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…]

In Sales, No Means Maybe

I know it sounds crazy, but I’ve actually grown to love cold calling. I like that it’s active, not passive. And it’s infinitely fascinating to deal with human nature on such a personal level that you’ll never be able to get from an email. That’s not to say that everyone is nice or that everyone says yes. In fact, most people say maybe. And even when they say no, many are still saying maybe. At least that’s what I’ve learned in the past couple of weeks.

selling

selling

I sell everything from products to services and talk to a wide variety of people. Meeting planners, small business owners, mom bloggers, promotional products distributors, retailers, wholesalers, etc. I talk to people from all over the world in countries I never even knew existed.

If I contact someone and they flat out say no to me, I cross most of them off my list. So imagine my surprise this week when I was contacted by two companies that said no before. I had to go back and check my records just to make sure. Yep, great big X across the page. (yes, I still write things out by hand) It wasn’t a casual no, but more of a “hell, no” Not interested, no way, no how. These were calls that were completely out of the blue. This time it was a bending over backwards to please kind of call. Okay, I’m stumped. Pleased, but stumped. [Read more…]

Networking During the Holidays

I love the holidays. But maybe not for the same reason employees like them. When you work for yourself it’s harder to shut off the entrepreneur brain. I like the fact that everything in life is a chance to learn something new. And when I learn a new skill I’m compelled to either figure out a way to make money with it, or pass the new knowledge on to others, or both. It’s just in my DNA.

networking during the holidays

networking during the holidays

I like the fact that there’s no traffic on holidays, and things are quiet. Since no one’s in their office I can’t make any phone calls or be distracted by other stuff. I can putter around the office and get creative. I can write all day long without the phone ringing, and catch up on files that have been sitting on my desk for months.

But I did take some time off today and head to a BBQ where I really didn’t know a lot of people. Since I always have the curious brain turned on, I thought this would be a good time to test out some networking skills and see what happens. I decided to hone my listening skills, which is something most people need to improve on, myself included. Since I wasn’t there to impress anyone or plug a project or get a job, I simply asked questions and listened. I would seriously recommend doing this. By forcing yourself to focus on it you’ll realize how much you really do need to improve and how much you can learn if you take the time to listen to others. [Read more…]