Step 1: Profile update
Step 2: Pitch
Step 3: Rendering the service
Sounds about right? Wrong!
You will be surprised to know that you have missed quite a few steps in between. This blog is just about that, the importance of the steps in between. When a customer views your profile on the Vconnect page, they have already partially made up their mind to hire you. To seal the deal, the pitch needs to be perfect but so does the fact that how the call with the client goes.
When you talk on the phone with a customer, you have no visuals. In a text, there are no visual cues either but you do have a chance to review what you have written before hitting the send button. A phone call is a customer’s way to show immediacy to the requirement but it also comes with the challenge of not being to gauge their reactions and playing off of them. There are ways to smoothen your conversations on the phone and also tips to make the phone call right. Here are some ways to place an ideal call to a lead:
1. Begin right
Greet the customer and introduce yourself.
“Good morning! I am Ousman Salam and how may I help you today?”
It is simple and lets the customer begin immediately with the requirement he or she has in mind. Follow simple etiquettes like do not chew on food, or drink while on a call. Ensure you are in a place where there is not too much background noise. If there is, place your hand over the receiver if you suddenly encounter sounds. If there is too much noise in the background your customer might feel you are preoccupied and have other things to do and projects lack of interest to them. If you have to place them on a hold, excuse yourself in the right manner.
For instance by saying, “I am sorry I am going to have to place your call on the hold so I can give you my undivided attention. Is that alright?”
Once they say yes, then only place them on hold. When you back always apologise by saying,
“I am sorry for that. Hope that did not take too much time”
Such attention to detail and little things go a long way.
2. Clearly, state the purpose
You better be ready with a pitch when you come to the point. You need to state the purpose of the call right after the greeting.
For instance, “I am calling to attend to your inquiry on cleaning services in Lagos. Usher cleaning has an experience of over 10 years in cleaning services and would to help you with your requirement!”
Connect with the customer by asking them to use your first name even if you address them with their full name. Talk in a language they understand. For instance, if they talk in English, try to talk in English. Or let them know if you have a problem conversing in that language up front. There is no shame in admitting your flaws as it gives you credibility and the customer thinks of your honesty. Also, share some personal details like your background, why are you in this business etc. so they can draw a visual picture of you.
4. Small talk is necessary
Yes! We know how small talk is anything but interesting, but incorporate that in your talk. A good small talk is a friendly time waster. It makes the conversation more friendly and hence the talk inches towards familiarity more than it does towards a pitch. Identify some interests and talk about events around the area or the weather. Thank your client for taking the time out to browse through your profile and making that call.
For instance, “I am sure it is busy to take the time out of your busy schedule, thank you for making that effort to reach me.”
Such sentences also give a window to the client to share some details of themselves, like “Oh that is alright I was on a break from office” or “Yes, thank you for that! My work has been taking a lot out of me”. This gives you a chance to build on small talk.
5. For the client, about the client
Remember the most important rule, the call is only and only about the client. Rather than beating around the bush, get to what the client wants. Sometimes a few clients realise exactly what they want only when they are steered in the right direction. In the middle of the small talk and telling them about your business, do not digress from the conversation. Also, identify the urgency of the client and the time they have specially during the call. In between fillers like, “Oh I hope I am not taking too much of your time”, help when the conversation is turning out to be longish.
The first call may not necessarily lead to the work. It may just be “getting to know each other” part of the process. That is why it is important to end the call with a close ended question like, “Would you consider our services useful for you?” or “When can we get back to each other-does a week sound good?”. Putting specific timelines also delivers the message that you mean business to the client.
We hope the tips help! Before you prepare yourself to make a call, it can help to get on a few mock calls as well. They just help you get more confident. Keep watching this space for more useful tips!