7 Psychological Techniques to Improve Sales Calls
Posted by: Ann Jones
Whether you’re pursuing a warm lead or making a cold-call, how do you train someone to feel comfortable when speaking to a stranger over the phone?
Tips and Tricks to Improve Sales Calls
How do you convince prospective buyers your solution is the right fit for them? Even the most experienced sales reps have difficulty answering this question. Or they’ll go straight into their sales pitch and potentially lose their listener’s interest.
As consumers, we are inundated with targeted ads, email campaigns and solicitations. This makes selling a product or service very difficult. But don’t you worry. In the next 5 minutes, you will learn the TOP 7 methods to improve sales calls and empower your team.
7. The Scarcity Effect
A 2018 dissertation from Washington University analysed how time and money scarcity can affect decision-making and influence a person when purchasing a product. The most common sales tactic is using the fear of missing out (FOMO) as a way to persuade people with scarcity. Here are some tips to use the scarcity effect to your advantage while making a sales call:
- Places are limited: In event management, the sales rep will often pressure the client to make the deal, otherwise, they will lose their place.
- List of interests: In some cases, you can add the lead to a ‘list of interests’, holding their place, once-off, for a very short time.
- Suggest a trial period: If you can, encourage your leads to try your service or product for a limited time, starting right after the sales call.
- End date tactic: Emphasize the end date of the deal during the call to stress the time scarcity of your offer.
6. The Dynamic Duo: Calls + Emails
Calling a prospect and creating a mutual connection is critical. “We are wired to connect,” claims Daniel Goleman, author of Social Intelligence: The New Science of Human Relationships, “Neuroscience has discovered that our brain’s very design makes us sociable.” However, our brains are not identical and everyone responds differently, so emails can be a great way to engage with introverted leads.
Combine the average gain of two primary communication channels – calls and emails – to increase your conversion rates. You can get better results with a contact strategy that appeals to both introverted and extroverted individuals. By leveraging different channels, you can easily identify the best mode of contact with a particular prospect. A great trick is to send a wrap-up email after every call, summarizing the conversation.
To keep track and merge all your calls and emails in one place, don’t forget to integrate your phone system with a CRM system.
5. The 80/20 Rule
The 80/20 rule is a timeless classic. When conversing with a new prospect, only speak 20% of the time while listening 80%. Sometimes, people need a moment to pause and think about their answer, so naturally, we want to fill the silence by talking. Don’t let a pause or silent moment make you feel uncomfortable during your conversation! A moment of silence can trigger the prospect to give you more information about their needs and that is exactly what you want.
When you apply active listening during a conversation, the other person will feel like you’re genuinely concerned about their needs and have more respect for your advice (and product). An essential principle every sales rep should know: customers will buy a product if they are convinced it meets an important need in their lives. If you continually speak over the client, you will never be able to identify their needs and improve your sales calls.
4. Research + Engage Rule
In sales and psychology, when you know more about the other person (desire, hobbies, fears) you can tailormade the way you engage with them. You can use business tools to discover how your prospects interact with your website, what pages they visit, and monitor various modes of contact. Take note of everything you learn about them, so when you make a call, you will have a reference. The challenge is to know how much time you should invest in your research. Don’t waste too much time! The main point is to engage your prospects, be well prepared, and contact them as soon as possible.
After researching your prospect, ensure your sales team quickly engages them by making the first sales call. Depending on your type of business, calling within the first minute can increase the possibility of converting a lead into a paying customer by up to 400%.
The faster you make contact, the higher the chance of gaining a paying customer.
3. The Right Level of Persistence
Six is the precise number of times to call an inquiry, but that’s only half the battle. Knowing when to make those calls is the key to achieving premium conversion rates. Determining when to make the subsequent calls can be tricky. How long should you wait to follow-up again? Hours, days, or weeks? The answer is all three.
When a lead is identified, follow the one-minute rule (+156% higher conversion rate, according to the Velocify report) and make the first call. Wait for 30-60 minutes before making a second attempt at contact (+58%). After 1-2 hours initiate the third call (+25%). As the contact attempts increase, the likelihood of converting a lead greatly decreases. To avoid receiving negative comments about sales persistence, resist calling more than six times.
2. Make a Good Impression with the First Call
Hubspot’s ‘science-backed tips’ suggests starting your calls “in style”. Begin your conversation with a comment like, “Good morning Peter, I’m very excited about our call meeting today” or “Today is a special day here in the office. How are you doing today?”. The prospect will feel the excitement and positivity on your voice and start being curious. This sets your conversation on a positive track. Introducing a negative subject (traffic, terrible weather, or feeling rundown), will cause the rest of the conversation to follow in a similar manner. If there’s a negative undertone throughout your call, the likelihood of making a sale greatly reduces. Being personable with your prospects will greatly improve your sales calls.
1. Identifying Positive Traits
When speaking with a potential customer, identify a positive trait or title to compel them to live up to your compliment. Numerous psychological case studies have shown the effects of positive labeling and the impact it has on our self-esteem. Near the end of your conversation, try saying something like:
- “It was very interesting to learn more about your business”
- “In your sector, I can tell you are very knowledgable and will have great benefit when start using our tool”.
Identifying a positive trait in a prospect makes them feel validated and may create an authentic connection before you move forward with a deal. Make sure to be genuine when you’re identifying your customer’s positive traits. Nothing sounds worse than a fake compliment or someone thinking you are inauthentic. That reflects badly on your business.
Final Thoughts on How to Improve Sales Calls
Once you make contact, start the conversation on a positive course and build a genuine connection. While making a sales call, remember the 80/20 rule and apply active listening. Near the end of the conversation, identify a positive trait or title. If they don’t answer the first time, that’s fine. Wait 30-60 minutes before your second attempt. As you try to make contact with your lead, alternate between calls and emails.
Posted in: Sales on 6th September 2019