August 14, 2018

Inbound Calling: 10 Tips for Turning Calls into Business

Generating calls for your business can be a difficult process. The hope is that actually answering the calls should be pretty easy, right?

The truth is that answering phone calls is often where businesses slip up. It’s easy to let your phone etiquette lapse when the customers come to you. But if you fall into this trap, you’re going to cost your company a lot of money.

If you think your company could do better on the phone, keep reading. We’re going to talk to you about our 10 best tips for how to turn inbound calling into sales.

Why is Inbound Calling Important?

By the time your customers pick up the phone to call a business, they’re ready to buy. They want answers to their questions, and even if they don’t know it, every second on the phone is essentially an interview process.

They’re looking for any reason at all to pick you or your competitors. So answering their calls the right way is your best bet to converting that call into a sale.

1. Make a Human Connection

The last thing your customers want to do when they call you is to talk to a robot. There are instances where a voicemail or IVR system is the right choice, but if you’re looking to make an immediate impact on your customer’s view of your company, this isn’t it.

Voicemail and IVR systems give off a cold and unfeeling impression. They don’t have any flexibility and they don’t encourage your customers to call back.

If you have a high volume of calls during hours where you aren’t in the office, it’s a good idea to consider hiring a professional phone answering service or a receptionist

2. Answer at the Right Moment

It’s never a good idea to let your customers sit and wait on the phone for any reason. Impatience is just going to frustrate your customer and make them less likely to buy from you.

However, answering the phone too soon could be a bad sign as well. If you’re rushing to answer on the first ring, are you really that busy? Is there a reason people aren’t keeping you occupied elsewhere?

Whether your customers realize they take these things into consideration or not, they do.

3. Have a Formal Greeting

Make sure your employees know how to answer a phone. Include a brief hello, a “thank you for calling [your business]”, their name, and “how may I help you?”

It might seem a little long winded and formal, but it’s good to be consistent. Your customers want to know what to expect, and it shows a level of professionalism.

4. But Don’t Overdo the Formality

While you want to keep things professional and consistent, you don’t want to wind up reading from a script. Keep a guide open for various points that your employees need to touch on, but don’t read from it word for word.

You want to make a personal connection with your callers. You can’t do that if you read directly from a script, it sounds too robotic and it doesn’t leave room for any flexibility.

5. Use Their Name

People love hearing their own names. If you can figure out your caller’s name and use it during your phone call, you get that much closer to that personal connection and a sale.

Just be careful that you don’t overdo it. You can seem manipulative and fake if you use the customer’s name in certain circumstances, so make sure you sound genuine and sincere when you do.

6. Be Open Ended

When you reply to your customers with single-worded yes or no responses, you’re not doing anything to advance the conversation. It might sound difficult at first, but if you practice, you can teach yourself and your employees how to follow up every yes or no answer with more information or another question to keep the conversation moving.

If they ask you a yes or no question like “Do you sell lampshades?” instead of saying “yes” say “yes we do, we carry these brands and they come in a variety of colors.” Ask a question, give more information.

But also keep the value of your customer’s time in mind.

7. Be Positive

Think about the people you like to be around in life. Do you prefer to spend more time with the positive people who try their hardest to say “yes” and who actually follow through with their promises? Or do you spend more time with those that offer more negative responses?

The answer is obvious. People gravitate towards positivity. Smile when you answer, even if your customers can’t see it, they can hear it in your voice and it will release endorphins into your body that’ll make you feel good too.

8. Stay Calm

This should be a given, but you need to make sure you never lose your temper with your customers. You never know who’s recording you, and you never know who they know. All it takes is for one customer to hear an irritated tone and elevate the situation.

One bad experience goes twice as far as a good one, and if word of mouth gets around that you snapped on a customer, you’ll lose sales.

9. Don’t Put Them on Hold

Another thing that should be a given but often isn’t is that you shouldn’t put your customers on hold. Sometimes it’s inevitable, in which case you should do it for as short of a time as possible.

When your customer is on hold, they have no reason to stick around. It’s just as easy for them to hang up and call someone else. Make sure this doesn’t happen to you.

Even if your customer demands to be put on hold until the person they want to speak to is free, pop on the line every 60 seconds to let them know that you haven’t forgotten about them and that their desired party is still occupied.

10. Confirm and Sum Up

When you are at the end of the call, take a second to confirm with your customer that you answered their questions and satisfied their needs. If you haven’t, ask what you can do to help. If you have, thank them for calling.

Another good rule of thumb is, to sum up whatever plans you made in the call. If you agreed on a time to meet or call back, remind them. Go over the concrete things you talked about before they hang up.

From Inbound Calling to Sales

It might seem like a lot to remember in one call, but when your customers start inbound calling, you need to make sure that you’re at the top of your game. This is a vital time for your company. You want to turn every call into a sale.

If your business needs calls and you’re not sure how to get them, visit us today. We can help drive calls to your business.