High-level sales prospects can receive anywhere from five to 25 sales calls a day. That means some of your prospects may be receiving hundreds of sales calls every week. Does this mean you should give up on phone sales altogether? Absolutely not--but you do have to learn how to break through the clutter and stand out from the competition.

Most of the salespeople calling on your prospects are making the same deadly phone sales mistakes again and again. In fact, there's a really good chance you're also guilty of these deadly errors. Read on to discover seven phone sales mistakes you should stop making right now in order to beat your selling competition and ultimately close more sales:

1. Calling at 10 am or 2 pm.

For most salespeople, 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. are the most comfortable times of day to make sales calls. This is when you've had time to settle in after arriving to the office or returning from lunch. Unfortunately, your competitors are calling at these same times and for these same reasons.

These are also your prospects' most productive hours, so they're far less likely to stop and talk to you. Instead of falling into this common trap, try calling early in the morning, during lunchtime, later in the evening, or even on a Saturday in order to reach more prospects.

2. Opening by saying, "Hey, how are you?"

This mistake may sound innocent enough, but it's the single worst way to start a conversation with a prospect. Every other salesperson is using this same boring question as their opener.

The result? It annoys prospects and immediately notifies them that you're a salesperson.

Break the pattern by getting to the point with a more creative or provocative opener that ensures you don't sound like everyone else.

3. Turning on your sales voice.

If you don't think you're guilty of this one, record your next sales call and listen to it later. Do you sound like your normal self--the way you sound when talking to friends or family? Or does your tone of voice change slightly, maybe with a faster pace and higher pitch?

That's what you call a sales voice, and it's an immediate turnoff to prospects who don't want to get stuck on the phone with another salesperson.

4. Pitching your product or service.

A prospecting call is never the time to pitch your offering--period. Never sell your product or service until you establish trust and confirm that the prospect is a good fit for what you have to offer.

Start by exploring whether or not it even makes sense to set up a sales meeting. Prospects will notice the difference in your approach and be more likely to listen to you and meet with you to discuss things further.

5. Not focusing on the prospect.

The only person who matters during a prospect call is--you guessed it--the prospect. Unfortunately, it's easy for salespeople to get caught up in how great their offering is and forget who really matters.

Instead of talking about yourself and your product or service, ask thoughtful questions to really understand your prospect's deepest frustrations. By digging into those problems, you'll be far better equipped to present your solution in a future meeting.

6. Not having clear goals for the call.

There's only one goal for a prospecting call, and it's certainly not to sell anything. Your one and only goal for an initial call should be to schedule a meeting.

When you shift from trying to sell to simply setting up a meeting, you'll have much more success in accomplishing that goal and--when the time is right--more success in closing the sale, too.

7. Not scheduling a next step.

Some salespeople do a great job connecting on the phone, but close by saying, "Great, I'll get back to you shortly," or "I'll send you some more information and then reach back out." This only makes your job harder, setting you up to chase prospects around for another conversation.

Instead, use your online calendar to schedule a clear next step that's agreed to on both sides before you hang up. Then, immediately send a calendar invite so your prospect will be prepared and available for your next conversation.

Which of these common mistakes is killing your phone sales? What will you differently to stand out from the competition on future calls? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Published on: Jun 13, 2017
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