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10 Tips To Sell More By Phone, Part 1
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By Telephone Selling Report

1. Find Out What They Want

"Send me some literature" can be a legitimate request, or a stall to get rid of you. Try this response: "I will. What specifically would you like to see?" This can be a major door-opener, will help determine if the person is sincere, and give you an idea of their interest level. If they can't describe what they're looking for, it's apparent they don't have a desire to see anything. If they mention specifics, you might be able to answer their requests by phone. Either way, you have a better idea of where you stand with them.

2. The "We'd Love To" Technique

Just when you think you have a sale, have you heard requests that you knew you weren't able to grant? Your response can make or break the deal. A good technique is the "We'd love to." When the prospect says at the last minute, "...and of course we get free delivery on that, right?" you could respond with, "We'd love to do that for you, especially on the first order. We're simply passing along our shipping cost, and that allows us to give you the low price you're getting." That has a much softer and sales-saving impact than a negative response like, "No, we can't give free shipping."

3. Get Their Price First

When you attempt to win someone's business from another vendor, always try to get the price they're presently paying before disclosing yours for the following reasons:

* If you're higher, they may disqualify you before you have a chance to justify the price.
* If you're close to their present price, they may decide it's not worth spending any more time with you.
* Some people will say your price is higher, even if it's not, in an attempt to bring down your price.
* If you know your price is higher, you can either decide to not spend much time on the call, or plan your high-value strategy.
* If you know your price is lower, you are in the driver's seat, and can build value along with the lower price.
Here's a good question to get their price: "Pam, what is your cost on _______?"

4. Don't Stop

When you're hot, keep it up. When sales and accomplished objectives are going great, don't stop to dwell on the success. When you're in the groove, take advantage of it and keep plugging away. Try to beat your best results ever. Success has an uncanny way of piling up when you are on a hot streak.

5. Take Control

Ever been caught unprepared when someone returns your call after you've left a message? Here's a way to quickly refamiliarize yourself with why you called that person: Use files or some other type
of paper system for tracking your calls, put a post-it note on each file that you had to leave a message, and jot down your objectives/reasons for the call. Keep these files in an accessible place. When the call comes in, immediately review the note to be reminded of why you called.

6. Try These Trial Closes

After you've presented a few benefits and silence results, resist the tendency to continue with the presentation. What you are saying may not be of interest to the listener. Find out what they think and feel about what you've said thus far. You can accomplish this, and get them talking, by saying, "Am I going in the right direction?" or "Am I talking about something that interests you?"

7. For Screeners with Inquiring Minds

When you reach a screener who asks the "What is this regarding/in reference to?" questions, treat them with respect and make them feel important. Respond with, "Well, I believe you could help me. You work closely with Ms. Bigg, don't you?" Or, "Maybe you could answer this for me . . . Mr. Bigg is the person who is in charge of keeping down your costs for replacement parts, isn't he? Good, I have some ideas to help him do that. Will you connect me please?"

8. Transcribe Your Calls
TSR subscriber Cindy Young shared an interesting technique she uses to analyze calls. She listens to tapes of calls, and transcribes word-for-word, both sides of the conversation. She then prints the hard copy and is able to read what transpired on the calls. With this technique, you are able to pick up on word habits and patterns you might not otherwise catch when listening to the call. And many people are visually oriented, so this method of analysis adds the visual dimension
to this communication process.

9. Transcribe and Highlight

A supplement to the aforementioned idea: highlight the parts of the call when you are doing the talking. Put the pages in front of you and step back. Do you see more yellow (or whatever color you used) or white, unhighlighted areas? Hopefully, the white areas will dominate. If not, you're talking too much. Work on asking more questions, and listen more!

10. When They Don't Follow You

There are times when your listener obviously hasn't understood your message. This becomes obvious when your prospect/customer makes erroneous statements based upon information you've shared. What you don't want to do is say, "You don't understand what I'm saying," or
"You're not following me." These statements are harsh and serve to put the listener on the defensive. Nobody likes to be told they are wrong. Instead, place the blame on yourself. For example, "Based upon what you said, I'm not sure if I clearly explained myself. . .."

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