Telephone Sales For Dummies book cover

Telephone Sales For Dummies

By: Dirk Zeller Published: 11-28-2007

Nearly 100 million Americans (one out of three) purchase goods and services over the phone each year. Telephone Sales For Dummies shows both new and seasoned sales reps, from realtors, insurance agents to telemarketers, how to create pre-call plans and effectively prospect via the phone. Packed with techniques, scripts, and dialogues, this hands-on, interactive guide assists readers with making cold calls, warm calls, and referral calls, helping them plan and execute openings to create interesting dialogue; ask key questions; develop persuasive presentation techniques; work within the No Call Law parameters; leave effective and enticing voicemails that get results; get past screeners and get quality referrals; find hot leads; and create callback scripts that close the sale.

Articles From Telephone Sales For Dummies

7 results
7 results
Telephone Sales For Dummies Cheat Sheet

Cheat Sheet / Updated 03-27-2016

Being a successful telephone sales professional is as much about believing in yourself as it is selling your product. Follow these tips to keep yourself focused and motivated in your telephone sales endeavors.

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Three Clicks to Researching Telephone Sales Prospects

Article / Updated 03-26-2016

When you study up on your prospects before your telephone sales calls, you gather information that is bound to unlock sales success. As a side benefit, prospects are impressed and flattered when you show you're acquainted with their business. Before the Internet, doing such research was much more difficult. Today, you can find a ton of valuable information online. By investing even five minutes before an important sales call to dig up a little dirt on your prospect, you can dramatically increase your knowledge, improve your call performance, and increase the odds of success. And it's as easy as three clicks on your computer. Click one: Visit the corporate Web site On the company's Web site, you can find plenty about its services and products. Check for information about the senior managers. Often, their e-mail addresses are listed — and you may need those in the future. Review the mission statement or core values. Quickly read any recent press releases (ideally published in the past three to six months). Don't put too much value on company-issued press releases. Press releases, in most cases, skew to the positive. Most are written to position the company as a leader in their field. You may want to check an independent source to verify some of that info. Click two: Search online Checking up on a company via an Internet search engine brings up references on other Web sites, from news and trade e-zines to personal blogs. Read a few articles about the company in third-party publications (although you're likely to see a regurgitation of the same press releases you discovered on the company's Web site). Find out whether others are critical or whether the company has some public relations issues. Be sure to check the date — an article that's 3 years old may not depict the present state of the company. You may also come across the sites of competitors in your Internet search. Frequently, other companies buy ads around their competition's search-engine traffic. So find out what's up with the competition — you may even identify some future prospects! Click three: Research your contact Finally, research your company contact by typing the name into an Internet search engine. Of course, you may find information about her on the corporate Web site, but unless she's senior management, there's a good chance she's not included. When you type the name into a search engine, you bring up references both professional and personal. You're as likely to learn that your prospect leads seminars in your industry as you are that she's president of the PTA. Personal information about a prospect comes in handy when trying to build rapport. Of course, if your contact has a remotely common name, you may run into problems separating facts about her from facts about others with the same name. With this type of information, you can guide the conversation to areas that you know will pique her interest.

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Using Your Voice Effectively for Telephone Sales

Article / Updated 03-26-2016

When you're making telephone sales calls, the person at the other end doesn't know whether you're wearing a suit and tie or ratty pajamas. The only image that your sales prospects get is transmitted through your voice, so preparing your voice and using it effectively is as important to telephone sales as showering regularly is to face-to-face sales. Here are a few ways to use your voice to its fullest. Warm up your voice Your voice, like your body, needs warming up to perform at its best. Start out in the shower by humming a tune (no matter what others in the household may say about your operatic potential). Humming is an outstanding warm-up for your vocal chords. For that matter, croaking like a frog is another excellent vibration exercise to strengthen your chords. Get some talk time in before your first sales call. Synchronize dinner plans with your spouse. Ask the kids what's on tap for their day. Chat with a coworker at the water cooler. And as a bonus, you may just warm up a few relationships, too. Stand and deliver Ever notice that singers always stand when they perform? That's no coincidence. They know that their voice carries more resonance, range, and power when their diaphragm isn't folded over. You can use the singers' secret for sounding more authoritative and self-assured when speaking to prospects on the phone. Stand tall and observe the energy and enthusiasm that pours forth. Slump into your desk in a question-mark curve, and feel the conviction seep out of your voice. Tune into your tone Your speaking voice consists of several qualities, including rhythm, intonation, and inflection, resulting in a one-of-a-kind vocal personality that distinguishes Jimmy Stewart from Pee Wee Herman. This vocal fingerprint is your tone. Although your tone is what makes your voice yours, you can optimize your phone communication by paying some attention to it. Make sure your tone conveys the message you want it to. Vary your tone (avoiding a monotone) if you want your prospect to stay awake. Play with the volume We're not talking about the volume on your headset, but the decibel level of your own voice. If you talk too quietly, you'll generate lots of "Could you repeat that?" requests. Speak too loudly, and the prospect must hold the receiver at arm's length. Keep your volume within a reasonable range, but be sure to vary it to hold the prospect's attention and emphasize key points. Mix up the pace Most telephone salespeople are guilty of speed talking — chalk it up to enthusiasm, nervousness, or desire to get in the sales points before the recipient hangs up. At any rate, you want to avoid this sport. Slow talking can be just as bad — you'll have people wanting to finish your sentences for you. Moderate the pace of your speech, occasionally varying it for effect or emphasis.

