It doesn’t matter how strong your product or service is, if you’re not able to connect with your customers on a personal level, then sales are going to suffer. This is why marketers strive to evoke emotion in their ads, and why customer-facing staff wear nametags. Personal connections matter in business, so we thought we’d offer five tips for making a more personal connection with your callers:
- Ask Questions.
Anytime you’re hoping to make a sale, it’s important to set aside some time for important questions first. The questions you ask will depend greatly upon the nature of the call. But in any event, it’s important to make sure that you determine precisely what it is that your caller is looking for. Asking the right questions is essential to connecting with the person on the other end of the line.
- Be a Good Listener.
Of course, asking questions isn’t going to be of much help if you don’t follow this up with a heavy dose of active listening. It’s all too common for phone-based sales and customer-service staff to place so much importance on sticking to the script that they fail to actually make a point of listening. Callers know when they aren’t being listened to, and nothing is more aggravating than feeling like you’re being ignored.
- Refer to Callers by Name.
One of the easiest ways to make a personal connection with your callers is to refer to them by name. If you are conducting outbound calls with a list of leads, then you’ll probably have access to their name already. If, on the other hand, the caller is the one who got in touch with you, then you’ll need to ask for their name early in the conversation. In either event, determining the caller’s name and using it naturally throughout the call is an excellent way to establish rapport.
- Don’t Forget to Smile.
This is definitely one of the easiest ways to establish a relaxed and friendly tone over the phone. Just about everyone acknowledges how important it is to smile when you’re involved in a face-to-face meeting with a client, colleague or potential customer. But did you know that smiling can also affect the inflection in your voice? The person on the other end of the line will (at least subconsciously) note the pleasantness in your tone, and this will make them feel more at ease.
- Keep it Natural.
We’ve all been there at some point. A salesperson calls us up and immediately launches into a hard sale that’s obviously completely scripted. You ask a question, but they’re unfazed in their desire to stay on script. There’s plenty to be said for working from a script when you’re answering the phone on behalf of an organisation, but you have to keep it natural. This requires sharp listening skills and a willingness to go off-script when necessary.
At Message Direct, we always strive to make a personal connection with callers when we answer the phone on our clients’ behalf. Contact us today to find out more about how we can do the same for you.