Although I find it easier to close deals in person, certain professionals have mastered the art of closing deals on the phone. Think stockbrokers and telemarketers. However, I would not look to these professions for general guidance in how to close a deal in the B2B world due to the high-pressure and perhaps questionable tactics they have a reputation for using.
There are, however, a few tips you can incorporate into your telephone sales calls to improve your closing ratio, despite not having visual clues from the buyer.
Pay attention to voice tones
The most important tip for how to close a deal on the phone is to become an active listener. This means listening more than speaking, same as in a face-to-face sales call. Because you cannot see subtle facial changes, such as widened eyes or a frown, you rely on voice tones to indicate the buyer’s shift. When the voice pitch goes higher, or the cadence (speed) shifts, these are signals you can act upon.
Listen intently for questions
Another buyer’s shift clue you can detect over the phone is when the buyer asks questions. “How many would we get per month?” or “How soon could you deliver?” are signs of interest. They show the buyer is thinking of owning, and now it is your job to seal the deal.
Attempt trial closes along the way
A trial close is simply a test of buyer interest and readiness before you definitively ask for the sale. You might make a strong selling point, such as, “We offer the industries best warranty, hands down,” and follow up with, “Is a strong warranty important to you?” Most times they will say yes, which lets you know they are tracking with you. It also gives you a minor agreement. Veteran students of how to close a deal know that minor agreements along the way are vital to get the big YES.
Stand up and smile for energy
You speak differently when you are standing as opposed to when you are sitting down. A different, more energized attitude presents itself, and the buyer on the other end of the line can perceive it, even if it is very subtle.
Likewise, force yourself to smile when speaking. It adds another subtle boost to your voice tone and makes you seem friendlier.
If no sale, close the next call/step
The above tips are used by the elite every day to make deals on the phone. They work. However, sometimes it takes several touches to close a sale, so don’t expect 100 percent closing success every time you speak to a prospect on the phone. The thing to do when they don’t buy right away is to close the next step, such as a follow-up call, face-to-face meeting, or permission to add them to your email marketing list.
Learning how to close a deal on the phone will pay off handsomely in bigger pipelines and bigger paychecks. It’s worthwhile to practice and to attend training seminars to learn even more.