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10 Easy-To-Learn Telephone Inbound Sales Techniques

10 Easy-To-Learn Telephone Inbound Sales Techniques

You’re about to uncover 10 powerful, easy-to-learn telephone inbound sales techniques. These techniques will allow you to close more deals over the phone. And that’s good news because unless you close the sale, nothing happens. You can’t go to the bank and deposit a nice conversation with a prospect...

No, you have to close the deal. And the techniques, philosophies, and strategies in this article will help you do that.

You’ll learn ways to regain control of the sales conversation. How to uncover your prospects’ needs and get them to open up to you. How to nudge their buying decision in your favour. You’ll even learn how to get your prospects to close themselves!

Let’s jump right into it. This article will be very direct and to the point, so you can start closing more deals as soon as possible.

Reverse Psychology

Reverse psychology gets a bad rap. It’s often seen as rude and manipulative. But most people misunderstand. Reverse psychology can be very helpful to a prospect in telephone inbound sales.

Reverse psychology is nothing more than a way to offer your prospect one last chance to play ball. If they’re giving you a hard time, you can use reverse psychology to call our their lies/objections/etc.

For example, if a prospect tells you “This sounds like a scam”. You could say: “Yeah, it probably is a scam… So why are we on the phone today?

This opens the door for them to open up and admit that there might be more to it than being a scam. Remember - if you’re going to use reverse psychology, tonality is key. You don’t want to come across as rude.

Reverse psychology removes the tension by simply agreeing with them.

People will fight to the death to preserve their right to say “No,” so give them that right and the negotiating environment becomes more constructive and collaborative almost immediately.” – Chris Voss in ‘Never Split The Difference’

Don’t Sound Like a Typical Salesperson

Tonality is important when using reverse psychology. But it’s also very important overall. On a telephone inbound sales call, you NEVER want to sound like a typical salesperson. What does a typical salesperson sound like?

  • Super high energy
  • Always agreeing with the prospect
  • Using words like “absolutely!”, “Trust me!”, etc.
  • Often talking, rarely silent
  • Superficial rapport building

Why is this such a bad thing? Well, people are tired of being bothered by cold callers and pushy salespeople. So when they hear that type of tonality, they associate it with negative emotions.

What you want to do instead, is do the opposite.

  • Don’t be super energetic. DO have enthusiasm, but remain calm and collected. Unattached to the sale.
  • Nobody’s forcing you to be a people pleaser. You don’t have to try and win over your prospects, just be yourself.
  • Avoid super emphatic words that trigger “sales-y” vibes and turn off your prospects
  • Try to listen more than you talk. Show a genuine interest in your prospects versus only on your features and benefits.
  • Build rapport, but keep it genuine. Don’t force it.

Redirect Questions

When a prospect asks you a question, a useful technique is to redirect it. This means that you’ll ask them a question in return, instead of answering them. What does this do?

It allows you to ensure that you fully understand their question and the reason why they’re asking it. If you just answer their question…

  • the conversation ends there
  • you might have made an assumption
  • Their question might be smoke and mirrors (see next technique for more on this)

An example of redirecting the question “Is there a guarantee?” could be “What sort of guarantee are you looking for?”.

Can you see how you’re gathering information and clarity on their question to answer it best? Versus giving them an answer (and also giving them control of the conversation).

When it comes to telephone inbound sales, many people think redirecting questions is rude and evasive. The thing is, it’s all about your intention. You have to do it with the intention of gaining more clarity. You’re not being evasive, you’re trying to understand their needs. And make sure they don’t feel interrogated!

Eliminate Smoke and Mirrors

What is smoke and mirrors in telephone inbound sales? It’s when a prospect isn’t being honest with you. They’re hiding something from you. They’re masking their true objections and feelings with false words.

For example, they might be nitpicking about a certain feature of your offer, but what’s really bothering them is the price.

Using the words “suppose” or “pretend” is a powerful telephone inbound sales technique. It allows you to test and see if the issue they’re bringing up is the real issue.

  • Is there a guarantee?” → “Let’s suppose there was a guarantee, what would happen next?

This is just one example, but you can see how it can be helpful. If they have other real objections, they’ll bring them up at this point. If they don’t, you can go in for the close.

Future Pacing

Imagine”... it’s a powerful word. It sparks images in your prospect’s mind. Images that you can control…

When you get a prospect to imagine something, they turn off their critical thinking. They indulge in a hypothetical scenario. And the best part is, their subconscious doesn’t know it isn’t real. It can’t tell the difference.

And we buy based on emotions, then justify with logic. So when you can get someone to imagine something, you’re able to control their emotions. And keep in mind:

You don’t always have to use the word “imagine”. You could ask them “What would it be like if…” or “Where do you see yourself in x months/years?”. Future pacing is a very powerful telephone inbound sales technique. Use it!

“Can You Help Me Understand Why?”

This is a great way to ask for more clarity. Typically, a salesperson seeking clarity might ask questions like:

  • “What makes you say that?”
  • “Why?”
  • “What do you mean?”

Those questions are fine, but sometimes they can come across as a challenge or a little bit too abrupt and rude. (This is where tonality is so important!)

But a great way to ask for more clarity is “Can you help me understand why?”. This is more conversational, respectful, and you’re asking for their help. Not in a way that would lower your frame on the call, but in a way that will get them to engage with you and want to help.

Because people want to feel understood. So when you ask them to help you understand, they’ll be more than happy to oblige.


I’ve sure you’ve heard the classic mantra: “A.B.C. - Always Be Closing”, right?

Well, there’s a new mantra in telephone inbound sales town!

“A.B.L. - Always Be Listening”

Because if you’re not listening, you’ll rarely close deals. Let me share with you why listening is so important, and what it looks like on a sales call.

