Can you tell when you are dealing with a confident person over the telephone? You bet you can. Confidence is an intangible quality that can be heard and felt. Conversations work better if there is perceived confidence between communicators.
Life on the telephone relies heavily on subtle perceptions. We are dealing in a sightless environment and the mind does not want to deal with an empty picture. When dealing with another voice, our memory banks tend to compare that voice to all previous voices.
Confidence is based on your general knowledge, your comfort level, the specifics of your job, product knowledge, communication skills, previous successes and failures, sales skills, telephone sales techniques and much more. When we become nervous, even suspicious, when we hear an inbound caller whom we perceive as being weak or unknowledgeable about his call objective. That’s perception power. Use these tips to build your telephone sales confidence.
Product knowledge. As far as product knowledge is concerned, if you don’t know it and you fake it, you’ll blow it. Study, ask questions, and translate features these into benefits and value. Look for case examples to establish credibility. Look for third party references.
Have very clear and concise call objectives. Know specifically what you want to accomplish on each and every call. Prospects appreciate being handled professionally. They do not appreciate having their time wasted, nor do they appreciate foolish and irrelevant questions.
Know how to ask questions. Work your questions so that they are orchestrated like a fine melody. Take control of the call and listen to the answers. Remember ‘why’ questions are an important part of the process. They determine needs or they establish clarity. For confidence building, practice your probing questions and record them so you can listen to your diction, sincerity, genuine and perceived concern.
Never fear objections. Get those answers down pat. Recognize objections, test for validity. If an objection is valid and you accept it based on facts as opposed to ignorance, handle the objection knowledgeably. Keep in mind that an objection is a request in disguise for more information. Know that rejection is a statistic and not a personal attack.
Know when to be silent. You will know you have arrived when you can wait for the answer to the question or position taken…no matter how discomforting it may feel. That’s confidence working overtime.
Become a serious student of your product and your field, and you will find that confidence will soon be reflected in your tone and voice over the telephone.