Is the Phone Ringing but Nobody is Home?

One of the fastest growing DTC channels is phone sales, yet too few wineries are focused on this.  Every time our phone rings – and not just calls to the sales team – it could mean money.  Are we doing everything we can to turn an interested caller into an interested buyer? If not, why not?  Our customers are interested in our wines – they called us!

Inbound phone calls can be a real money maker for wineries if we are smart about it. It’s an under-utilized sales channel with many wineries. Being good at inbound phone calls goes beyond being polite and courteous or even being helpful and hospitable. If we are really listening to our customer and understanding their needs, we have the potential to turn many phone calls into sales dollars – all in a brand-appropriate and natural way.

Many people are so concerned with being gracious on the phone; they are not hearing what the customer really needs and are too afraid to ask for the sale. With phone sales, it’s faceless communication – it’s all verbal. The two most important tones for selling are: Knowledgeable and Enthusiastic. With faceless communication, we can’t be wearing a $500 outfit, have that all-important head nod or knowing and excited smile.  Our voice HAS to convey all that. We want our caller to think: “This guy knows what he is talking about!”

There are five steps to an Inbound Sales Call. Turn these five steps into your blueprint for phone-sale success:

1. Start of the Phone Call
When the phone rings, remember, they called a sales line – offer the sale! Don’t assume they don’t want to buy. Don’t waste their time if they do. Ask for the sale. You can establish the call right away as a sales call by asking if you can take their order after you’ve introduced yourself on the phone.

2. Answer Questions SuccinctlyGiving too much unsolicited information causes confusion. Avoid info overload and confusion. Turn negatives into opportunities.

3. Listen & Learn
Ask questions to learn the caller’s needs and interests. Listen for “buying signals” and key information. Help your customer by understanding their needs and delivering a solution that is a win-win for everyone. You can up-sell and cross-sell to your customer.

The KEY to successful Up-selling: IT IS ALL ABOUT THEM. Offer the best options for their particular needs and interests.

The KEY to successful Cross-Selling is figuring out: What else will THEY like? Offer new options that expand their experience, but align with their likes. Think of the Amazon model… “If you liked this, you will like this.”
Learning the caller’s needs and interests, finding a fit for them, and then being able to offer them something else they might like or need, that’s just great customer service!

4. Handle Objections
Be sure you understand the objection, before solving it.  Find out what the objection is, and once you know what the objection is, solve it.

5. Close the Call
Finish up the call by closing the loop. Ensure you’ve answered their needs. Be positive, and use inclusive language like “We look forward to seeing you.” Show interest in their needs and ensure you have their correct contact information – Ask for it!

This breakdown of the five steps of a call can help you create a system for navigating your calls, and by doing so, offering better customer service as well as incremental sales. That’s just smart business.  Start the new year with a focus on growing your own phone sales channel with the resources you already have.