Tips to use telephone as an effective sales communication tool

By mmminternational

The following article is an extract from one of my books written solely for the purpose of education. I hope it is of great use to you.

We never stop learning how to improve our selling skills. Virtually everybody in sales today sells over the phone at least part of the time. Perhaps it is time for you to evaluate how you use the telephone and where it fits into your sales and marketing mix. The telephone can supplement, enhance, and sometimes replace other means of marketing and selling. This personal approach can dramatically increase your sales success. You want to hone your communication skills, your ability to persuade, and your ability to personalize each sales call to the person and to each situation.

Learning objectives for this workshop:
. Learn how to warm up your sales approach to reduce your fear of cold-calling.
. Choose the right environment for telephone selling.
. Identify ways to make a positive first impression.
. Identify strategies that help you speak to the decision-maker.
. Learn what to say to create interest, handle objections, and close the sale.
. Generate more leads and repeat business by using the telephone more effectively.
. Enhance communication skills, from first impression to closing the sale.

How many sales calls do you make each day? What you are looking for is an indication that the participants are indeed making sales calls. If they aren’t, are they thinking about beginning to make sales calls?

What time of day do you make them? Look for some early morning calls and
some late in the day calls to gather information for the next day’s calls. Look for patterns as well. If a participant is not setting aside a specific time to do sales calls, this is another area to be addressed—having a plan for making sales calls.

What is your greatest obstacle when it comes to making sales calls by telephone?

This is harder to prepare for. However, one thing they will almost always feel is holding them back is voice mail and an inability to reach a decision-maker.
Another may be the time factor—no time to do it. . How do you think you will overcome that obstacle? This will segue nicely into “change your skills and you change your income.”


Is a fact about your product/service (size, shape, color, etc). . Example: Because our loans are life insured.

Describes what the feature does; a performance characteristic. Example: Your loan will automatically be paid off in the event of your death.

Answers the question, “What’s in it for me?” and shows personalized value.
Example: Which, as you know, will lessen the financial burden on your family at a time when they do not need any additional stress or worry.

Millions of people have taken their inspiration to achieve success from the words of Earl Nightingale. Known as the Dean of Personal Development, Earl Nightingale was heard for over three decades on over 1000 radio stations across the United States, Canada, and 10 foreign countries, making him one of the most listened to broadcasters in history. The unique thing about Earl's broadcasts and his recordings is that each one is a call to action.

People don't just listen to Earl; they take notes, they replay his messages over and over, and they use his advice to make real changes in their lives. No motivational speaker has delivered the goods like Earl Nightingale. He is everyone's mentor and his words can be your inspiration for achieving success.

(More info: In 1956, newspapers carried the story of Earl Nightingale, who "retired at 35" after multiple successes in radio, television, and life insurance. He had brought his agency from last to sixth place among the several hundred in his company. As cofounder of Nightingale-Conant, he went on to author numerous audio and video programs, many relating to the insurance field. Earl Nightingale received the Napoleon Hill Gold Medal Award for Literary Excellence, the Golden Gavel award from Toastmasters International, and was inducted into the International Speakers Hall of Fame and the Radio Hall of Fame.) And it was Earl Nightingale who said it first: “Change your skills and you change your income.” Maybe you don’t think that is anything to get excited about…but I do. It says we don’t have to stay the way we are. If we want to, we can change. We can develop new skills. And when we do, our life opens up in new ways. We can earn more money. We can do more interesting things with our lives.

Comfort is fine, but challenge is better. The challenge of learning new skills makes us develop in other ways as well. There is nothing as satisfying as knowing we are shaping our own life.

I’d suggest we should take this simple statement and perhaps tattoo it on the palm of our hand—or less drastic, write it down and put it in a place where we will see it every day. We want it to become part of our subconscious mind. It’s that important!!! When we change our skills we change our income.

When we talk about the competition, we usually mean the other companies that are selling the same types of products or services as we are. However, our competition isn’t really another firm. The competition is our own willingness to accept the status quo!

Let’s assume you have a perfectly fine pair of black leather driving gloves. For Christmas, someone gives you a second set of black gloves. You may think to yourself.

“These gloves are very nice. However, I’m quite comfortable with the gloves I have now.” And you put the new gloves away in a drawer and forget about them. However, what if someone learned that you had just bought a new winter jacket with a brown suede collar, and they gave you a new pair of gloves that matched that suede collar perfectly. You MIGHT be tempted to switch to the new gloves, especially if they were a good fit.

At the very least you will be apt to remember them. You might even give them a try some day. You now have a reason to change the status quo: to change from the black gloves you are comfortable with to the new gloves that go so well with your coat.

This is what you want to help your potential clients do—have a reason to consider changing the status quo. How do you see your customers changing the status quo? By trying your products or services. Whether this means switching from the current supplier to your company, or whether it is using this type of product or service for the first time, you are looking for some way to change the path they are now pursuing.

Now it is important to note that you won’t try to do all this in a telephone call, certainly not in your first telephone call. All you want to do, all you can do, is try for a face to face appointment. At that time, meeting face to face, you can use your whole bag of tricks— your ability to ask questions,your knowledge of their company, your demonstrations, your knowledge of your products, your ability to see the benefits of your products/services for them.

And then of course, there is your own status quo. If you are quite comfortable with your sales and marketing efforts at the moment, there will be very little incentive to change those efforts and to try something new, such as using the telephone more effectively to increase your sales. What can you do to increase your status quo? Answers will likely be more varied here. Ultimately though, they must want to use the telephone more effectively to make appointments. That is the aim of this workshop.

Telephone sales can work for you. However, there are some things you must be prepared to do in order to make your efforts successful.

You must develop a script for your telephone calls, so you don’t waste time or go off on tangents you hadn’t planned.

You must develop a list of prospective clients, people who can make decisions about using your products or services.

You must be prepared to devote four full weeks to telephone sales before you can determine whether this approach will work for you or not.

How do we get other people to trust us, particularly if they’ve not had an opportunity to meet us face to face? This is less about telephone sales in particular as sales in general. We buy from people we trust.

Responses might include:
. We talk to them with respect.
. We share information with them.
. Trust and respect are key elements in any good relationship.
. Trust is expressed by a willingness to share ideas and feelings.
. Respect is demonstrated by a willingness to listen to the ideas and feelings of others.
. Without trust and respect, human relations break down.
. Both trust and respect are reciprocal. That is, you earn respect and trust when you are willing to respect and trust others.