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Pick Up the Phone – Make the Sales Call

Last updated October 15, 2015

Why is this one of the hardest things to do in business? When did we all become so frightened of making a phone call? In truth, it became real scary when we started calling it a ‘sales call’. But it’s just a phone call all the same.

We’ve become very good at avoiding the task too; we’ve built up this myth about sales calls that makes it even harder to pick up the phone…

  • I’ll do it later
  • It’s a bad time to call on a Monday or Friday
  • They won’t be there anyway
  • They don’t want to talk to me
  • I’ll send an email instead
  • I have this other thing to do right now…

We’ve all said something like that before – I have. It’s so easy to hide behind emails but it’s just as easy to make the email the reason to call the customer. The problem is that our fear takes over. But fear of what – usually it’s rejection. But why do we take it so personally? We’re selling a product or service that a customer might or might not need, want or desire.

So, how do we make it easier to pick up the phone? In my book there are 2 rules: first prepare and secondly keep practising. Remember the poorly executed phone call is still way more effective than the phone call that never happens!

Here are 11 tips to help you

  1. Put yourself in your client’s shoes – what is in it for them, why should they take your call?
  2. Have a reason to call.
  3. Plan the call but be flexible to the receiver’s reactions.
  4. Ask a question.
  5. LISTEN to the answer.
  6. Don’t sell to them, learn what they need through the questions you ask and the answers they give.
  7. Look for problems that they articulate that you can solve for them – this should be a continuing focus – solving their problems or, depending on your offer, satisfying their desire.
  8. Don’t worry, practice – but not on your best prospects first. Try role plays or call your least valuable clients first.
  9. Always ‘book’ the next contact when talking to your client or prospect.
  10. Don’t sit, walk or stand up. Smile too, it’s amazing how a smile is transferred in your voice.
  11. Cut the interference – turn off the radio, your mobile (unless using it), remove distractions and give the person your undivided attention – make them the most important thing in the world for that moment.

Time to pick up the phone and start talking. Reflect on the call afterwards and refine your approach each time, so that it becomes more valuable to the receiver and you start to achieve your goals. Every call you make will help your confidence and soon you wonder what all the fuss was about.

Shirley Mansfield
Master Business Problem Solver

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