8 Simple Techniques to Improve Your Retail Sales Calls

It's getting harder to proactively drive sales in retail, let alone be amazing at it.

The good news is we sifted through best practices of some of the thousands of sales reps who use our platform to share 8 simple things you can do improve your customer outreach efforts in retail:

1. Don't cold call people

Do you know what people actually hate more than being contacted by phone? Being contacted by a stranger.  But to not sound like one takes practice and the right scripting. 

Try using different words and tones to get the message across that they bought from you before. This will establish trust and makes the conversation warmer.

2. Stop selling products

Retail reps fail more often when they try and hard close a sale over a text message or call. Instead, customers are 50% more likely to buy within 20 days if you set an appointment instead. 

You might think you have to give away all the information to convince someone to listen to and trust you - except...that sends the wrong message.

We find if you sell the appointment or a future follow up this is the best way to get more sales. Why?

A) It’s convenient! Customers can save time by coming in or following up with you when it’s best for them and skip the line. That's a win. If you can just follow up over messaging (in a compliant way), even better.

B) It’s personal! If you do some research ahead of time, you’ll be able to make suggestions they wouldn’t think of on their own, and they’ll likely save some money (and time).

3. Remember that you are NOT a telemarketer

Tell yourself that.

Use phrases like "I'm not a telemarketer, I work out of the store on X and Y street". This helps put them at ease. But you have to believe it yourself. If you think you sound like a telemarketer, you probably do. So change the sound you make and the words you're using.

4. Listen to your tone

improve sales calls

When you’re not talking face-to-face with a person, the tone of your voice becomes 86% of the conversation.

For example, read the sentence ”This is great" in a bunch of different tones or voices. Even though you're saying the same words, the tone you use can make you sound:

  • Bored
  • Sad
  • Angry
  • Like you're faking enthusiasm
  • Sarcastic

If your tone isn’t right, people can get the wrong impression or completely ignore what you’re saying.

Try this: Record yourself if you're making a call or take a look at your messaging history. See how you come across. Are YOU convinced?


5. Be local

Don't sound like a corporate rep if you're speaking to a local customer. Don't do it. Use phrases that people in your local area use, reference a place nearby or ask questions about a recent event to show you're from the community. 

6. Stop doubting yourself

Identify the little doubts that make you hesitate or afraid of proactive outreach, then answer them. 

Most customers today need an extra push or just don't have the time to plan ahead. So help them out by getting in touch.

If you think: They’re just going to say they’re not interested.”  Say to yourself: Duh! That’s your job. Get them interested! 

If you think: I’m going to sound like a telemarketer." Say to yourself: I'm not a telemarketer! I'm their neighbour! Then use your own words and keep it conversational. Don’t be afraid to experiment until you find a voice that feels the most natural to you.

If you think: I’m not comfortable with my script. I don’t know what to say. Say to yourself: Practice, practice, practice! Then role-play with your co-workers then try starting about 40 conversations in a row to get comfortable. You'll likely mess up the first 20. That's ok. Then it will get fun.

7. Fix your posture

improve sales calls

Are you sitting down as you read this? Don't. Stop it. Stand up and move around. 

Sitting or slouching deflates your energy, and this comes through in the way you sound in messaging or in a live conversation.

Standing, walking around, and even gesturing opens up your body and allows you to breathe better, project your voice, and think clearer. And your positive vibes will come across in the words you use or even the punctuation you might choose. 

Try this: Next time you want to start a conversation, get up and move!


8. Do some math (sorry!)

To be awesome at outbound, be ready to do some math. If you want to make a sale, you'll need to book 3-4 meetings with people who are interested. Why? Because even if someone is excited and books a meeting, something could come up.

To book 3-4 meetings, you'll need to converse with 20 people, which means they have to reply to your messages or you need to reach them live over the phone (not a voicemail). 

To actually talk to 20 people you'll usually have to attempt to talk to 40-50 people because a bunch of people won't answer (but remember to leave a great voicemail). 

About the Author

Kevin Gervais

He started coding at age 7. His first board meeting was at age 14. He was using Facebook before it was cool (2005). You'll often find Kevin thinking about the future of retail, applied AI and how to create world-class buying experiences.

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