Have you ever tried so hard to establish credibility that credibility was lost in the process? Sometimes the first “sale” is lost because we try too hard. Clearly, we oversold, and we learn quickly that overselling the product is one of the fastest ways to lose credibility in a telephone sales call. There is a point when continuing to sell crosses the line from “creative inside sales” to “blustery and irritating inside sales.” There is a point when selling no longer becomes a conversation, but turns into a contest. There is a point when the prospect decides the conversation has taken a turn on a road he doesn’t appreciate. There is a point when selling the product becomes less and less persuasive to the customer. This is called overselling, and while very subtle, cost many inside sales representatives sales. It also stops a prospect from getting a product they might really want.
Stop overselling by understanding the points in the telephone sales presentation.
When customers are silent; or they don’t have anything to contribute; or they start saying sentences such as “I got that part” or “You mentioned that already” or “I understand, I understand,” the inside sales rep should realize the sale is drifting away. When the inside sales rep does all the talking and there is no bond, then there is problems. This is the customers’ way of saying that what they are hearing just flat out doesn’t work.
Much of overselling begins when the inside sales rep begins selling portions of a product that don’t work for the prospect. When the inside sales rep keeps babbling, and the direction does not matter to the prospect, there will be no sale. Instead, ask questions, find a “common patch of ground”, and know exactly which way you are going in the call. You need to go on the same road as the prospect.
Understand what you are trying to sell the consumer. Establish a special relationship with the customer.
Often times inside sales reps discuss the benefits of a program without truly understanding those benefits themselves, and hence the customer becomes confused. Know your product so well that you don’t need to think about its value and special assets.
Then, develop that special rapport when communicating with the customer. Some people pride themselves on being such good telephone sales representatives that they make their point so well that the prospect is comfortable. The chemistry is critical. Relationship is about being curious about others. And using information to build trust and confidence.
Not doing this is a common error many telephone sales representatives make. They keep going and going and going — even after they have achieved their primary goals. This overselling actually ends up hurting because they talk themselves right out of completed sales. Is it because they don’t have good listening and hearing skills? Is it because they enjoy selling so much that they would rather oversell than complete a sale? Is it because they like hearing their own voices? Is it because they don’t understand their primary goal and secondary objectives? Is it because they can’t foster rapport and chemistry? Is it because they aren’t quite familiar with the product they are selling? Perhaps it’s all of the above.
Dan Coen is President of Call Center Today. Dan is a featured speaker at association and conference events, and, serves as hands-on consultant and trainer to Call Center Today clients. To contact Dan direct about speaking, workshops, training and consulting: DCoen@CallCenterToday.com. Follow on twitter at www.twitter.com/callcentertoday