The thought of making sales calls can make even the most seasoned accountant cringe. But the truth is, when you manage a small accounting practice, you’re going to have to call contacts in order to secure new clients; it’s just a matter of whether or not those calls are successful. Your approach can mean the difference between a positive experience and an abysmal one. Here are 8 tips that will help:
1. Schedule time for cold calls. Tamara Monosoff, in her article on WomenEntrepreneur.com, suggests setting aside approximately 2 hours for cold calls. She believes it takes time to establish a rhythm, and mornings and evenings can be more productive than afternoons. Consider scheduling such a block of time for cold calls every week.
2. Smile while you dial. You’d be surprised at how smiling changes the tone of your voice, making it much more appealing and pleasant.
3. Listen attentively. Never double-book your sales calls, meaning, you shouldn’t multitask while talking to prospective clients. It’s important that you be attentive. You’d be surprised at how much you can learn about a prospect’s needs when you practice active listening.
4. Consider using a script. If you find that sales calls are unnerving, you should create a general script to follow. That would prevent you from allowing your nerves to lead you away from your objective.
5. Sell the meeting, not the service. Not many people like sales calls; they will anticipate your call to action before you even say it. Therefore, it might be more productive if the objective of your sales call was to determine which of your services a particular prospect most needs and then schedule a face-to-face meeting at which time you can best present your services as the perfect match for their unique needs.
6. Make more calls. Statistically speaking, the more calls you make, the more likely you are to secure additional clients. This is why we suggest routinely calling contacts and referrals every week in order to grow your clientele.
7. Use the power of the pause. According to the American Press Institute, pausing can perfect your sales performance. In an article entitled “Tips for Telephone Sales,” they explain, “Learn how to pause for effect. …Pausing keeps things natural and allows you to breathe properly; thereby helping you relax.”
8. End the call. Once you’ve achieved your objective, it might be tempting to engage in small talk for a bit. Don’t do it. End the call by saying something to the effect of, “Thank you. I will see you at noon on Thursday.”
Often all it takes to complete successful sales calls is to follow a few standard tips. By exercising the above techniques, after time you will find that your clientele will grow and become more profitable as a result.
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Monosoff, Tamara. “10 Telephone Sales Tactics that Work.” 9 September 2009 WomenEntrepreneur.com
—“Tips for Telephone Sales.” 1 April 2002 American Press Institute