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Marketing / Communication skills

Telephone sales techniques: Preparing for calls to prospective clients

The telephone is a communication vehicle where you only have one chance to make a first impression and like many aspects of the business development process, preparation can dramatically enhance your telephone sales techniques.

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Here are some points you might like to consider before your next call.

Physical location

Ensure that your physical location is conducive to having a productive conversation. Ideally you want a quiet location with no background noise or interruptions.

Frame of mind

A positive frame of mind is essential. If you are not in the right frame of mind, hold that call.

A useful telephone sales technique for getting into a positive state is to remember a previous phone call that went well and to re-associate with the positive feelings of that experience.

Also “visualise” your next call; feel, hear and see yourself speaking in a confident, friendly, engaging, professional and assertive manner with the prospect responding positively to you.

"A useful telephone sales technique for getting into a positive state is to remember a previous phone call that went well and to re-associate with the positive feelings of that experience."

Clear objectives

Be clear on the objective of your phone call. If you are providing a service or solution requiring a degree of financial commitment, it is unlikely that the prospect will buy on the phone, so the objective of the call is to get a meeting. Once a meeting has been agreed, end the call and start preparing for the meeting.

Want more articles like this? Check out the  communication skills section.

Research

Ensure that you have undertaken enough prospect research to help you have a meaningful conversation.

Structure

Ensure that you have planned the key elements of your call, which should include informing them of the purpose of your call, creating interest of what’s in it for them and outlining what you want next.

Objections

Think through their potential objections and your response.

Pen and paper at the ready!

Have pen and paper ready to capture the key points of the conservation – avoid the “what was that other point they said was important?” thought to yourself after the call.

Practice the call

Role play calls with a fellow soloist; this might give you an insight on how to improve your telephone sales technique in the real call.

Good luck!

Richard Woodward

facilitates strategy workshops and planning days, and trains and coaches business development teams helping his clients to develop clear and effective business development strategies and attain the required skills, knowledge and attitudes to confidently develop business.

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