Developing Good Phone Habits Can Dramatically Increase Sales

he best salespeople look at every telephone call – the ones they make and the ones they receive – as a potential sale. Good phone manners can turn a “no” into a “yes”; bad phone manners can sink a possible sale. Use these six tips to improve your telephone skills and become a better salesperson:

1. Get right to the point – When making outgoing calls, your first sentence should state your purpose. For example, “Hi, John, this is Mike McCann with Global Business Cafe calling briefly today to let you know our next E-lert is going to be on July 2 and I want to interview you for an article.”

2. Smile before you pick up the phone – whether it’s an incoming call or one you’re about to make. You would be surprised how many customers will be able to tell you are smiling, because your smile comes across in your voice. Some salespeople even put a mirror near the phone, to remind them to smile.

3. Enunciate your words – Speak clearly and avoid slang and industry jargon. Never eat, chew gum, or smoke when you are on the phone. Speak directly into the phone: Some experts estimate that you lose 75 percent of your volume when you hold the receiver below your mouth.

4. Never treat customer calls as interruptions – The best salespeople realize that their customers sign their paychecks. No matter how busy they are, every time a customer calls they treat it as an opportunity to solve a problem, build a relationship, and make the customer feel important.

5. Block out everybody but the caller – When you pick up the phone, you need to shut out all the other distractions around you and devote 100 percent of your attention to each caller. If you need to put someone on hold, explain what you are doing, and keep hold time to a minimum. Always thank the person for holding when you return. Don’t interrupt the caller when he or she is talking — even if you already know what he or she is going to say.

6. Have answers ready – Keep track of the most common questions and problems that callers have and keep answers and solutions near at hand. The quicker you can solve their problems, the more they will appreciate you as a resource.

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Phone Sales Considered

Some might condemn phone sales, but I assure you they are by far the smartest form of creating and initiating business transactions. Think of it this way, they are green in that no one is driving around and spewing carbon into the air, creating traffic, or wasting energy. Additionally, if someone isn’t interested they simply explain this and the call ends and it’s noted, saving everyone a lot of time, effort, and money, thus more profit for all parties concerned.

Phone sales are also completely efficient in every regard, and the interactive process of asking questions, giving details, and explaining products and services gets to the essence of basic communication. It is for this reason that phone sales especially business to business make sense all the way around, thus, I am a proponent. Indeed, while running my company we sent out marketing and sales teams to every city we set up a franchise in, some 450 cities we served in all, so that’s a lot of leg work, and the phone was a key element in making that happen for our franchisees.

Now then, there are some challenges with telemarketing and teleselling, just as there is with junk mail and SPAM as well. So, I am not about to defend nonsensical sales practices, in fact, critique them pretty hard when asked about the topic. If you are into sales, you need a constant supply of reading material to keep your mind 100% in the game to win. Perhaps, get a hold of some books or eBooks on the topic, fast-paced books which are quick, simple, and easy to read.

Why? Because a sales person must stay in the flow of techniques and strategies to move the sales process forward. Anyone can gab away on the telephone, but that’s not enough to make you a good phone salesperson. Indeed, being able to hold a conversation, or capture someone’s attention for a long period of time might be great to make new Facebook friends, but when it comes to business and productivity – time is money and wasting your time and the other party’s time – well, that’s just not funny, nor is it a noble cause.

Lastly, you do not need to use super tricky tactics to get someone to buy, nor should you EVER tell a falsehood, rather you should listen to their needs, wants, desires, and determine if you can legitimately solve their problems, if you can explain how, and then kindly ask for the order. Yes, there is more to it than that, but, then again this article is only the beginning of your journey into the wo

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