Business conversation over the phone - how to prepare?

Customer acquisition

Cold calling is one of the basic tools of direct marketing. It is a business conversation with a customer with whom the brand had no contact before. The effectiveness of cold calling depends on many factors. In addition to the professionalism and experience of a trader, proper preparation is of great importance. 

What is cold calling?

A business conversation can take many different forms. One of the most popular tools used in various industries is cold calling, i.e. the practice of telephone contact with a stranger, an unexpected person. Cold calling, due to its specific form, has a bad reputation.

According to the research of the international organization DSWA, less than 5% of all connections ends with effective sale. However, the best sellers prove that with the right commitment, proper preparation and a positive attitude, the index can be increased up to 70%! How to prepare for a phone call with a client to be successful?

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Organization is the key

First of all, you should answer the question whether there is enough time for the sales interview. The trader has no influence on the overall course of the conversation. Even if he strictly adheres to the telephone contact pattern, the conversation can take a long time. Some interlocutors are very talkative. Therefore, it is worth reserve a dozen or so minutes - just in case.

The other party should not hear any background noise. Peace and quiet are recommended in cold calling. Conversations or laughter of other employees of the company can distract the client and cause quite a lot of frustration. 

Before the business conversation, the seller should make sure that all information about the customer is correct. Misrepresentation of the name, position or other data negatively affects the entire conversation. 

Knowledge is worth its weight in gold

A business conversation must be substantive and valuable. The potential client will immediately sense uncertainty and inexperience. Unfortunately, this may have a negative impact on the cold calling effect. 

The seller must have extensive knowledge of the products or services presented to the customer. The sales offer should be prepared individually for each client. The effectiveness of the conversation is influenced by the appropriate adjustment of the conversation to the expectations and preferences of a given interlocutor. The key is language of benefitsthat is speaking in such a way that each product feature corresponds to its unique advantage and benefit that represents a valuable value for the customer.

Scripts are a helpful tool to keep the conversation in check. The script sales conversation is a plan consisting of a list of questions and schemes of potential answers. It is a kind of a generally written conversation script that indicates what to say in a given situation, and thus prevents the emergence of awkward silence and gives the conversation a professional, substantive tone. 

A business conversation is also psychological

Even the best prepared, substantive business conversation may not bring the expected effect if the offer is presented in a bored, devoid of enthusiasm voice. Body language and form of communication make up the 90% of the entire communication process! The message content is only 10%. And although it is difficult to talk about gestures or facial expressions in a telephone conversation, the sound of the voice, tone, volume, used vocabulary or pace of speech are of great importance.

The seller should be enthusiastic - he must radiate positive energy and a good attitude. Before the conversation, it is worth doing a little mental warm-up, that is:

  • give yourself confidence,
  • believe in the value of the presented offer,
  • take a few deep breaths
  • clear your throat, calm your voice,
  • sit up straight and comfortably,
  • take a positive attitude. 

Technical conversation

Substantive preparation is not everything. The assessment of the technical infrastructure is also of key importance. First of all, a trader should check the efficiency of the phone and accessories such as headphones or a microphone - especially if cold calling is a new practice in the company or new equipment has been purchased. Find out if your phone is distorting or interrupting your voice. 

Before the conversation, the seller should prepare all the necessary things, including:

  • price lists and other data,
  • access to e-mail to send an e-mail during the conversation,
  • calculator,
  • something to write.

Business conversation - summary

The sales conversation does not start when the call is made, but much earlier. Proper preparation is the key to success! The best salespeople can prepare for months to conduct business talks. They improve their persuasive and communication skills, and broaden their knowledge about the offer. In addition, they create scripts and practice in front of a mirror or with friends to gain practice and confidence. 

Interestingly, the employer has a huge impact on the effectiveness of sales calls. It is he, as the person supervising the entire process, who must ensure the proper preparation of his sales team. Outside the organization training for employees the employer should:

  • provide the group with appropriate tools for work, including all the necessary equipment,
  • ensure a good atmosphere in the team - a relaxed, relaxed atmosphere at work promotes efficiency and employee productivityMoreover, it improves moods and adds positive energy, 
  • motivate employees - by offering favorable employment conditions, bonuses for the best results, non-wage benefits.
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