I’ve been looking closely at 6 secrets for prospecting success, and we’ve already covered confidence and follow-through.

Now we have arrived at telephone skills!

If you feel you don’t have the telephone skills you should have to be successful in sales prospecting, don’t feel bad.

You’re not alone.

Telephone prospecting skills are the number one thing salespeople say they lack.

For some salespeople it goes beyond skills and is a matter of their own level of confidence.  A short blog entry like this is not going to allow me to share everything, but let me share with you a few quick tips you can use to start getting over the hurdle.

First is knowing what it is you’re going to say.

The most important thing is whatever you do choose to say, make sure it’s you and your personality doing the talking and not a bizarre script you copied out of a book or heard somebody else use.

When you speak using your personality, you’re going to come across much more comfortable and much more believeable.

Second, realize your goal is to develop a relationship and earn the right to be able to talk with the person again.   Thinking in this manner helps reduce the pressure and the resulting fear that comes when making a prospecting call.

Third, don’t cop out and feel you don’t need to make calls and you can rely on email.  Yes, email can be a useful prospecting tool, but relying on email is like making a sandwich with only bread.  A sandwich is only a sandwich when you have meat, peanut butter, or something else on it.

Same thing in prospecting. To be successful, it takes both email and the telephone.

Fourth, use voicemail appropriately.

Voicemail is not the place to ramble about how good you are and all of the virtues you might be known for.  Voicemail messages should be short, tight and no more than 14 seconds in length.  This means you must have a plan and be confident in leaving the voicemail.

Here is a post that talks more in-depth about leaving a good voicemail message.

Fifth, have a mirror by your phone.  Yes, I said a mirror.  You might think this is stupid, but it can and will make a huge difference.  With a mirror you can see yourself, which allows you to see your facial expressions and body language.   Both of these are important when talking on the phone. They come through in your tone and confidence.

Sixth, make the call. Don’t doubt yourself and don’t make up excuses — just do it.   Get in the habit of making prospecting calls. The more you make, the more you’ll find your confidence growing.

If need be, make your first call to your own voicemail.   Leaving yourself a voicemail to start the day can be an excellent way to start ramping up.

If you’re still hesitant, then make your second call to an existing customer who you know will be interested in talking with you.   Again, this can be a way to gear up in much the same way a football team will go through a series of warm-up drills and plays prior to actually starting a game.

Whatever you do, don’t rule out the importance of telephone skills in the prospecting process. Your success is at stake.

Copyright 2012, Mark Hunter “The Sales Hunter.” Sales Motivation Blog.






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