Listening is critical in inbound telephone sales because the whole idea is to help the prospect with their need(s). So how can you know what they need if you don’t listen to them?

Typical salespeople talk, talk, talk. They talk about their products and services, their features and benefits. They pitch the prospect and then they try and force a sale down their throat.

Instead, try listening more than you talk. Apply the Pareto principle - “Roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes.” In simpler words, 80% of results come from 20% of the work.

You should be talking roughly 20% of the time, and your prospect 80%.

Ask your prospect questions, redirect their queries when appropriate, and listen with intent. You can learn quite a bit about them by talking less and listening more. And that’s how you gain valuable information to help personalize communications with them and help them solve their true needs.

If you find it difficult to talk less, you could have a post-it note reminder at your desk that says “talk less, listen more”.

Get Them to Close Themselves/Get Them to Justify

Dan Lok, founder and CEO of says: “The less you talk, the more you close.”

This is because, as we’ve discussed in the previous telephone inbound sales technique… If you’re not talking, the prospect is the one talking. And if they’re talking, they’re revealing useful information, needs, pain, etc to close the sale.

Dan Lok also says, “When you say something, it means something. When they say something, it means everything.

Everything they say is useful, it’s ammunition for you to close them. But the beautiful thing is, you can get them to close themselves. Why work hard if you don’t have to?

Getting the prospect to talk most of the time allows you to turn them into the salesperson. They’ll convince themselves, they’ll handle their own objections, they’ll seal the deal on their own. How?

  • Get them to gush about your product/service (“What is it you like most about xyz?”)
  • Use reverse psychology (“But this problem isn’t urgent, is it?”“Oh yes, it is! I need a solution now!”)
  • Be unattached to the sale. If you’re ready to walk away, the prospect will often justify why you should let them buy.

Ask Them Why They’re Calling/What They Need

Always, always, always ask them why they’re calling. You can ask it in many different ways, but always be sure to get that information. Their reason for calling is the whole purpose of the call. You won’t be able to make a sale if you can’t give them what they need, so get that information.

And if you don’t ask them, they might not tell you. They might start asking you questions to figure things out on their own. And they'll ask them in a roundabout way (making it difficult for you to pinpoint exactly how to help them).

In his book “Pre-Suasion: A Revolutionary Way to Influence & Persuade”, Dr. Robert Cialdini suggests asking: “Why did you call us today” after building rapport.

Cialdini says that when a prospect declares their purpose on the call, they’ll want to remain consistent with that purpose. So if they tell you that they called to buy, they’ll want to remain consistent with that idea. It’s like a verbal commitment.

“Where Would You Like to Go From Here?”

Don’t ask for the sale, let them give it to you. Typical salespeople will try and close with old school sales techniques like:

  • The Assumptive Close
  • The Puppy Dog Close
  • The Now or Never Close

And there are many, many more.

Granted, these techniques can work on telephone inbound sales calls, but they come at a risk.

You might make a sale, but you risk losing a client.

Prospects these days know all about the old school telephone inbound sales tricks. That’s why, according to a 2016 Hubspot jobs poll, only 3% of the surveyed population trust salespeople. People know how manipulative they can be.

Also, a single closing technique or line won’t work for every single prospect. So you’d need to memorize many different lines. Then, on the call, you’d have to recall which technique to use in which scenario.

It uses up your mental bandwidth and takes you away from the moment. You lose connection with the prospect, and you risk losing the sale.

It’s unnecessary. It’s best to leave it up to them. If you did a proper job on the call, you shouldn’t have to use any techniques at the end to get them to buy.

Simply ask them what they’d like to do, or where they’d like to go from here, and let them make up their own mind.

This increases the chances of them sticking with their decision. It also increases the odds of them referring others down the road because of a positive buying experience.

In Summary

Well there you have it! 10 easy-to-learn telephone inbound sales techniques that you can apply immediately to close more deals. To summarize:

  • Reverse psychology is very powerful, but you must use the right tonality. It’ll allow you to turn the tables on their objections and lies.
  • Do your very best not to sound like a typical salesperson. You’ll turn off your prospects and they won’t want to speak with you or buy from you. You can lose the sale the moment you open your mouth if you get this wrong.
  • Redirect questions to ensure you have a clear understanding of what they really want to know. And remember - you can answer their question partly, and then redirect. This way, the prospect doesn’t feel like you’re dodging their questions.
  • Use words like “let’s suppose” or “let’s pretend” to get rid of smoke and mirrors. This will help you get to the core issue they might not be comfortable sharing with you. (but it’s the important thing to discuss if you want to help them and get the sale!)
  • Tip the scales in your favour by having them imagine certain things. For example, how their life would look like if they bought your product/service. This will trigger their emotions and increase your chances of making a sale. Because people buy based on emotions, then they justify with logic.
  • Always be curious on a telephone inbound sales call. The question “Can you help me understand” is a very powerful yet gentle way of getting them to open up and share more.
  • Always Be Listening! If you’re not listening and you’re thinking about your script or your next question, you’ll miss important information. And you won’t create any rapport with your prospect.
  • Get them to close you on why you should let them buy. Don’t be attached to the sale. Find ways to let them gush about your offer and to let them justify why they want it/need it.
  • Always ask them why they’re calling. This is the basis of the sales call. If you don’t know what they want/why they’re calling, you can’t help them.
  • You don’t need a bunch of ways to ask for the sale. In fact, don’t ask at all! If you’ve properly qualified your prospect and gotten them to a point where they’re begging you to buy, you can just ask them where they’d like to go from here.

Now that you’ve learned these 10 telephone inbound sales techniques, it’s time to go out there and implement! Practice, practice, practice, and you’ll be closing more deals in no time!

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