1. "Calling from Headquarters. . . ."
Mary Armentrout with AT&T Paradyne finds this technique carries a heavier impact on opening statements:
"Hello, this is Mary Armentrout with AT&T Paradyne corporate headquarters. The reason for the call is . . . "
By mentioning the corporate headquarters, she finds that customers and prospects view the call with more credibility and importance.
2. Use a Pro for Screener Training
Judy Erickson, the AT&T Paradyne telesales manager, provided a great idea for becoming more skilled at working with screeners. When training on how to most efficiently and effectively get to the decision maker, invite an actual screener from some part of the organization to sit in on the training, and to work with you on the role plays. This person will help reps better understand the
function of the screener, plus provide a real-life perspective in call simulations.
3. Ask for the Name of the Person
One more point on locating decision makers is that you should always ask for ". . . the name of the person who makes the decisions regarding . . . ", instead of saying, "I'd like to speak with the
person who . . .". The reasoning is that if the switchboard operator puts your call directly through in response to the latter request, you won't know who you're speaking with.
4. Leave Both Numbers
Along with your message, leave your toll number and 800 number, if you have one. Sometimes people will use your regular line and pay for the call themselves, even if they have the choice of using the 800 line. And if the 800 number is busy and their call is urgent, they will be able to reach you.
5. Use Verbal "Nods"
When listening to your prospect/customer, be sure to use verbal "nods" to let them know you are listening, and to encourage them to continue speaking. Examples are, "Uh-huh," "I see," "Hmmm, interesting," "Go on," and so on. Rick Hollman of Accounting Temporary Services finds that a strategically placed "Really!" gets the person to turn on the information flow.