Put yourself in one of your customer’s shoes — just for a minute. Your phone starts buzzing in your pocket, but the phone number shows as “scam likely.” You’re apprehensive, but you answer the call. The rest goes something like this…

  • The person on the other end of the call seems friendly.
  • They want to sell you the service you need.
  • They come across as genuine.

Still, there’s something that bothers you — something at the back of your mind. Could this be a hoax?

Legitimate Businesses Are Being Marked as Scams

Unfortunately, this scenario plays out every day, and it’s making life difficult for qualified sales agents like yours to build a genuine rapport with clients. The problem is, phone carriers are marking legit calls as “spam” — when they’re not. It could happen to you. It probably is right now.

How confident are you that phone carriers aren’t flagging your calls as “scam likely”? More importantly, why aren’t you doing anything about it?

Why Your Calls Are Marked As Spam

Here’s the deal: Almost half of all cellphone calls will be scams by the end of 2019, according to one report. That’s one in every two calls — an astonishing number.

It’s easy to see why phone carriers are using strict measures to filter fraudulent calls, then. The Federal Communications Commission is on their back. Consumers are on their back. However, legitimate companies like yours are caught up in the crossfire.

All It Takes Is One Mistake

A customer might not have recognized your caller ID after missing a call and added the phone number to an app or database somewhere. Phone carriers use this information and mark your caller ID as “scam likely.”

It’s as simple as that. One mistake that’s caused you to lose sales.

It Can Ruin Your Reputation

So many good companies have run into this problem, but most of them don’t do anything about it. Customers aren’t picking up calls from agents, and it’s having a significant impact on companies like yours.

Then there’s another problem. The agents that do get through to customers have trouble creating a rapport. They can’t connect with consumers.

It’s hard to convince someone you’re not a fraudster, right?

It doesn’t matter if you have the best, most charming, friendly sales agents in the world; it’s challenging to build rapport when calls come through as “scam likely.” After all, people are skeptical at the best of times.

How To Stop “Scam Likely” From Showing

Although all of the above sounds like a huge problem, there is a way to get around this. You need to keep track of your phone number reputation. This check isn’t a one-time fix, in any case. You need to continually monitor your numbers and make sure they aren’t on some blacklist somewhere. This way, your agents can get through to clients and move them through your sales funnels.

Caller ID Reputation’s service lets you track your phone numbers and see whether carriers have flagged or blocked your calls. We check your numbers against spam and robocall blocking apps, as well as the FTC “spam list.”

Building Rapport With Customers and Clients

Perhaps your calls aren’t being flagged as spam (though you should always check regularly). Maybe your sales staff aren’t up to scratch. Here are some rapport-building tips that you can teach your team, so they generate additional sales.

Mike Schultz, President of RAIN Group, has identified seven ways to increase rapport in sales. He recommends that sales agents give genuine compliments, not empty platitudes. This care will help to build meaningful business relationships.

“If your prospect had a recent accomplishment, relay your authentic congratulations,” Schultz says. “They’ll appreciate it, and this will go a long way towards building rapport.”

Oh, and agents should just be themselves. There’s no point in them putting on an act — prospects can see right through that.

You can read Schultz’ full list of tips here.

Here’s another list you need to check out. Contact center software company Ameyo recently showcased six rapport-building tips that could boost sales in your organization. They emphasize the importance of starting any sales call in the right way — it will set the tone for the rest of the conversation:

“The easiest method to do so is to start the conversation with a ‘warm-up,'” says Ameyo. “A simple question like ‘how are you today?’ or ‘how is your day so far?’ can break the ice. Most customers will tend to reply in a friendly manner.”

Sales agents need to be excellent listeners, too. Customers like it when people listen to their pain points and concerns, and this can instantly create a bond over the phone.

Takeaway

If your sales agents are struggling to connect with clients, it could be a problem with rapport-building. Tell them about the tips above, and you could send sales into the stratosphere. Of course, none of this will matter if agents can’t get through to prospects in the first place. In this instance, use a service like Caller ID Reputation to monitor your phone numbers and discover whether carriers are blocking them.

Check out one of our industry pages to see how Caller ID Reputation helps businesses like yours.