Telephone sales techniques: identify the 6 difficult customer profiles and know how to deal with their temperament
There are people who love talking on the phone, spending the day chatting. But this is rarely the case when it comes to executives and entrepreneurs. And even individual customers usually don’t like being approached by salespeople over the phone.
After all, these people have no time to waste and are extremely busy. But with the right phone sales techniques, it’s possible to overcome these barriers.
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Today, no one has time for anything, people use emails and Whastapp much more than voice chats. So if there was already resistance to phone sales contacts, it increased even more.
Some people just hate talking on the phone, be quick!
But that is no reason to be pessimistic! On the contrary: use your sales skills, experience and knowledge, combined with good telephone sales techniques, to outperform the competition in what is difficult to do.
After all, outperforming others in something easy to do isn’t going to help you much, is it?
Before you go any further and discover the best ways on how to close a phone sale, it’s worth taking a look at this beast of a slideshow:
How do you prepare to use phone sales techniques?
Well, before we talk about our phone sales techniques based on customer profiles and how to adapt to each of them during a call, let’s get to the basics: preparation!
This is something we always insist on a lot: be prepared, know your customer in-depth, as well as the market, your product or service, his company and even his personality.
So, in this type of selling that we’re talking about, we can say that the first telephone selling technique you should use is this: less is more.
That is, don’t waste your customer’s precious time with blah, get straight to the point, and provide the solution they need. And you will only know how to do this with a lot of preparation.
In this context, getting to know some customer profiles and, as your phone conversation unfolds, figuring out which one they fit in to use a repertoire of pre-formatted placements is quite productive.
So let’s look at our 6 types of customers and how to serve them when making phone sales.
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The 6 types of customers and how to deal with them
You will meet these 6 types of customers:
- Confused customer
- undecided customer
- clueless customer
- suspicious customer
- Customer owner of the truth
- Crying customer
Before knowing the 6 types of customers, understand the steps necessary to properly employ the phone sales pitching tips.
1. Confused customer
Don’t confuse the confused customers with the undecided customers (which we’ll cover next). The confused customer knows what he wants (unlike the undecided one) but he cannot explain, is reckless and often bumbling.
In addition to not being able to explain properly what he needs, when he finally manages to do this, he sometimes gives wrong measurements, changed deadlines, truncated addresses and incomprehensible references.
In this case, be the solution he wants in life above all: no longer be confused! This can be even easier over the phone, as – with the excuse that you’re not “seeing” – you can ask for details and confirm information more than once.
Ask the right questions over the phone (based on all your experience with the product or service) and anticipate his blunders. If he gives you an address, call confirming, if he gives you a measurement or a date, try talking to other people on the team to check (if he’s not the suspicious type, which we’ll talk about later on).
If you know that some recurring issues tend to happen (such as allowed delivery times, invoice types, billing date, etc.) clarify everything on that call.
This will make him more confident in you and show him that everything will work out, especially when he realizes (over time) that with your company “strangely” the confusion that others do not happen!
It is essential to take precautions, anticipate any failures and show, in practice, that the customer can really trust your company!
2. Undecided customer
This one is even worse than the last one because you’ll need to show him the way forward.
In fact, he’s a little lazy and the phone-in-advisory sale fits him like a glove. If he doesn’t know what color he wants, give him a good reason to choose one, don’t open the range too wide and be assertive.
These people need support to make decisions, are insecure and are afraid to commit to making important decisions.
Therefore, bringing concrete data during the call, talking about the success that others have achieved with that solution, giving examples and even asking if you can send more data by e-mail will be of great help.
The Sales Person of marble arch shows that he knows what he is doing and make the client more confident. Remember: one of the techniques of telephone sales can be to help with other complementary means of communication, don’t get stuck!
3. Client clueless
This type of customer is more common when the sale is receptive or totally consultative. The guy who calls you at 7:30 pm on a Friday to ask for an urgent quote or says he needs a huge amount of a product on an impossible deadline, and after you kill yourself to get it, he still complains about the price.
Do you know the bestselling technique for this case? Well, take a deep breath first and, of course, be polite. But you must be honest: everything that is impossible or impossible to do must be told to him.
Many times this type of customer is really pushing the envelope to intimidate you and get something.
Don’t risk promising something impossible, because he’ll charge you later, even if you had the best of good intentions.
Set a reasonableness limit and don’t exceed it in any way!
4. Suspicious customer
You call, all happy, to let him know that you managed to deliver his order early and he thinks that, in fact, you could always deliver it on a shorter time, but you only did it this time because you missed another sale.
Or you call asking if you can have a meeting with the director to explain together the project they are developing, and he already thinks you want to take his place.
Anyway: It’s hard for him to believe people!
Calm down: he’s the suspicious type. And do you know what he wants? Wants you to stay away and nothing to be documented. So negotiating on the phone is what this guy wants most.
Take advantage of this and don’t fall for his “neural”, take it in stride and avoid questions that he may find intrusive. Handle everything over the phone (record every detail in your business management app!) and then close the deal with that final email, just in case. Do not insist on what he finds strange, this will only intensify this behavior.
Distrustful customers prefer to talk on the phone than in meetings or by email
5. Customer who owns the truth
Do you think this type of customer is bad? In truth no! Just use one of the oldest telephone selling techniques in the world: make the person think all the ideas are theirs.
After all, if he is the true owner, nothing better than acknowledging this and making him happy!
Do this, offer the best and when he says something in the right direction, say: – Wow, really, you’re right, because I didn’t think about it before!
You can also make suggestions, but as if in doubt, something like this: – Mr. So-and-so, look, I was here thinking and I decided to call because I think with your experience you could help me: let’s use solution A or B in your case, what is the best?
That’s it, the customer won! Just be careful not to appear ignorant about it.
6. Crying customer
The whiny customer, contrary to what many people think, is neither a coward nor a fool. He’s quite smart and wants to squeeze you to the last drop, following the maxim that asking doesn’t take a piece and the worst thing that can happen is to hear no (and the no he already has).
So be careful, but don’t give in to his emotional blackmail. Over the phone it’s harder to tell if he’s bluffing (as we don’t see his facial expression), so set a threshold beyond which you’ll never give in and follow that rule.
These are very common types of customers that can be dealt with through telephone sales techniques. If in addition to using the typology technique, you want to add some killer sales arguments.
How to sell over the phone using customer typology?
- Identify the type of customer: both during preparation and during contact with the customer, try to understand which type it belongs to.
- Analyze the situation: As the conversation unfolds, analyze how the customer profile can influence your sales approach, what arguments to use, and how to fine-tune your pitch.
- Think quickly: a long phone call often makes the customer bored. Therefore, do everything possible so that your analysis and decision-making does not take too long, at the risk of losing the customer.
- React in the right way: when you start interacting with the customer, be aware of their responses and react by overcoming objections and showing them the full value of the solution offered by your company.
That’s the secret!