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Telephone Sales: Tips for Staying Motivated

Article / Updated 03-26-2016

Sometimes you're going to feel like you've hit a brick wall because you're not getting the telephone sales numbers you envision. Don't despair. Allow these six methods to be your motivational mantra to help you stay charged: Stay disciplined. Sticking to "the plan" keeps the positive energy flowing. Be your own cheerleader. Daily affirmations help boost your outlook. Even if you don't believe it, say it anyway: "I'm a successful salesperson"; "I'm good at what I do" ; or "I'm skilled at helping people." It's one of life's miracles: Tell yourself you're motivated and — voila! — you're motivated. Take care of yourself. Staying upbeat is nearly impossible if you run yourself to exhaustion, eat poorly, and neglect your health. Protect against negative forces. Whether they're doom-and-gloom friends, naysaying coworkers, or doubting spouses, keep the bad attitudes of others from sinking your motivation. Follow a warm-up routine. Before you begin a sales call — or any activity calling for positive energy — warm up with a mood-lifting ritual: Review or practice your script or simply relax to music. Continue learning. The process of increasing your knowledge and skills gives you further security in your abilities and potential, which feeds your motivation.

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Time Management Tips for Telephone Sales Professionals

Article / Updated 03-26-2016

Time management is one of the most important skills a telephone sales professional can have. Here are a few tips to make the most of your sales time: Manage distractions. When you're on task, turn off your cellphone, hold your calls, switch off the you've-got-mail notice, sign out of instant messaging and social media, and hang up a do-not-disturb sign. Keep phone calls short. Schedule phone calls for no longer than 15 minutes. Take advantage of voice mail. When you're simply delivering information, time the calls for early morning or evening. You're more likely to get voice mail and avoid a lengthier conversation. Maximize drive time. Keep a collection of self-help, professional-improvement, and motivational CDs in your car and pop them in when you're driving to work or to an appointment.

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The Seven-Second Telephone Sales Opening

Article / Updated 03-26-2016

First impressions are everything. When you have a sales prospect on the phone, the first seven seconds can make or break your whole pitch. Keep these pointers close by to help your opening hook the prospect: Greet the prospect by name. Grab the contact's attention immediately — and hold it — by using his or her name. State your full name. Don't be a stranger! Identify yourself clearly and completely. Identify your company. Don't assume you're a household word — say the name and add a brief description of your firm's specialty. Explain the purpose of your call. Get to the point. "The reason I'm calling is . . . " Link in a benefit statement. Make your "purpose" something relevant to the contact: "I'm calling to help you save money/increase revenues/do your job better." Add a close or bridge. Wrap up the opener with a concise question or statement that leads into further discussion.

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Telephone Sales: Get Insider Info on a Prospect Before You Call

Article / Updated 03-26-2016

Before you can make any sales presentation, you first need to know as much as you can about your prospects. No matter who the prospect is, get a leg up by using online sources to get to know them before you call: Visit the corporate website. Familiarize yourself with the company's products and services, senior management, mission statements, upcoming projects, recent news — and even contact phone numbers. Much of this information can be found quickly on a corporate website. Google the company. Using Google or another search engine can bring up sometimes thousands of mentions of the company on sites that may give you a different perspective from the corporate site. You can also use Zoominfo or LinkedIn to get information on companies. And don't overlook the lowdown from the company's competitors! Google your contact. The Internet holds valuable information about the individual you plan to contact at the company. You can gather both professional and personal details — both can help you sell.

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