Being a salesperson is an uphill battle: if you don’t face outright rejection you’ll deal with a high level of resistance. Your attitude – as well as the strategy and tools you bring to the pitch will determine your fate. Here are some phone sales tips, tools and techniques that can make a huge difference in scoring that client or account.

Body Language

You are the product. At the beginning stage of sales, you can only command your customer’s attention if you come off as social, smart and considerate of their interests. Otherwise, they have no reason to be interested in your product. Respecting and being empathetic means not being arrogant and building rapport by coming off as authentic. But you won’t get that far if you don’t look the part. Smart – but not flashy – clothes not only make them feel you’re legitimate but makes you feel more confident. Body language is likewise essential: good posture and an open stance are important. Body positions over the phone can be just as important as your facial expressions and posture (you’re your breathing) can constrict your vocal range and tone of voice. A good tone of voice helps reinforce your message and makes you sound more confident. Finally, remember to smile: you’ll look and sound friendlier.

Talking The Talk

When you’re talking to someone, makes sure to address them by their name to sound respectful and attentive, just make sure you’re pronouncing right and not saying it too often. The other thing is to let someone adjust to your voice (10 – 30 seconds) by not speaking too fast and adjusting tone slightly if they give an indication that they can’t understand you clearly. Likewise, matching their mood and pace is crucial. If they’re not sounding interested, don’t rush it. Make sure to listen actively by injecting short confirmatory phrases such as “mhhhhm” and “yes” to let them know you’re listening and provide positive reinforcement. Don’t rush to close the deal as this can make them resistant: keep it comfortable. Change up the presentation to keep it fresh and stress the key benefits that appeal to them, stressing these as the key features of the product. Consider a call recording app so you can record your pitches and review them later.

Walking The Walk

Make sure you’ve chosen the right medium for your target group. With a call it’s a great trick to visualise the other person so you can empathise with them and keep it conversational. You should know exactly what you want to sell and why it’s important for them. If you come off as selfish, or like you’re trying to get rid of a burden, customers will pick up on it. A great way to retain customers is to include an offer after the sale, a product, service or discount.

Now you know the look, talk and walk of sales. But nothing beats seeing yourself in action. Film or record your routine (and/or sales calls) and review your performance.

Edward Murphy is a sales and marketing coach who works with a wide range of indie businesses. He shares his useful tips and tricks online in his articles.