Telephone Sales Fundamentals

Date Added: October 13, 2007 09:50:24 PM
Category: Self Storage Vendors




Telephone Sales Fundamentals
 the PhoneSmart Off Site Sales Force
Being Properly Prepared, BEFORE your shift starts:
*      Clear Your Mind of any unrelated issues. Set aside personal concerns and issues.
*      Get Comfortable and adjustyour chair, keyboard, volume, etc. to suit your needs.
*      Organize your work area. Have pen, scrap paper, scripts, work materials, thoughts and a drink readily available.
*      Concentrate on the purpose of the situation at hand, whether it is training, role playing, monitoring or taking calls.
Telephone Sales Requires You to Always Be In Control
          Techniques Used:
*      Pace Yourself to your caller. Are they following your lead?
*      Develop A Rhythm. A call will flow much smoother if you stick to the same guidelines for each and every call.
*      Voice Volume Level should be comfortable for the caller.
*      Direct and To the Point. Avoid conversations that are going nowhere.
*      Avoid Lengthy Conversations.
*      Be Accurate. Professionalism shows.
*      Be an Active Listener and take notes throughout the call, so you don’t have to ask the caller to repeat themselves.
*      Treat the Caller With Respect and Courtesy. Show genuine interest.
*      Paraphrase to Confirm what you thought you heard.
*      Get Personal and share a laugh. Find something in common. HAVE FUN
*      Always Keep The END In Mind. Get back to the reason for the call. (This stresses importance and urgency)
*      Get Agreement and Close often throughout the entire call (trial closes). Does the caller feel good about the interaction?
*      Follow Up with required information and confirmation of end results.
*      Thank the Caller for calling and let them know to please call if there are any other questions.
Control = leading the customer and direction them throughout the call.
Close= questions that you ask the customer that lead them to answer with “Ok” or “Yes”.
The “I Don’t Know Close”
Don’t be afraid to use the “I Don’t Know close” to answer a caller’s question when you do not have the answer to or are not 100% sure that you have the correct answer. It is always better to be honest and sincere with your callers.
Caller: “Do you have pallets that we can use to put our things on while storing with you?”
You: try something like: “You know, I’m not sure BUT I can certainly find out for you and have the manager get back with you on that. What’s your first name?”
*** This will let the caller know you were listening to them, that you are telling them the truth and that you are confirming with them that you think it is an important enough question that you will check with the manager and have the manager follow up with them. This also gets you a Hot Lead. (one step closer to the close)
You never want to leave it at that. After you get their name and number for a follow up, a good way to continue to the close would be something like:
You: “I know you are wanting to know if we have the pallets for you to use, and while you are waiting on that answer, what I can do for you is go ahead and put the unit on hold so no one else can grab it before the manager calls you back. Ok?”
***Remember, it is always a great idea to close as much as you can through the phone call until it leads you to the end close- “Which credit card would you like to use to reserve the unit?”
The more closes and yeses you get during the call, the more likely the caller will feel comfortable, as they have established trust that you will handle the final touches.
Questions to Help You
If you feel like you are losing the person on the phone, you can get the conversation back on track by asking:
ü“Are you moving or do you just need to get some things out of the way?
ü“How did you find out about us?”
ü“Do you know where we are located?” followed by “and is that a convenient location for you?
ü“Have you ever stored with us before?”
ü“Can you give me an idea of what you were planning on storing with us?”

