How to Sell Over the Phone

cold calling

cold calling

I made a call to a company today to find out about their legal services. The guy on the phone¬†used the word “like” every few seconds. This made him sound unprofessional, and made me uncomfortable having him handle any legal issues. I would feel equally uncomfortable with a doctor who talked that way, but it really goes for anyone in a business position.

This got me thinking about how people can make slight changes in their voice and etiquette that will help them sell more over the phone.

  • Eliminate the word “like” – We all like to be liked on Facebook, but like, the word is like, totally overused. Nothing screams being unprofessional more than overusing that word. Like anything (used correctly here), you can break yourself of the “like” habit. The next time you start to say the word, pause briefly and continue. The more you practice not using it, the easier it will get. Practice not using it at all and you will eventually become more articulate. [Read more…]

Do You Need a Business Plan?

I’ve been having this discussion on Linked In about whether a start up company needs a business plan or not. If you ask any Ivy League MBA you will probably hear that you absolutely do need one. And you need to spend thousands of dollars to have someone smarter than you put one together.

entrepreneur's business plan

entrepreneur's business plan

But if you ask my friend Oliver who owns a print shop or the dog groomers around the corner or my acupuncturist, they would tell you they never had one. I’ve run 3 businesses and have never written a formal business plan. One of them is an international manufacturing company and I’ve never had a business plan for it. Once I had already been in business for years I was planning to expand and needed to raise money. That’s the only time I have put anything down on paper, but it still wasn’t a business plan, more like a presentation with corporate bios and projections of how many would be sold, etc.

I took that presentation out of the closet and read through it. 90% of what was in it wasn’t even true anymore. None of my employees are with me anymore because of the downturn in the economy. So, what I thought my business was going to be, which was sales reps and full time employees, wasn’t even close to what I ended up with. Now I have distributors who are independent and simply buy the product from me and get marketing and PR support. [Read more…]

What an Entrepreneur Can Learn From a Zumba Teacher

entrepreneurI always say you can learn something from everyone if you pay attention. L.A. DanceFit just opened right across the street from me so, even though I didn’t know anything about Zumba I figured it would be crazy not to at least go and see what it’s like. It’s awesome, BTW. And so is the teacher, Wil.

When I heard that Zumba was started by an aerobics teacher who had forgotten his music for class and had to improvise with his salsa and merengue music, I liked it already. One way to be innovative is simply by sheer accident. That’s how many well known inventions were created. It’s the people that realize they have an opportunity to capitalize on that lucky accident, who will succeed. So, here’s what I learned today: [Read more…]