Tips & Tricks for Turning a Caller Into a Customer

The phone is one of the most powerful sales tools at your office. When a customer calls, they’re either ready to buy or are close to making a buying decision, so make sure your staff is prepared to set the appointment on every single call so no sales opportunities are slipping through the cracks. Here are some easy tips and tricks to implement at your business today to turn your callers into customers.

Build Rapport

Tone is easily conveyed through the phone, so smile while you dial! It sounds cheesy, but put yourself in the caller’s shoes. Would you prefer to work with someone upbeat and passionate or someone who sounds unenthused while they talk to you?

Another easy way to build rapport is to repeat the caller’s name throughout the call. When you answer the phone, make sure to grab the customer’s name, and use it frequently to make the call more personal.

Take the Next Step

If you have a physical location, always, always invite inquiring callers into your business. Just remember, it’s much easier to nail down details and make the sale in person. Don’t let a customer calling with service or pricing inquiries hang up without requesting the appointment. It’s one of the biggest mistakes I consistently see when listening to calls.

If you don’t have a physical location it’s still important to ask the caller if they’d like to setup an appointment. Remember, the end goal of every call should be to get them to do business with you!

Work With The Caller’s Schedule

You’ve invited the caller into your business, but now you need to make sure you set a firm appointment, or have a clear path for follow up. Luckily, there are some tricks behind how you ask a question to help lead the customer to setting an appointment.

Instead of openly asking “when would you like to come in?” try asking “are you looking to come in this week or this weekend?” “Does morning or afternoon work best for you?”

By giving the caller specific options instead of leaving it open-ended, they’re more likely to commit to a set time.

Keep in mind that setting a time for follow up that they may cancel is better than ending the call with no appointment scheduled.

Gather Contact Information

Always make sure to gather full contact information from each caller. This additional step will make them feel more connected to your business and more committed to their appointment. Gather their name, phone number, email address, and any other necessary information. If you already have their contact information in your lead management system, confirm that it is still up to date.

Key tip to build rapport: Ask their preferred method of contact and notate it in your lead management system.

Set Expectations

Give the caller directions to your business and parking instructions, so they know what to expect when they arrive. This too will build rapport and increase their commitment level. For example, “Great, Andy! I look forward to seeing you tomorrow at 2 p.m. We’re located at the corner of Dallas Boulevard and Turner Road right across from the Target. You can park anywhere up front. When you walk in, there will be a receptionist desk where you can check in.”

If they’re a returning customer, confirm that they still know what to expect, and update them with any new information, such as construction or new paperwork required.

These five tips and tricks may seem simple, but they’re often the first things forgotten when an employee answers the phone. For more information on call handling, check out our website.

Hayley Carpenter

Hayley is the Marketing Manager, Programs, at ReachLocal. With a diverse background in sales and consulting, she has found her passion in marketing and has experience in lead generation programs and content marketing across multiple industries. Born and raised in Detroit, MI, Hayley moved south to attend Southern Methodist University where she received her degree in communications studies, public relations, and Mandarin. In her spare time, Hayley enjoys reading, horseback riding, and hanging in hammocks.

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