How to Become a Peak Performer on the Call (Part 3 of 3) by Pat Ryan

Posted on Feb 12, 2013 in Archive, Training and HR

After the Call – Sales Notes, CRMs and Remaining Positive

In our last two blog articles, we covered tips and ideas that will help you BEFORE and DURING every phone call you make, helping you become a peak performer on the telephone. 

This week, in the third part of our series, we will cover a few important tips you should do AFTER every call to increase your sales success.  (Hint: Find a tip or two to focus on cultivating during the coming weeks and watch your sales game improve measurably!)

1. Expand Upon Your Notes

Go back to the high-level notes you wrote during the conversation—and make them more detailed. It’s important that you transfer the major points of your conversation to your CRM system or sales automation tool.  The high level notes you took during the conversation will be nearly meaningless in a month if you don’t expand upon them right after the call. Transferring them into an electronic sales automation tool is an excellent way to become a peak performer –that way, you’ll have those notes to refer to on your next call, increasing your professionalism and knowledge of the prospect’s specific needs and situation. 

2. Create a TICKLER File

By using Step 6 in our last article, you should know what your next steps are after every call, and this includes WHEN you should touch base with the contact again. Make sure you set up a reminder for that day in case you forget (you probably will!).  For example, in most sales automation tools, you can employ a pop-up “alarm” that will remind you of what you need to do when that day comes.  Use these tickler-file tools, create the follow up reminder, and then FOLLOW UP on the scheduled day.  You don’t know how many sales I’ve made simply by being “politely persistent” and doing what I said I was going to do, when I said I would do it.  Only by methodically using a tickler file will you be efficient at keeping up with contacts when you said you would.  And that can mean all the difference between making a sales and losing one!

3. Making that Follow-up Call

When you do follow up with a prospect after your initial call, DO NOT fall into the trap of saying, “So, are you ready to move forward now?” or, “I’m just following up to see if you had a chance to read that case study I sent you.”  Don’t set yourself up to begin the conversation with a “no” from the prospect.  Instead, refer back to your notes and pick up the conversation where you left off last time.  Help refresh their memory by saying, “When we last spoke, you indicated _____.  How’s that going?” or, “In our last discussion, you were looking for ways to _________.  Have you had any success?”  Continue to build trust by using active listening, referring to details from your last call to move the conversation forward.  Offer additional insight or value that will help the prospect with their business.  By using consultative sales techniques and providing value at every touch, you will become their trusted advisor in your area of expertise.  Then, when they are ready to buy, they will think of you first – their TRUSTED ADVISOR!

4. Remain Focused

Because this article is about what to do AFTER the call, we would be remiss if we didn’t cover what to do after a negative experience on the phone.  Let’s face it, not every call goes the way we’d like.  Sometimes you may reach someone who is not in the best mood, not ready to talk with you again, up against a deadline, or just downright nasty.  Don’t take it personally. Don’t let it get you down.  Smile and move on.  Remain focused on your calling.  Being able to move beyond rejection has always been a key marker of great sales people.  To become a peak performer on the telephone, you will have to shrug off the rejection or the occasional “nasty” response, and get back on the phone to make the next call.  Of course, it’s okay to take a quick break, grab a fresh cup of coffee, or take a brief walk to shake off the negative energy you just experienced on the phone, but try to get back to your calling with a smile as soon as possible.  That’s the only way you will truly be successful on the phone.  The fact that you called a person who was having a bad day has absolutely NOTHING to do with you or your next call.  Just shake it off, smile and move forward.  Remember, your next big deal may be just a phone call away!  So get back to your calls ASAP!

Okay, so let’s take a minute to review the tips we’ve learned about becoming a peak performer on the telephone over the past few weeks: 

  • BEFORE the call – Prepare for every call, Set objectives, Use visualization techniques
  • DURING the call – Use proper voice tone, “Match” your client’s personality, Get to the point, Plan your strategy, and Always close on next steps!
  • AFTER the call – Record and expand your notes, Create a tickler file, Follow up with value, Remain focused. 

Practicing these simple techniques can lead you to becoming a powerful telephone presence—and rank you among the best of the best! 

Onward and Upward…

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