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5 Tips to Being More Effective Over the Phone

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  • Hummy's

    1Banish fear or hesitation from your voice. 2Do you sound natural or robotic? 3Let go; it's a conversation, not an interrogation.
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Sales Techniques

Step up and be heard/Empty stage before concert Photo Credit: melis

When a telephone sales call goes wrong, it is painful for everyone involved. All too often, the salesperson unwittingly gets in his or her own way due to the stress involved. Here’s a little advice to make the experience smoother and avoid the common missteps that lead to a telephonic downward spiral.

Sales training expert Andy Preston shares these 5 tips in his article in Business Matters Magazine.

1. Be Confident

Just like bears can smell fear, clients can sense it in your voice. Preston says that a weak, unsure or faltering voice creates distrust in you and your product.

Sometimes the lack of confidence in your voice is just based on your own lack of composure, but other times there truly is something lacking in your understanding of your product. Get clear on exactly what you are selling. Then you’ll come across stronger.

2. Be Natural

It only takes the first few words out of someone’s mouth to detect how genuine he or she is being in that moment. Many salespeople adopt a vocal tone that is recognizably “false.”

One of the reasons for this is discomfort, stemming from a lack of deeper comprehension of their product or service. It’s not enough to memorize a script that covers all the points if you can’t rephrase it in various ways, and apply it to different types of situations.

Take the time to really think through the purpose of each point on the script, and once you truly know it inside and out, your vocal inflections and timing will reflect that comprehension. You’ll also be more comfortable fielding questions and having a genuine interaction instead of delivering an awkward robotic message.

3. Listen More

Part of proving that you’re real and not a robot is exhibiting the ability to listen and respond accordingly. “True listening involves things like ‘verbal nods’ like ‘uh-huh’, and ‘I see’, paraphrasing back what someone has just said to you and asking further questions about a piece of information the customer has just given to you,” Preston explains.

It’s just common sense and good social etiquette—show an interest in the person you’re speaking with and put that person at the center of the conversation.

4. Don’t Assume

Strangely, some telephone salespeople get ahead of themselves and anticipate what the potential customer is about to say. The author mentions that this should be universally understood as inappropriate, but because it is so prevalent on calls he has observed, it must be addressed.

Don’t try to finish the customer’s sentences. Oftentimes when we think we know what a stranger is about to say, it is incorrect. Even if by chance you are correct and your interruption helps them complete their thought, the act of doing so shows impatience and presumptuousness—a turnoff.

5. Make It Interesting!

Guard against the inevitable tendency of your pitch to grow stale. After repeating your script for the 70th time in a day, Preston says, it is understandable you might get a little bored with it.

Just be aware that your enthusiasm should be as great as it was when you delivered it the first time—it’s only fair considering that the person on the other end of the line is hearing it for the first time.

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