Conversational sales is the process of talking to qualified leads on their terms, for example online with a chatbot, a phone call, or using forms on a landing page, whatever.
The focus is to use conversation to provide support, answer your prospective customers’ questions, and move them through the buying process.
Every sales team, every rep, every company needs to be trained in conversational sales (low-pressure ways of converting leads to sales).
Unfortunately, most sales reps tend to forget the human element. Customers expect companies to connect with them, give a damn and offer a solution to their problems. They’re not just new leads for a rep to call and sell benefits.
So whether you’re selling to other businesses—B2B marketing—or you’re selling to consumers—B2C marketing—you won’t see growth if there’s no human impact.
This is why you need to master the art of conversational selling because conversations lead to customers.
But first, you need to know why conversational selling is highly dependent on human-to-human marketing.
Why Human-to-Human Marketing Matters In Conversational Sales
Human-to-human marketing, or simply H2H, is the best thread that unifies both B2B and B2C business models. It’s the understanding that all of us want sales conversations with real people, not automated bots.
Customers want personalized buyer experiences. They want to feel like they matter—not like they’re a nameless, faceless purchaser.
You need to show them you care about their hopes, dreams, struggles, and pain points. And here’s where the challenge lies. You need to figure out how to make conversational selling work. You need answers to these questions:
- How can you get your customers’ attention?
- How can you make them happy?
- How can you touch their lives?
3 Tips To Help You Master Conversational Sales
Here are three conversational selling tips you can use to your advantage.
1. Ask questions.
When meeting someone for the first time, how do you start the conversation? You introduce yourself, ask questions, and naturally build rapport. This is how you get to know someone from your lead list too.
In conversational selling, you need to ask questions to see if your prospects are a good fit for your business. If you’re out of ideas, you can start asking them:
- What they love?
- What makes them happy?
- What they’re feeling—what emotion led them to reach out to you for help
- What are their needs?
- What are their challenges or pain points?
- Where is their business now, and where do they want to be in six months to year? Knowing this gap is vital
- What are their goals?
Asking questions validates a person. And being validated delivers a unique customer experience—something that’s very important for business growth.
2. Be real.
Since this is all about human-to-human marketing, you need to show the human element in your brand. So when you’re selling, tell your story. Share your ups and downs in sales conversations.
This is a great way to bridge the trust gap in the sales process and build authentic relationships with your customers. In H2H marketing, people engage and buy from businesses and brands that genuinely show who they are.
3. Deliver value.
There are a lot of ways to deliver value to your prospects and customers through conversational selling. But the bottom line is, you must be open to helping them without expecting anything in return.
For example, a prospect asks for help on a problem they can’t fix. Someone from your sales team offers free advice, which they implement immediately. Later on, they see fruitful results. This situation can prove that your service is worth investing in. And in the end, they’ll buy from you and hopefully recommend you to others.
For me, this is how you deliver value through conversational selling. Instead of slogging through the doldrums of cold calling, listing your products and services, then waiting until someone bites, target the right people and offer the value they need.
Now you might be wondering, is conversational sales the same as conversational marketing? Well, let’s just say they use a similar methodology.
DO YOU WANT TO GROW YOUR BUSINESS RAPIDLY
What is conversational marketing?
Conversational marketing happens when you personally engage with prospects and customers in real-time through multiple channels. This happens online and in person, and these channels include:
- live chat,
- chatbots on websites,
- email support, and
- messaging apps.
Any form of one-on-one communication, like phone and email, are considered part of conversational marketing.
Today, messaging is the most effective conversational marketing strategy to reach out to prospects and customers online. According to a recent survey from Twilio, 90% of consumers love to use it to communicate with brands and businesses.
So you want to consider using messaging apps like Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, and Viber to reach out to your potential and existing customers.
And even if you’re worried you can’t always reach out to people face-to-face or in real-time, conversational marketing tools like chatbots can really help. You can program them to automatically respond to messages and engage with prospects. Rather than sending an unwelcome form, you can start a conversation with an automated but warm greeting.
What are the benefits of conversational marketing?
When done strategically, conversational marketing can do wonders for your brand. These include:
- Helping you convert more qualified leads faster
- Creating personalized, authentic experiences with prospects and buyers
- Building and fostering relationships with happy customers
How can I be more conversational in sales?
