are always used interchangeably. Fair enough, they’re part of the same process–calling on the internet. However, they’re not the same thing.
Stands for Voice over Internet Protocol, VoIP is a very broad term that covers all phone calls made over the internet instead of those made through telephone lines. Calls made through telephone lines are called PSTN or Public Switched Telephone Network. VoIP is also sometimes called IP telephony, Internet telephony, voice over broadband, broadband phone service, and IP communications. All these terms describe the Internet’s capability to transmit voice signals from one endpoint to another. Skype, Google hangouts and other internet calling applications are under VoIP as well.
What is “protocol”?
According to TechTarget, in information technology, a protocol is the special set of rules that end points in a telecommunication connection use when they communicate. Protocols specify interactions between the communicating entities.
Protocols exist at several levels in a telecommunication connection. For example, there are protocols for the data interchange at the hardware device level and protocols for data interchange at the application program level. In the standard model known as Open Systems Interconnection (OSI), there are one or more protocols at each layer in the telecommunication exchange that both ends of the exchange must recognize and observe. Protocols are often described in an industry or international standard.
Now that we got the technicals down, let’s go back to sales calls.
Here are some tips for you to start knocking your quota out of the park.
Telephone sales tips
So, you’re ready to pick up the phone and start connecting with prospects. It’s important to note that situations may vary. These are general tips that you can apply to your own process.
Put your client’s time in top consideration
When you pick up the phone and call someone, you’re taking their precious time. You are an interruption in their day. Make sure that you communicate that you’re aware of this fact. Always ask for a few minutes and get their permission. If they decline, take that chance to ask for an appointment and schedule the call another time. This is an opportunity for you to ensure that your client will have you penciled in their schedule and you’d probably have their undivided attention.
Remember, if you ask for a 10-minute call, do not exceed that number. Believe me, this will have a positive impact on your relationship with your prospect. They will respect you. See you as a trustworthy person. This will enable you to develop a better relationship with your prospect.
If in case you have used up your time and you still have important information to share., it’s never bad to ask for another appointment or ask if they’d like to continue. Depending on your client’s schedule and their impression of you during the call, you’ll get a chance to continue the conversation right there.
Follow-up is one of the most basic things you can do to get more sales. Make sure you make that follow-up call. If you’ve scheduled the follow-up call, don’t miss it. If you didn’t get a schedule, follow up so you get an appointment. This will show clients that you’re persistent about your product and that you really want to do business with them. Businesses love working with hard workers.
Organize your process
One of the major keys in selling is staying organized. Keep your information in one place and review your product tips regularly by making sure you can access them easily. When you know where to get what information at the right time, you’ll be better at overcoming objections and put you as a trustworthy expert in your prospects’ eyes. Once you’re finished with a call, make sure to put away everything that’s exclusive to that client, and set up your desk and computer for the next call.
Be polite and personable
No matter how useful your product is going to be to your prospect, if you’re not able to get on their good side, there’s little chance of you moving them along your sales process. Relax and make it so you’re talking to someone you trust. Be truthful and welcome their responses. Listen intently.
A huge component of being personable is the ability to ask good open-ended questions. Avoid asking questions that are answered by yes or no. Asking open-ended questions allow you to move the sale quicker and get more insight about your prospects’ concerns. This shows that you really care about their issues and about improving their business. At the same time, there’s reciprocity that is bred by asking questions. If you ask them questions, they’ll open up more to you.
Use reliable technology and hardware
While we’re on the topic of SIP and VoIP, it’s important to note that having the right software and hardware is crucial to a sales department that’s looking to make bank. There are a lot of technology available to streamline sales processes from prospecting to aftersales. Make sure your center is updated.
Stretch and move a few minutes within the hour
One of the first things that kill a salesperson’s productivity is burn out. To keep yourself motivated and focused, it’s crucial to keep the blood circulating in your body. Sitting for a long time can cause blood to slow down and be cut off in some portions. Even if it’s just for two minutes each hour, stand up and walk around. Some salespeople even stand up while on call. Aside from stretching your limbs, standing up also gives your tone and mood a bit of a bump–something prospects will notice in your voice.
Work on a great intro
You have the first ten seconds to create rapport in your call. Over the phone, you have a few seconds from the get-go to get the attention of the person you’re speaking to. You are left to use your voice and nothing else when it comes to telephone sales. It’s critical that you don’t come off as a telemarketer going through a list while being cheerful and bright. When you establish rapport, your foot is in.
Call with a purpose
Before you dial out, ask yourself: what do I want out of this call? Do you want an appointment? Do you want to know who the decision makers are? Are you calling to gauge interest? As much as you want to be smooth, it’s important to disclose this goal at the beginning of your call so your prospect or contact won’t feel like they’re being manipulated for information.
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