Four Phone Sales Training Tips to Refresh Your Strategy

BY Jessica Helinski
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It’s never a bad idea to brush up on your phone sales training, even if you’ve been in the industry for decades. Refreshing sales-​call savvy is beneficial to any professional. Why? Because as calls continue to be a popular outreach tool, business and buyers do change. Strategies get stale or bad habits creep in. 

Hubspot highlights some suggestions that sellers should consider, with research to back each up. 

  1. Start sales calls with a bang.
  2. Buy as much time as possible.
  3. Set the agenda and stay in control.
  4. Get emotional.

Four skills to refresh your phone sales training

First, Hubspot’s Max Altschuler recommends that sellers focus on starting each call on a positive note. Altschuler notes that research shows positivity can have an immediate impact and trigger a positive response in return. “Never start your sales calls or meetings by talking about bad weather, traffic, or being busy,” he advises. “Always begin with a positive comment or anecdote. Think great weather, fun weekend plans, or a favorite sports team winning a game. That kicks most sales calls off on the right foot.” You can even tie in a sales hook for extra impact. 

Buy as much time as possible

Research reveals that the longer a sales call lasts, the greater the likelihood of getting a follow-​up meeting or commitment. But that doesn’t mean sellers should ramble or carelessly fill time. Once you’ve engaged the prospect and captured their attention, keep the call going by asking questions and engaging in active listening. Even if the call doesn’t have video, use audible cues to show you are listening, like repeating back what you heard. Avoid interrupting and consider open-​ended questions that nurture dialogue. This technique aligns with modern phone sales training that encourages active engagement with a prospect rather than doing all of the talking. 

Set the agenda and stay in control

Sellers should also ensure that they have control of the call. Use your pre-​call research to come up with an outline of what you plan to discuss during the call and what your goals are. Then, once on the call, use your outline as your guide to keep the conversation going and on point. Altschulter suggests that sellers even clue the prospect in on the agenda. “I always like to articulate clear agendas and ask the prospects if that's okay with them,” he writes. “This way, I can keep calls on track and accomplish what I want to achieve while making customers feel that they are in control of the conversation.” 

Get emotional

Traditionally, phone sales training shied away from emotion-​based selling. But research shows that emotional selling has an impact. By invoking excitement, nostalgia, energy, and other emotions, sellers can capture and keep a prospect’s attention, even on the phone. Consider what words you can use or the tone of your voice. Storytelling can also inspire emotion. 

As Altschuler writes, “People rarely hinge their purchase decisions on solidly rational grounds. In most cases, they buy stuff largely because of emotional triggers and other hyper-​personal, sometimes illogical factors…When engaging prospects, probe for the emotional button that can sway their purchase decision.”

As buyers change, so should your approach to phone sales training. By implementing Altschuler’s “science-​backed” tips, you can leverage this research to make sure your calls are effective. Sales calls aren't going away anytime soon; the most successful reps will use an updated strategy that efficiently aligns with today’s buyers.

Photo by LinkedIn Sales Solutions on Unsplash