By Mark Hunter
It’s time to crank out a new list of phone sales skills tips.
It’s been a few years since I’ve shared with you phone tips you can use right now.
1. Your tone of voice matters more than you think. If your tone of voice is flat and lacks any sense of enthusiasm, how do you expect the other person to ever show interest in your call?
2. Use the person’s name. People always love to hear their name, so use it. In a typical telephone call, I want to use the other person’s name (almost universally that means the person’s first name) three times.
3. Unless there is no other way, avoid negotiating anything over the telephone. Since you can’t see them, you don’t have the advantage of using body language as a tool to help you negotiate.
4. If you do have to negotiate over the telephone, use pauses and your tone of voice in the same manner as you would in a face-to-face negotiation. Don’t allow yourself to be sucked into a quick negotiation just because you’re on the telephone.
5. Show the same level of respect to the gatekeeper or other any other person who answers the phone as you would show to the person you’re looking to talk to.4. If you do have to negotiate over the telephone, use pauses and your tone of voice in the same manner as you would in a face-to-face negotiation. Don’t allow yourself to be sucked into a quick negotiation just because you’re on the telephone.
6. Use descriptive words that paint a picture when you’re talking.Remember, the other person can’t see you, so it means the picture you paint has to come with the words you say and how you say it.
7. Always have the person’s name and the name of their company on a piece of paper in front of you as you call. The last thing you want to do is to accidently forget who you’re calling just as they answer.
8. Limit the background noise. Some background noise if fine, but the last thing you want the other person to hear when you’re calling is loud music or the sound of informal activities going on in the background.
9. If the phone call is important, stand up when you make it. It’s amazing how much energy and focus you’ll have if you stand to make an important phone call.
10. Never be the first person to hang-up the telephone. Always allow the other person to disconnect first. You never know when the other person might just share with you one more important piece of information.
11. Be quiet when the other person disconnects. Many times a person will think they have ended the call when they have not actually disconnected. You might just surprise yourself with what you hear from the other end.
12. Don’t be distracted by email or other items popping up on your computer while you’re making a call. Be focused. Because you can’t see them, it’s easy to become distracted with your eyes. Allowing yourself to become distracted may easily cause you to miss a key point.
13. Reaffirm everything. Again, because you’re only communicating with your voice means you must very reaffirm everything.
14. Use open-ended questions as a way to build the dialogue. Just because you’re talking with someone on the telephone does not mean you can’t use open-ended questions.
15. Don’t make an important telephone call from a telephone that is not stable, whether that be a cell phone with spotty coverage or a weak handset. Quality counts and it represents you.
16. Always answer the telephone with both enthusiasm and at a pace (words per minute) that allows the other party to know exactly who it is they’re talking to. Too many times people who answer many phone calls each day get into a habit of answering quickly, resulting in their words slurring together, making it hard for the other party to hear who they’re talking to.
17. Keep a mirror on your desk to allow you to see yourself talking. It’s amazing how much energy you’ll put into a phone call when you can see yourself.
18. Talk with your hands, as it allows you to convey more energy in your voice. Use a high-quality headset to allow you to talk with your hands.