Handling a Call-in Lead The Right Way

Michele Warg
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Many sales reps think that handling a call-in lead is easy. After all, the customer is interested enough to make the call, so closing the deal can't be too hard, right? In reality, you need to pay just as much attention to handling a call-in lead as to any other customer interaction.

When you handle a call-in lead, start by listening to the customer's needs. This information helps you match the customer with a suitable product or service from your company's range. Ask questions to get the customer to open up to you, such as, "Can you describe the problem you need to solve?" or "What do you hope to get from our product?"

The most important thing you can do during the first part of handling the call-in lead is to listen to the prospective customer. If you struggle to listen without interrupting the caller, hit the mute button after you ask your question. When you're sure the customer has stopped talking, press the button again to unmute your voice so that you can ask the next question.

When you have heard enough information to understand the problem, begin to suggest solutions to the customer. Before you face your first call-in lead, practice describing your company's solutions in detail so that you can present each option concisely to your prospect. If you find it difficult to remember key details, write notes to consult during the call. You must present information in a clear and concise way to avoid confusing your customer.

After you present the available options, ask the customer, "How does that sound to you?" If the customer says that your solution sounds good, start moving toward closing the sale. If you're selling a product that requires installation or setup, ask the customer when would be a good time for an engineer to set up the product. Set a time and date and then move onto arranging payment.

Many customers will need more time to consider the options you have presented, and they may also need to consult with their business partners before making a final decision. Before you hang up the call, arrange a time to call back and ensure you have the prospect's contact details. Make a note of the agreed call time and set a reminder so you remember to call back. When you call again, remind the prospect of the options you discussed and ask whether she has any more questions.

When handling a call-in lead, listen carefully to the customer's needs and describe how your company's products or services can help solve their problems. Sales reps can use these tips to improve the chance of successfully converting any call-in leads into successful sales.

Photo courtesy of photostock at FreeDigitalPhotos.Net



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