The ultimate goal of any call handler is to book the appointment for a caller.
Although many call centers utilize phone scripts to stay on track, you don’t have to follow a specific script to ensure a successful phone call. Phone scripts don’t always lead to appointments – good phone skills do.
CallSource has broken down inbound calls into Four Core Principles to simplify this process for call handlers. These four stages of the call have resulted in call handlers booking more appointments on a consistent basis. The Core Four Principles are based on over twenty-five years of experience listening to and analyzing over one billion phone calls.
Think of how much one appointment is worth to your business. The number of appointments booked is directly correlated with your number of sales. Now imagine adding even one additional appointment per week. What would that mean to you on a quarterly or yearly basis?
You can start utilizing CallSource’s proven principles to make your phone calls better as soon as today —follow these four stages of the sales conversation:
- Build Relationships
- Understand Needs
- Create Value
- Ask for the Commitment
Find the telephone appointment setting tips below to start applying on calls now to book more appointments.
Call Principle 1: Build Relationships
Although personal and professional relationships have some key differences, we are all still people who enjoy connections with other people. This is why building a relationship with callers is a huge factor when it comes to booking the appointment.
It is no surprise that a Harvard study, The Real Skills Gap, found that 85% of success in jobs comes from having great people skills. Good relationships help build trust and personal rapport, allowing callers to feel comfortable—and when clients feel comfortable, they will want to do business with you and keep coming back.
Call Principle 2: Understand Needs
Piggy-backing off the importance of building relationships with callers, you need to discover and fully understand their needs. Finding out the caller’s specific needs and what is important to them is a vital part of creating rapport and ensuring that they feel validated and heard. By asking open-ended questions, the call handler can discover what the caller truly needs and what is important to him/her.
A great call handler allows the caller to tell his/her story and provide reasons why your business can help solve the problem.
Asking questions ties into building a relationship. The client feels heard and knows that you are listening to them. This is also true of small talk when meeting strangers just as much as it is when answering the phone and speaking with someone new. In another Harvard Business School experiment, they found that participants liked people better who asked them many questions rather than those who only asked very few.
Call handlers transform callers into customers of the business by not only booking the appointment but truly understanding their needs. The “why” helps your company solve their issue and create lifetime value. While it is important to book the appointment by the end of the call, you must understand why the caller called your business, and how you’re going to help them. This is how you win them over.
Call Principle 3: Create Value
This is the time to shine!
By explaining the value of your company, you are sharing the features and benefits of doing business with you. This is especially important when you receive “price shoppers” and those who are afraid of commitment. Before a caller has the opportunity to object to a price, scheduled time, or try to push off the rest of the conversation to a later time, you want to use your great skills to show that your business is the right choice.
Entice callers with what you offer and set your business apart from the competition. Here’s where you need to brag a little bit to stand out. Have you been in business for over 20 years? Do you have any specific awards or certifications? Talk about it! You need to know about the value of your business for your potential clients to understand and believe it as well.
Sales Call Principle 4: Ask for the Commitment
Once you have built a relationship, found out what is important and enticed the caller with what you offer, ask for the commitment. This is done with a closed-ended question to close the sale such as, “Can I schedule this appointment for you?”
Too many times call handlers follow most of the steps above, but once it comes time to the sticking point for setting the appointment, they fail to ask for the commitment.
Answering the client’s questions is important, but isn’t enough if you don’t get a firm date and time for the appointment. Once you’ve built a relationship with the caller, made them feel important and flexed your knowledge of what makes your company great, the caller will want to set the appointment!
Although CallSource dives deeper into these categories with our monthly call handler scorecards and with the help of call coaching to improve appointment setting techniques, you can download our FREE call handler audit now to start improving today!
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