The Selling Factory

How to Speak with Customers on the Phone: 5 Steps for Effective Communication for Sales

Written by Damien Paulk 

Damien is a University of Florida graduate that recently joined the team full time after working as a Sales Development Intern for one year. As a Campaign Manager, Damien looks forward to contributing to the growth and success of The Selling Factory.

Photo by Yan Krukov from Pexels

Communication for sales is an extremely important and transferable skill in many industries and workplaces. As a sales development representative, or SDR, you are a liaison between your company and your customer. 

Whether you’re cold calling—or as we prefer, warm calling—to set up a meeting, attempting to close a deal, or simply making a status update, your ability to communicate effectively with your customer will be the determining factor in your success.

EFFECTIVE SALES COMMUNICATION STARTS WITH TIPS FOR COLD CALLING

Many new fractional SDRs dislike the idea of speaking with customers, whether it’s on the phone or face-to-face. You might worry you’ll say the wrong thing or anticipate rejection before it even happens. When you remember that it’s just another person on the other end of the phone, effective sales communication is something that anyone can practice. 

The trick is to focus less on what you’re saying and more on how you’re saying it. By following these simple steps, including a few tips for cold calling, you can improve your ability to communicate with customers:

1. ACTIVE LISTENING FOR SALES SUCCESS

Critical cold calling tip: active listening is a must in this role. It allows you to pay attention to your customer’s needs and address them effectively. More importantly, it allows you to build trust with your customer. 

When you practice active listening, you’re not only paying attention to their literal words, but also their tone, pace, and if applicable, body language. In turn, you want to be able to relay your understanding of what they’re trying to say in a way that relates to them.

2. LET THE CUSTOMER LEAD

When you’re speaking with a customer on the phone, allow them to voice their questions or concerns and steer the conversation towards those points. There is a lot of value in listening to the customer and then paraphrasing their primary concerns back to them. 

This not only helps you figure out what they are trying to accomplish, it helps the customer know you’re listening and giving them your full attention.

3. SPEAK CLEARLY AND CONCISELY

Depending on your company or industry, you may have a lot of information to share. However, if you speak too quickly or share too much information when communicating, you leave customers with little time to absorb your message. 

Don’t get too caught up in explaining the features! It’s difficult to get a prospect to commit to a product when they don’t understand what problem it solves.

4. “KILL THEM WITH KINDNESS”

When you’re calling a customer, it’s important to set the right tone from the beginning. 

But what do you do when that customer just isn’t having it

Oftentimes that person is just having a really busy (or bad) day and projects those emotions onto you. This can be frustrating for you as the salesperson, but it’s also something that comes with the job. On the one hand, you can de-escalate the situation better when you’re prepared for its inevitability, but the best thing is to always remain civil and kind. 

5. PROVIDE A SIMPLE COURSE OF ACTION FOR FOLLOW-UP

Whether a phone call with a customer is meant to identify a lead or close a sale, it should be aimed at following a preset course of action. Once you build rapport with the customer and understand their pain points, clearly explain the next steps—whether it’s sales follow-up emails, a booked meeting, and so on—to ensure that the conversation continues!

Effective Sales Communication

Talking to customers on the phone can be scary but effective communication for sales can be learned by anyone. If you focus on the delivery more than the script, you’ll likely create better connections and rapport, which may then lead to better sales!

Kira Baker

Campaign Manager

Kira is a recent graduate from the University of Florida where she received her Master of Science in Entrepreneurship. She is passionate about helping businesses grow and connecting with new people. Some of her hobbies include traveling and hiking. She hope to visit all of the National Parks one day!

kira@thesellingfactory.com

Jared Glosser

Vice President

After graduating from UF in 2014 with a B.A. in history, Jared started his professional career Fundraising for a non-partisan political lobby in South Florida. In 2016, Jared moved back to Gainesville to work for a non-profit, recruit students for international travel opportunities, and pursue his MBA at UF. Jared has been with The Selling Factory since 2019 focusing on operations, client onboarding, and client success.

jared@thesellingfactory.com

Ian Massenburg

Chief Operating Officer

A graduate of University of Florida (B.A. 2001), Ian Massenburg brings over 18 years of sales executive and sales management experience to The Selling Factory. Before coming on-board, Ian worked alongside Brad at Infinite Energy, and then spent his next 3 years as VP of Partnerships selling SaaS products B2B. Ian brings his vast knowledge and experience to the team and to our partner companies served.

ian@thesellingfactory.com

Damien Paulk

Campaign Manager

Damien is a University of Florida graduate that recently joined the team full time after working as a Sales Development Intern for one year. As a Campaign Manager, Damien looks forward to contributing to the growth and success of The Selling Factory. When Damien is not at work he enjoys exploring Gainesville with his girlfriend and dog or watching the Gators dominate college football.

damien@thesellingfactory.com

Brendan Viehman

Campaign Manager

Brendan graduated from Liberty University with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and Project Management. For the past 5 years, he has enjoyed working with blockchain technology and cryptocurrency development. In his free time, he surfs and makes personal finance videos for his YouTube channel.

brendan@thesellingfactory.com

Savannah Howard

Campaign Manager

A graduate from the University of Florida’s College of Journalism and Communications, Savannah obtained her Bachelor of Science in public relations with a concentration in French. After almost two years as a sales development intern for The Selling Factory, she joined the leadership team in 2021 taking on the role of Campaign Manager. In her free time, Savannah enjoys going to concerts and festivals and cooking for her friends and family.

savannah@thesellingfactory.com

Zack Kampf

Campaign Manager

Zack is a creative technologist with experience in advertising, event planning, and game design. He started as an SDR in 2018 and has been with TSF ever since. Upon graduating UF in 2019 he became a campaign manager and is currently seeking a master's degree from NYU. In his spare time, you can find him at the intersection of Art & Technology!

zack@thesellingfactory.com

Josiah Blakemore

Campaign Manager

Josiah has over 8 years of sales experience, worked with Brad and Ian at Infinite Energy, and also spent time selling SaaS as Director of Partnerships at SharpSpring. He’s always been very competitive and has a love for sports and games. He enjoys solving problems and coaching team members to do the same!

josiah@thesellingfactory.com

Sue-Ming Frauenhofer

Marketing Manager

Sue-Ming received both her B.S. in Psychology and M.S. in Management from The University of Florida. As a student, she led a psychology research lab on goal achievement and life satisfaction and took on multiple roles while interning at The Selling Factory, including sales development, marketing, and recruiting, eventually leading to her current role as Marketing Manager. Through her creative and methodical vision, she engages both students and entrepreneurs to help them find their version of success.

sueming@thesellingfactory.com

Adam Grossman

Chief Development Officer

Adam is an ordained rabbi, who has founded multiple ventures focused on workforce development. Hired as CEO by a failing non-profit, in over 5 years, his ingenuity saved the organization, which led Slingshotfund.org to recognize it as one of North America’s most innovative Jewish non-profits. His expertise to identify, cultivate, and on-board talent ensures our student teams meet our partners’ needs.

adam@thesellingfactory.com

Brad Gamble

Chief Executive Officer

After graduating from UF in 1999 with a B.S.B.A, Brad Gamble has dedicated himself to sales management, branding, coaching, and building companies. He served as the VP of Sales & Marketing for Infinite Energy until 2014, when he founded The Selling Factory. He has dedicated himself to teaching critical skills to tomorrow’s leaders, and helping companies achieve sales success and revenue growth.

brad@thesellingfactory.com