As more and more companies rely heavily on a sales force of call center agents and customers are becoming more informed and adept consumers, call center agents who engage in adaptive selling are critical to the company’s success.
Adaptive selling is the altering of sales behavior during a customer interaction or across customer interactions. Below are 9 tips to enhance the adaptive selling techniques of your call center agents:
1. Eliminate fillers (e.g. ums, ahhs and ers)
Verbal tics, often referred to as “fillers”, are frequently interpreted as a sign of uncertainty, which alienates you from the customer. Instead, you should take a brief pause when you feel the urge to add a “filler” such as “umm” or “like”, to make the customer hang onto your every word.
2.Listen to your phone calls
A great technique to improve your performance over the phone is to listen to your calls. This will give you great clues about how you can improve in the future.
3.Prepare for common objections
Hesitation and fear often comes when a customer challenges your assertions and signifies that you do not really know the product that you are selling. So, prepare for common objections and perhaps bullet point a response in the form of a script so you can feel assured at all times.
The old adage is “smile while you dial”, and there is strong evidence to suggest that smiling elevates the tone of your voice, meaning that you sound more friendly and warm when making a phone call. So, whilst the customer may not be able to see it, they can hear it.
5.Practice talking 20% slower
If you get nervous on the phone, it is more than likely that you will begin to talk faster and faster. So, talk slowly, with the aim of speaking 20% slower than you normally would and sound more natural and clear. Also, do not be afraid of silence; it can be a powerful sales tool.
6.Use the customer’s name at least three times in a call
Regularly using the customer’s name demonstrates that you are actively listening to them and is a great way to develop the conversation. People will take greater interest in your thoughts and ideas when they hear their name and are more likely to give you their full attention.
7.Repeat a customer’s word or phrases
Repeating a word or phrase your client has used encourages them to expand their thoughts. An insurance example would be if the customer says, “I need it to be reliable and cover…” and you repeat the word “reliable”, you are allowing them to open up and providing yourself with valuable information.
Customers are not interested in the design of your product, but they are interested in what it does for them. So, if you listen carefully to what they say, you can identify how your product can help them individually.
As mentioned frequently over the course of this article, creating rapport with the person on the other end of the phone is crucial to the likelihood of you making a sale. But how do you do this?
One great method is by creating empathy. This demonstrates that the customer is your sole focus and that you are taking personal responsibility for them in this conversation. This is building rapport.