After years of coaching sales and business people in a wide variety of industries, there is one thing that stands out as an important differentiating factor between those that have average success and those that consistently soar. It is not enough to go on appointments, send out fancy packets and pass your card around. You have to be willing to become masterful at using the phone. Phone mastery is an important business skill like any other. No matter how good you already are you can always improve. Review these “quick tips" for making every call count and next time you make some calls you will be more successful.
Psyche Yourself Up
Do not simply locate the masterful the number and begin to dial. Visualize the result you want before each call. See the person picking up the phone, saying how glad they are to hear from you.
Preplan Your Points to Make
You do not n need to script every word you want to say. If you do you will sound like those telemarketers that call you during dinner. Instead, jot down key words that remind you of the points you want to make. Keep your desired outcome from the call in mind.
Smile. Some phone experts suggest putting a mirror in front of you so you can see yourself smiling. If you are listening to someone on the phone, you can always tell if they are smiling, they sound different, better, more inviting.
Ask for Agreement to Talk
Most people hate to be called by someone who starts a spiel as soon as the phone is picked up. Once you reach your party, state your name, why you are calling, and ask if they have a minute to talk. If they say no, ask when would be a good time to call back. Make sure you call back at that time. If you do, they will gladly give you their attention.
Read The Level of Rapport
You want to build rapport with the person you are speaking to. Some people play “Relationship Geography" asking people questions to try and find a person they know in common. This is fine if the person is friendly, interested and has time to spare. Other people find this intrusive and frustrating. You have to be able to gauge the level of warmth, interest and enthusiasm of the person and match that level, plus just a bit more. If they seem stoic, be a bit warmer than stoic. If they are enthusiastic be a bit more enthusiastic.
In order to hold the attention of the listener and keep them engaged, speak in short sentences. Do not use a marketing monologue.
Be Benefit Focused
What ever you say it has to matter to your potential customer and it has to be of benefit to him/her. Think client-centered rather than self - centered.
Open Ended Questions
Ask questions to help you identify how to better serve each potential customer. Avoid yes/no questions ask open-ended questions that require an explanation for an answer. For example instead of asking how long have you been using product X, ask what has been the most valuable benefit of using product X.
Ask Questions that Identify Challenges
Your job is to solve the client’s challenges, make the client's life easier, or make their business more profitable. Ask what are the biggest problems they are facing in their business, and figure out how to address those challenges. If you can do that, you will have many loyal customers.
Ask for What You Want
Do not hang up the phone before you asking for what you want. Even if you think you will not get it, ask anyway. You may be pleasantly surprised with the answer. If you do this consistently and you are making enough calls, eventually you will be successful.
Use An Accent to Your Advantage
If you have an accent and have mastered the other tips discussed here, use your accent to your advantage. People with accents sound appealing, and people like to listen to them. If they ask you about your accent, use it as an opportunity to ask them about themselves and build rapport.
Call When You Said You Would
Make sure you call exactly when you said you would. Even though your potential client may not remember when you said you would call back, by doing so, you create urgency and trust.
If you have agreed to send out information or fax over a registration form do it immediately. This also creates urgency, if you are urgent the potential client may also respond urgently allowing you to get your goal sooner.
Track Your Calls
Set a goal for yourself every week and decide how many calls you are going to make. Estimate how long it will take you to make that many calls and block the time on your schedule. Act as if it was an appointment with a client, the call time you set aside to develop new clients must be viewed as very important.
Pick Up The Receiver
The more you do call the easier it gets. The more you do call the better you get. The better you get the better the results. The only way to get masterful at using the phone is to use the phone and apply these tips to make every call count.
Caterina Rando, MA, MCC coaches entrepreneurs and direct sellers to be innovative in their thinking and action in order to succeed with ease. She is a sought after speaker, master certified coach and author of the national best-seller Learn to Power Think. Caterina is also the Success Center Director for the Direct Selling Women’s Alliance and contributing author to the soon to be released book Build it Big-101 Secrets of Top Direct Selling Experts. Caterina can be reached by email at www.caterinar.com for more articles and a beautiful, colorful downloadable daily inspiration card.