using the Telephone
simple tips on using the Telephone when talking with Clients
One of the keys to success in selling is the number of people you
talk with on a daily basis. Of all the ways to reach as many people
as possible, the telephone has proven to be the most time efficient
- an hour or two per day spent prospecting on the phone can put you
in touch with so many more people - more people who either want your
service, or can refer you to someone they know who does.
Nothing is more de-motivating than making a whole lot of phone calls
with no positive results or leads. So why not apply a few sensible
strategies to keep you motivated and focused on using the phone to
interact with people.
1 Start by ringing the people you already know.
Build your confidence by starting with the people who already know
you. Every-one would rather deal with some-one they know so why not
make it easy for those who know you. Ring them and remind them of
the business you are in. If they don't want help right now they may
know some-one who does. Let them know that it's okay to pass a lead
2 Mail something to them first
Having something to talk about is really useful. Use your database
and mail market update, newsletter or product selection before calling
them. A structured and planned prospecting system will provide you
with prescribed mailing dates and follow-up call lists. Work your
way through them on a daily basis.
3 Make it a habit and get a head-set
Get yourself committed to at least 10 a day. Then, gradually increase
to either 20 or 30 per day. Track yourself on a daily tick sheet.
Unless you set a target that increases the number of people you talk
with daily, it's too easy to let slip. Make it a habit. And get a
head-set. These start from around $80 and are a real benefit for those
who need to make notes whilst on the phone. It's just so much easier
to make all your calls hands-free. This avoids any potential risk
of a sore neck when you clamp the phone under your ear.
4 Be prepared to make the calls after-hours.
Many households have no-one home during the day so set time aside
in the evening, say Sunday-through Thursday to call people. Keep going
until you speak to 10 minimum.
5 When you have to leave a message on their answer phone get them
to call back by asking questions.
Begin your message with a question and follow it with a possible benefit
or result that your prospect might be able to get. "Hi Mr Prospect,
this is Ian from Salescoach. My reason for calling you today is to
ask you a question. I have heard there is a property for sale in your
street and was wondering if it was yours. Depending on your answer,
I currently have buyers seeking property in your area who are looking
to pay top dollar and I could up-date your market assessment based
on recent activity."
When you get to speak with them and their answer is no, then ask:
"Well I wonder which one it is? Do you happen to know?"
6 Prepare yourself and don't think out loud.
When you are caught on the hop and searching for what to say, don't
think out loud. Make sure all your comments add to the conversation
and don't attempt to make humour, personal comments, criticism of
competitors etc - comments you might regret later
7 Listen carefully to the tone, volume and pace of their voice
When a prospect lowers their voice, it may be to avoid having some-one
else over hear the conversation. Could this be important or special
information that you need to note. Conversely a raised voice could
be some-one trying to control the conversation or some-one trying
to impress a bystander.
8 Follow-up all prospects
Never be afraid to call all leads back. You need to be always interviewing
people to see if the impression you have of what they want needs modifying.
Your initial qualification may be wrong. Look especially at the clients
who have not bought what they indicated. In real estate that probably
means they need to spend more money or change suburbs.
"Hi Mr Prospect, this is Ian from Salescoach Realty. The reason for
my call to-night is that my vendor has asked me to call all my clients
and just check where their property sits with you. So based on what
you have seen I was wondering where this property sits in your plans
Yes ask questions and modify your impressions of what they are looking
"May I ask a personal question? How long have you been looking? What
was the best you've seen to date? Are you considering buying that?
As so far we haven't found the right home for you, I guess we have
a couple of options. One is to look at increasing our budget or secondly
to consider changing suburbs. Have you thought about which one of
those you'd like to explore first? "
9 Be prepared to ask questions to get rid of Objections
Remember that you need to be prepared for the fact that an unsolicited
prospect will look for the earliest opportunity to end your call.
So go beyond your prepared script and use up-front questions to keep
the conversation going.
"Good evening Mr Prospect. His is Ian from Salescoach Realty. I was
just ringing to say Hi and to see if you received my recent Newsletter.
(Pause) then e.g. I was just wondering what you thought of my comments
on the market? "
10 Don't be afraid to use Trial Closes and Questions that end in
Some of us were brought up on the "Don't use closed questions, use
open Questions" strategy. Well you have to know where you stand and
often its best to find out an objection early. Giving a prospect their
chance to disagree allows them to raise an issue or problem that could
grow and end the conversation early. Not handled at source it may
turn into an objection you can't overcome.
Checking in with your prospects thinking by using Trial Closes leads
your future direction in any conversation.
"Do you see that working for you?"
"Sound good so far?"
"If you had an update in your valuation would that be of value to
"Is there anything else we need to cover before making a final decision?"
"Doesn't it make sense to go in this direction first?"
So don't be afraid of the telephone. We all know how to operate one.
So it's not an operational issue. I guess it's a measure of how committed
you are to your business success and goals. Make a decision to commit
to phoning all prospects - overlook no opportunity or lead in your
search to make a sale.
Make some time each day to sit and go through your diary and follow-up
all those leads you already have. It's always best to mine the ground
under your feet than to continually search for new territory. That's
where the strangers dwell. Go there when you have exhausted all your