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!