All of these questions will allow the person to fill you in on his or her plans and state of mind. This will help you rent units.
Save all of the policy information until the end of the call. After you have agreed on a time for the person to come down to the store, decide how much info you need to give. Lock, insurance and admin fees can be a great way to wrap up a call and help the person figure out exactly what needs to be done to get into your facility.
Go For the Hold
If the caller doesn’t need it for a while or can’t decide now:
       “I understand you may not be ready. Why don’t you come down to see our facility? When you get there, tell them you talked to (your name)…. And if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to call me.”
Close the Site Visit
“Is during the week a good time to come down or is the weekend better for you?
Quick Phrases:
It’s hard sometimes to make those oldies but goodies sound fresh. So try something new.
Here’s a few to get you started: (they will help you qualify your callers and build a rapport with them.)
*      “Have you ever rented with us before on Smith Street?”
*      “Have you ever rented storage before?”
*      “It sounds like you’ve rented storage before, have you?”
*      “Great, then you know how it all pretty much works.”
*      “As you know, a lot goes into storage. Here we have some great features like..”
*      “Will you need to rent a truck or do you already have transportation?”
*      “You know I’m not sure BUT I can find out and have the manager let you know.”
*      “Unfortunately, we don’t have any climate controlled units but if you can’t find any climate controlled units elsewhere, would you be willing to go with a standard unit?”
*      “Do you definitely need storage?”
*      “Do you think you may need storage in say a week or 2 weeks?”
*      “Have we ever had any break-ins? Not that I’m aware of. We do have excellent security to help prevent that from happening, but I can certainly double check with the store manager.”
*      “You need a 10x10? (yes) Well, a 10x10 stores the equivalent to the furnishings of a 1 bedroom apartment with major appliances. Does that sound like the 10x10 will work for you?”
*      “Most people tend to find that the 6am-9pm access is pretty flexible and works for them. Do you definitely need 24 hours access
Try some of these acknowledging phrases:
*      “No, unfortunately I do not but what I can do…”
*      “Oh, I’m sorry to hear about that.”
*      “It must be really hectic for you right now.”
*      “Let’s see if I can make this a little easier for you.”
Control the call: How soon, What size…
Let me ask you 2 questions so I can give you the best price…
“How soon do you need storage so I can see if it is available?”
“Do you know what size you need, or can I help you figure that out?”
(If they give you a size – give them a visualization of size) – cc or standard if applicable
(If they don’t know – then ask what they’re storing and give 2 choices).
Go For the Hold:
“The best way I can be of service to us is to go ahead and place this on hold, what’s your first name?”
“And what’s your phone number so I can let the manager know I offered you the xyz special…?”
Go For the Reservation:
“Typically, we take a $___prepayment….”
Or Go For the Site Visit If No Credit Card Rez:
“I would suggest to come stop by and visit our store so you can get a better idea of sizes. Can you come in today or tomorrow? Morning or afternoon?”
            “Sure I can help you with that”
The best little phrase you could ever master!
If you have a difficult caller
Ask yourself this…Did the caller have a bad day already before calling you?
§      Listen to their concerns and try to help them to the best of your ability.
§      Don’t take it personally.
§      Remain professional and ask open ended questions.
§      Take notes during the call so you can re-iterate to them later, what you thought you heard.
§      Try to understand their needs or anger by telling them you’ll see what you can do.
§      Show them that the company they are calling cares.
§      Do not be combative. Be concerned.
§      Ask probing questions so they can vent it out and lessen their concerns or anger.
§      Re-confirm what you thought they said so they know you’re listening.
§      Try to answer all of their questions to the best of your ability without hesitation.
§      If there are questions you cannot answer refer them to the store manager for a call back.
§      Sincerely apologize for inconveniences even if it is not your fault.
Keep in mind:
§      It probably wasn’t you if they were already mad when they called.  
§      You may be just the person that they need to vent it out to. 
§      Let them vent and then try to help them.
If all else fails:
§      Ask them, “If I get your name and number, I’d be happy for someone to give you a call back to answer your questions.” 
§      Let them know that you don’t want to give them the wrong information and can certainly have a manger call them back.
If the caller is persistent to keep you on the phone and you have tried absolutely everything:
§      Ask them this… CAREFULLY SINCERELY …. and with the appropriate TONE INFLECITON…“What would you like me to do for you?
If at any point they say they want to speak to your supervisor or manager (and you have tried all of the above):
§      Tell them… CAREFULLYSINCERELY …. And with the appropriate TONE INFLECITON…“Absolutely…. If you can hold on a minute, I’d be more than happy to.
vBe prepared
vKnow your product
vThink Positive
vDevelop a rhythm-stick to it
vHave your own style
vUse the callers name throughout the call.
vTake brief notes of caller’s info.
vBuild a rapport thru acknowledgement
vSmile, be friendly and share a laugh
vBe sincere
vLead your caller and keep control of call
vBe direct and to the point
vMaintain control of the call
vCover one area at a time
vGet agreement in each area
vHelp them decide what’s best for them
vOffer choices and follow through
vBe confident and stay focused
vSell, sell, and sell some more
vRe-confirm what you thought they said
vOpenly give info in a positive manner
vAsk if there are any other questions
vThank them for calling
vAttract more bees with honey.
vTry to match the speed of your caller
vGive too much information
vLet the caller lead you
vRush your caller
vTalk in circles
vBe pushy.
vMulti-task while on the phone
vInterrupt your caller
vMake the decisions yourself
vHesitate, especially when asking for hold
vLet the caller get you off track
vIgnore a caller’s concern
vLeave room for dead air
vBe confrontational
vMake assumptions
vBe afraid to apologize to your caller
vLet the caller off the phone without asking for a hold on a unit.
vGive up.

PhoneSmart is an off site sales force that supports self storage companies through its call center, secret shopping and sales training services. PhoneSmart’s parent company is StorageMart. StorageMart operates more than 55 self storage facilities in North America in New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, Illinois, Minnesota, Kansas, California and Alberta, Canada.


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