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.

Phone Etiquette Tips for Telesales

People can make the mistake of thinking that etiquette is something people only do face to face. Not so! Observing etiquette on the phone is very important, especially if you are trying to sell something to the person at the other end of the line. Here is how to ensure the person at the other end of the line doesn’t blow a whistle in your ear!

Ditch the script… make a plan using plain English instead

One mistake telephone sellers can make is to sound rehearsed over the phone. Nothing is more annoying to a listener than to detect that a script is being reeled off and this effect is magnified if the scripted speel in not in a language you speak fluently. The listener at the other end of a scripted sales call immediately feels like they are not important and, regardless of culture, this can send people reaching for their whistle to blow in your ear! If the person you are due to speak to doesn’t speak English well, use simple, unscripted language and avoid complex grammar in sentences.

Speak more slowly

When you communicate over the phone, people don’t have the advantage of seeing your facial expressions, your body language or how you gesture. More than 50% of communication is non-verbal so you should know that communication over the telephone is actually quite a difficult thing to do. Now add in a language and cultural barrier, and the task of communicating over the phone gets even more difficult. When you only have a voice to communicate you have to make the very best of your voice by speaking slowly and clearly. Speaking inaudibly is one of the most basic mistakes that telesales agents can make, and a surefire ways to bore the person at the other end of the phone is to mumble your way through a sales call. Don’t expect someone to ask you to repeat yourself, as you might just find they hang up instead!

Emotions

If you are bored, tired, or in a bad mood, take a break before you make any more calls, because chances are your mood will be infectious over the telephone! If you add in a language or cultural barrier then communication will become frustrating for both listener and caller. You should plan telemarketing phonecalls around your mood, and if you are not in good form, why not take a ten-minute breather? This is sure to rejuvenate you and make your voice more of a pleasure to be heard. What’s more is that it will arm you with the patience needed to communicate over the phone with people who don’t necessarily speak your language fluently.

Smile when speaking

People from all cultures are instinctive creatures and a positive attitude is conveyed very much more loudly than you might think over the phone. Your smile might not be seen but people listening to someone’s voice can easily detect insincerity. So smile when you speak and put your whole heart into the conversation.