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Tips for Using the Phone in Sales

Here are a few of the tips and tricks I've picked up in making calls to business executives:

1. Give Value

Firmly believe that YOU have value and that others will benefit from a dialogue with you. Good conversation includes a genuine interest in a prospect's problem. That is, expressing your desire to learn more about their business, sharing a story and hundreds of other value giving actions. Tip: write down what prospects gain by talking to you and practice communicating this.

2. Be BOLD

You are on the front lines doing hard work that most people can't handle. Be proud of the noble work you do. Prospects respond to confidence. People respond to confidence. If you don't sound enthusiastic about your product or service, why would your prospect be eager to hear about it?

3. Be prepared. Have a counter for every objection.

"I don't accept cold calls" --> "Well I guess today is my lucky day"

"I'm not going to change my bank/CPA" --> "It's always good to have another banker/CPA in your back pocket"

"This is a bad time" --> "How's Thursday at 10am sound? It won't take long"

4. Ask Discovery Questions

Many callers go wrong by asking Yes/No questions. This line of questioning does not allow for a dialogue where you can truly uncover the needs of the business. Instead of asking "has your company been profitable in the last few years?", try "how has the company been doing lately? Were you impacted at all by Covid?". By asking a broader question, you can get more information.

5. Get personal

I recently came across a prospect who was cold and generally not interested in speaking. I could tell that if we kept talking business, I wasn't going to get anywhere. I noticed that the prospect had a delightful English accent so I complimented him on it and asked what part of England he was from. I shared that I traveled to England (pre-Covid) and it turns out we support the same football (soccer) team.

After making a connection, the prospect opened up and was much more forthcoming about his business and I was able to set an appointment on behalf of my client. I discovered that the prospect's banker was planning to retire in the next few months and he hadn't done much relationship building yet. So a meeting turned out to be mutually beneficial.

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