While the title insurance industry continues to streamline its technology with instant title searches and better transaction management platforms, there’s one simple gadget that remains a powerful tool: It’s the telephone. Wifi SIP Phone
Today, many title agents, real estate agents and lenders are indicating a preference for telephone sales calls over face-to-face interactions, according to Renee Walkup, president of SalesPeak Inc. and a leading speaker and business consultant.
During the 2007 ALTA Tech Forum on April 24 in Denver, Walkup shared several tips title agents can employ while using the telephone to close more business.
“Some business people are more receptive to answering sales calls during certain times of the day,” Walkup said. “Discover when that is in your industry and plan accordingly. Also, keep in mind when customers go to lunch. For example, in the Northeast, people usually take lunch from 1 to 2 p.m. In the Southwest, noon to one is the preferred time. Make good use of before and after hours calls, too. Customers answer their phones and are more receptive to conducting business when the office is quieter.”
Here are some more tips Walkup suggests:
ENGAGING YOUR CUSTOMER: Make an immediate judgment on the customer’s personality style. If the person has high energy, match their style by talking faster, getting to the point without adding extraneous details, and put power into your voice by standing up. If the customer sounds more methodical and detailed, you may need to slow down, pace yourself more carefully, and add detailed information to the call. Matching the customer’s buyer style will serve you well by establishing quick rapport — increasing your likelihood of closing the sale.
LISTEN CAREFULLY: Again, keeping in mind the personality type, actively listening to the customer’s outgoing voice mail message sends numerous messages about what type of person they are. Leave a message that mirrors their style and you’ll be much more likely to receive a call back.
EMPLOY A FIVE STEP SALES PROCESS: Welcome the customer through your introduction or referral, ask open ended needs-based questions, present your offerings, negotiate and handle objections, then close the call. Using this process — whether it’s the first call or the 12 call on the customer — provides you with a methodology that works in every situation.
PRESENT YOUR BEST VOICE AND PRESENCE: On the telephone, 93 percent of your communication is in your tone of voice. That means you have to concentrate on your tone 100 percent of the time. Being tired, stressed or hurried will come through in your voice unless you know how to control your tone to sound enthusiastic, energetic and interested in your customer’s needs.
HELP YOUR CUSTOMER: Communicate that you truly care about your customer’s problems and concerns. Assist the customer in making the right buying decision for their particular situation. Your true concern will come through in your voice and will result in more closed sales.
ORGANIZE YOUR CALL: Have a call plan before dialing out. Know what you are going to discuss with the customer, how you want to sound and what goals you want to accomplish in the call before you pick up the phone.
NEGOTIATE A BETTER CALL TIME: If it sounds like it’s an inconvenient time to talk with a customer, then you are probably right. A hurried, frazzled or stressed customer can’t be engaged with an open mind. Arrange for a better time to have a quality sales conversation. Then the likelihood of your closing the sale will increase 20-fold.
SEND A CARING MESSAGE: Your customer can read your tone, so they can hear if you have a canned speech or memorized script that you are following. Make sure that you show concern, empathy and sincere desire to assist them.
ALLOW YOUR CUSTOMER TO TALK: Assuming you know what the customer wants is presumptuous. Engage the customer to find out about them. Ask good quality questions to get the customer talking. Listen carefully not only to their words, but their tone, as well.
LEAD THE CUSTOMER: By using the five-step sales process, the customer will follow your path to answering you questions and listening to your presentation. It’s just like a dance. Make sure you are leading.
ENJOY THE INTERACTION: Have some fun with your calls. Selling is an exciting profession as well as a gratifying one. Where else can you build long-term relationships, solve people’s problems and make good money while doing it? People like to do business with those who enjoy their work.