So now I want to talk about sales language. You really want to get this right, because the language you use can make or break your ability to sell.
Think about how you’d engage with a trusted friend. You’re relaxed, easy-going, and the conversation flows naturally. This is how I want you to approach selling. You want to put your prospect at ease. So how can you do this.
Well, let’s start with what NOT to say.
Bad Sales and Marketing Language
It’s unfortunate, but lots of sales trainings teach bad language. These are some common phrases that have been overused by sales teams over the years:
- “Follow up”
- “Next step”
- “Moving forward”
- “Would you be interested?”
- “Would you like to explore?”
I wouldn’t be surprised if you’ve used some of these in a sales conversation before. But I want you to know that this is outdated sales lingo. These phrases immediately trigger an internal alarm in prospects that says, “I’m being sold to”. And they will slowly start backing away from you.
If you want to win customers and build long-lasting relationships with them, don’t use these in conversational selling.
So now that you know what not to say, let’s look at the kind of sales language which works well.
Effective Sales and Marketing Language
Remember, I spoke about keeping your conversations relaxed and positioning yourself as a trusted friend. If you use some of these phrases, you’ll see your sales numbers increase:
- “Tell me a little bit more about that.”
- “How long has that been going on?”
- “Is it a priority to fix it?”
- “Any feedback on our previous conversation/meeting?”
- “That’s not a problem.”
- “You’re absolutely right. It can be perceived as high. No doubt about that.”
- “Where do you think we should go from here?”
As you can see, using these statements in a conversation is not complicated. Most of them are probing questions, and you’ll eventually receive a lot of different responses from qualified leads.
It puts the power back in the hands of your prospect, without causing pressure. By asking probing or leading questions, you’re actually saying to your potential customer, I care. I want to know more about what you’re struggling with.
That creates trust, which is essential to selling.
You can read our list of key sale tips here.
Top Insights into our Team's Conversational Sales Strategy
We asked our lead sales rep to share her best insights when it comes to conversational sales. Here’s what she had to say:
What is the difference between conversational sales and traditional sales?
I liken conversational sales to playing doctor. You get on the call with the patient. You listen to their symptoms. Give them space to talk about their problems, and by the end of the call, you can diagnose a solution.
Traditional sales, on the other hand, is pushy. You’re not allowing the other person to uncover what the real issue is. You’re focused entirely on yourself, and that creates friction which will turn off a lot of prospects.
Why is conversation vital to sales?
Conversations are vital because the more your prospect talks about their problem, the more it creates a sense of urgency within them to get it fixed. It’s almost like they’re convincing themselves that they need to take action and solve their problem.
What improves sales conversion?
Speed, really. The faster you can respond to a hot lead, the greater your chance of closing them. Don’t give them time to reconsider.
What affects sales conversion?
- Time: Are you selling a course, program, or software? If your product requires the prospect to invest the time they don’t have, that will reduce the number of sales you get. It’s really important that you don’t encourage your prospect to purchase if you know they won’t be able to use the product effectively. That will only lead to unhappiness.
- Budget or finances: If you sell a high-ticket item, your market is much smaller than an entry-level product. So you will get many more unqualified leads. I’d still encourage you to speak with them. I use these conversations to improve my sales process. I take note of the phrases and ideas that connect with the prospect.
- Multiple decision-makers: Often, the leads I speak to need to touch base with their partners. It could be a spouse or a business partner. This can make getting the sale more difficult as I need to convince both parties.
Conversational Selling in a Nutshell
Sales and marketing have evolved, and your business should too.
I’m not against classifying business models, but it’s right to say that the era of B2B and B2C marketing has ended. It’s over. You need to stop thinking that you’re either in B2B or B2C. This time, you’re in H2H marketing. And, you need to do what it takes to humanize your brand.
The power of conversational marketing and sales lies in personal and real-time engagement. Conversation is the best way to deliver a world-class customer experience
It branches off in different directions. So whether you want to use messaging apps or chatbots on your website to reach out, what’s important is shortening the buying process, understanding your prospects, and boosting the empathic element of your brand.