10 Tips for Telephone Success

The telephone is an often under-appreciated and much maligned piece of office equipment. Have you stopped to consider how much business you conduct over the telephone? These 10 tips will help you improve your telephone presence and presentations.

1. You are the “Manager of First Impressions” for your business. Whenever you pick up the telephone, put a smile on your face first. It will enhance your vocal quality and you will sound pleasant and relaxed.

2. Listen attentively to the person you are speaking with. Recall why your dog is such a good listener: listen actively and in the moment. Multi-tasking is the enemy of effective listening.

3. Let other people talk! Make sure your caller has completely finished speaking before responding. Remember: sometimes they aren’t done talking; they are just coming up for air.

4. Use open-ended questions to get people to speak more freely. You should always talk less than the person you have called. It makes others feel more comfortable, particularly if you are asking them to make a decision. The more they talk, the easier it is for them to “buy into” what you are proposing.

5. To create affinity with your callers, speed up or slow down your speaking voice to better match theirs. They won’t realize why they feel comfortable, they just will.

6. Use your words for best results. Keep in mind you can phrase anything positively, negatively or neutrally. Phrasing your words positively will help you get better results more easily.

7. Voice mail can be your friend. Avoid leaving voice mail messages but if you must, think of it as a 30 second commercial on a highly rated radio program. You have the opportunity to get your message into the “ears” of your most desired audience. Your message should reflect this.

8. Plan your telephone presentations in advance. Think out all the various scenarios you might be faced with and write it out. This is called pre-call planning.

9. Tape yourself for self-improvement. Listen to yourself carefully and decide what areas you want to improve.

10. Make an action plan. Focus on only one area at a time. When you feel comfortable, move to your next area and repeat.

We use the telephone as our primary form of personal communication. People who are good with this medium increase their opportunities for success.

10 Tips to Help You Build a Cold Calling Telesales Team

Building a cold calling sales team is a lot easier than you may think. However, it can be very costly and incredibly frustrating if you do not follow certain guidelines.

1. You must have a semi-relevant list of contacts for you telesales team to call. It is pointless saving money on cheap leads or data which are outside your target audience when you will lose a far greater amount of money through wasted man power, phone bills and eventually recruitment fees from the loss of unhappy staff.

2. If possible, headsets are far better than handsets for any team that will be on the phone for more than a few hours each day. This avoids the phone being held between the shoulder and the chin and keeps the voice clear at all times.

3. A basic CRM system is massively beneficial in order to track the sales conversion rate. CRM stands for Client Relationship Management, and it is a piece of software that will manage the leads that you distribute to your telesales team. These can be expensive, but if you are buying quality data, then they do pay for themselves as less leads are likely to be wasted.

4. You must have a training programme in place. I have seen so many companies not worry too much about training their telesales staff because they look upon the role as elementary or straight forward. Because of this they ignore ongoing training or just implement a brief induction course.

5. Always have at least one sales meeting a week, preferably every morning or before the cold calling session begins. Cold calling is a mind numbly dull job and a meeting before each session gives your staff a chance to air issues and concerns. These meetings also build a team bond.

6. Have a team leader in place to take charge and make sure that you are getting the most out of your team. If you cannot justify paying an additional salary, then just the kudos of becoming a team leader will sometimes be enough to get a half decent team leader on your side.

7. A proven telesales script is essential in order to maximise you staffs input. The script must have at least have the following 3 point structure.

8. Introduction: The introduction must tell the client who your representative is, why your representative is calling, and most importantly why is in it for the client. i.e why the client should give your representative some of their valuable time.

9. Fact Find: You will need to ask some pertinent questions in order to ascertain whether this suspect has the correct qualities or desires in order to become a prospect.

10. Close: The end of the call must lead into or at least create an opportunity for a follow up call from your sales team. This follow up must be welcomed by the prospect. With this in mind it is essential that the fact find section of your telesales cold call pitch is executed successfully.

I hope these help you on your way to build a cold calling team.

Why Shouldn’t You Yell At Telemarketers Calling On Your Business?

As a former business owner, I can remember times when I was so busy, and had so much going on that I didn’t want to talk to salespeople, and I would often ask them how they got my personal phone number to my cell phone. It made me angry that they were disrupting me in the middle of the day. Sometimes I would just yell at them, tell them to put me on their “do not call list” as if that really mattered, because it doesn’t apply to businesses, and then hang up. Later, after talking to a business consultant I realized the error of my ways, and how I was missing out on industry information and competitive intelligence. Let me explain.

You see, you shouldn’t hang up on telemarketers calling your business selling a specific item that are typically bought by businesses in your sector. Rather what you should do is quiz the telemarketer who is wasting your time on the types of items and price points and categories of goods and services that your competitors are currently buying from the telemarketer’s company. You see the telemarketer will be anxious to give you information because he will believe that if he gives you information he will develop rapport with you, and that could help clinch the sale. He also knows if he dodges your question or fails to answer it, that you won’t trust him, therefore you won’t buy anything anyway.

Basically you have someone calling you on the phone ready to give you free information, but if you yell at them, they’re never going to give you anything. In fact they might not put you on the “do not call list” at all, they may actually duplicate your number on the list many times, so you are completely harassed weekly by the same company, but perhaps by different telemarketers. Often telemarketers are quite competitive within their own organization, and the like to pull a fast one over on their coworkers, so they can win the sales contest for the week.

Now then, after learning all this, and trying this strategy, I was amazed at how good it worked. The consultant was right, and although he wasn’t very good at consulting on most of the business issues, he was dead-on on this point. I was amazed at how much intelligence gathering I could get from a simple phone call from a potential vendor that I might never buy anything from in the first place. And I felt a lot better getting free information from someone wasting my time, than yelling at them and hanging up. For me it was a win-win situation. Indeed I hope you will please consider all this and think on it.