How to increase sales by contacting fewer prospects. Pick the damn phone up.

You’re collecting data from everywhere and recording every customer interaction. From open rates and exit pages, through to downloads and direct messages. You’ve got their name, email address, mobile number and favourite cereal. It’s all stored in a bloated CRM, which is bursting at the seams. Yet even though you’ve got more segments than a […]

You’re collecting data from everywhere and recording every customer interaction. From open rates and exit pages, through to downloads and direct messages. You’ve got their name, email address, mobile number and favourite cereal. It’s all stored in a bloated CRM, which is bursting at the seams.

Yet even though you’ve got more segments than a Terry’s Chocolate Orange, you still seem to know nothing at all. Does this sound familiar?

This scenario has sadly become a common one and it’s understandable how it’s happened. With data erupting from everywhere, it’s tempting to automate sales and marketing as much as possible. Automation lets you contact more prospects en masse and create a certain level of personalisation.

But no-one ever bought anything from Robocop. People buy from people and they always will. The best sales approach is a blended one, which includes a one-to-one discussion.

Personalise accurately

When you know exactly who you’re speaking to, you can find out some of the specifics beforehand. Opening a conversation in a personalised way will get things off on the right foot. You’ll also learn just by listening to how they describe their pain points, allowing you to tailor your advice accordingly.

Discover objections

When someone discards an email, you’ll discover nothing. This is particularly frustrating if they didn’t respond simply due to timing, as you can’t set a reminder to nudge them in a couple of month’s time. Remember that even if someone likes your product or service, they may still unsubscribe just to keep their inbox in check.

Build trust

Even though we all like to think we’re completely rational beings, it’s a long established fact that people buy with emotion and justify with logic. A large part of emotional decision-making relates to trust and it’s much easier to trust someone when you can actually speak to them. If you’ve got the right people on the front line, you’ll create more opportunities from a dozen calls than you will from a dour email.

Use the right tone

We each like to be addressed in our own way and the line between plain English and dumbing down is a tricky one. Sending emails to a list of prospects, who all seem to have something in common, often doesn’t cater to each specific personality. On a call, you’ll be able to quickly adopt the right tone for every individual.

Gather feedback

There’s an age-old misconception that sales calls involve contacting a list of prospects, one after the next, until someone doesn’t put the phone down immediately. That might be true for the less scrupulous sections of the industry, but it’s certainly not the case when each call is thoroughly researched. For example, at Xcel Sales, we’ve developed a “smart calling” technique that encourages a natural conversation. By avoiding sales clichés and scripts, we gather all kinds of feedback to improve future campaigns.

The next time you’re scrolling through endless customer data lists, why not just select ten of them and pick the damn phone up…

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