The phone is still the best prospecting tool out there.
If sales is about helping people see and achieve what they didn’t think was possible, the first step is a conversation. That conversation will more than likely be most effective over the phone.
These are phone tips you can use right now.
1. Tone of voice
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 their 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. No negotiating
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. Simulate face-to-face interaction
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 phone.
5. Be respectful
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.
6. Use descriptive words
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. Have notes nearby
Always have the person’s name and the name of their company on a piece of paper in front of you as you call. Last thing you want to do is to accidentally forget who you’re calling just as they answer.
Read more for Phone Prospecting Shortcuts
8. Limit the background noise.
Some background noise if fine, but the last thing you want the other person to hear is loud music or the sound of informal activities going on in the background.
9. Get on your feet
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. No, you hang up first!
Never be the first person to hang-up the phone. 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. Utilize silence
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. Limit distractions
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.
Since you’re only communicating with your voice means you must very reaffirm everything.
Read these 10 Phone Prospecting Mistakes to Avoid
14. Use open-ended questions
This is a great 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. Avoid tech difficulties
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 headset.
Quality counts and it represents you.
16. Slow it down
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. Use a mirror
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
This allows you to convey more energy in your voice. Use a high-quality headset to allow you to talk with your hands.
The Sales Hunter University is a great place for on-demand sales training. Looking to build up your prospecting skills?
Check out my Phone Prospecting Masterclass. We’ll dive in with 14 coaching videos and a 33-page workbook including phone and voicemail scripts. I cover overcoming call reluctance, dealing with gatekeepers, creating the next step, and much more! Enroll now here.