10 Keys To Better Phone Use
By David Cansler
The telephone is our oldest, and can be our best form of interactive marketing, if we just take the time to learn how to use it properly. You can network, sell, close, research, advertise, and (more importantly) sell yourself.
With the use of Fax On Demand, Voice Mail, and the Internet in our day to day business activities, we sometimes forget that we have one of our most powerful tools sitting right in front of us... the telephone. This is our oldest, and can be our best form of interactive marketing, if we just take the time to learn how to use it properly.
Through the telephone you can network, sell, close, research, advertise, and (more importantly) sell yourself. I know that as often as not, I'm sold as much by the feeling that the person I'm talking to gives me, much more than I would be if I just looked over something in print. That's not to say that I don't do my homework. It's just that we, as humans, like to feel that we're not just another number, that we're important and deserve that persons attention. Even for those brief few moments.
Based on my experience on the phone, both as the caller and receiving calls, I've come up with 10 tips on how to strengthen your presence when using the phone.
1. Have a plan: You should always know just what the objective of the call is going to be. If you want that person make a call to an 800 number, design you plan around this objective. If you want to qualify your person then have a plan that works in that direction.
2. Be prepared: Don't waste your time or the person's on the other end of the line. Always have a pen or pencil and a notepad so you can jot down any notes that you might need later. Don't think to yourself "Oh, I'll remember what we talk about." Have any information that you might need in front of you before the call starts. Think about the questions that you have if you were the other person. This is where having a FAQ list prepared would help a lot. If this is a follow up call and the person you're talking to is going to fill out an application, doesn't it make sense to have an application in front of you so you can answer any question that they might have?
3. Practice: Practice helps you pick out the awkward parts of your presentation. I know it sound and looks a little odd -- a grown person talking out loud to themselves in front of a mirror -- but it will give you a much more authoritative and coherent presence.
4. Call early or late: Remember these people have busy lives too. If your calling them at work, never call during the rush hours, the hour before and after lunch, or the hour before closing. If you're going to call them at home, call after they have had a little while to relax or right after supper time.
5. Stand up when you're on the phone: Your energy level is much higher when you're standing. That comes across when your talking. The best way to work on the phone is with a cordless headset. You can stand up and walk around to get your natural energy pumped up. Would you rather talk with someone who is excited about what they are doing or someone who is doing a job?
6. Be considerate of other people's time: Always ask if you've called at a good time, and do they have a few minutes to talk. If you don't you may find yourself on hold for an extended period of time. It may be that they don't have time to talk to you now, so don't be afraid to ask them for a good time to call back. Set an appointment.
7. Get in the right frame of mind: You should always smile when you're talking. The person on the other end of the line can hear it in your voice. Remember to be polite to everyone that you speak to. You never know when it will save the day, and remember no one every got any further on the phone by being rude.
8. Act appropriately: Always act professional, be confident, and in control. People want to work with a leader not someone wishy-washy. This will always improve your chances of winning over the prospect.
9. Focus on the plan: Never forget what the purpose of the call is. Building rapport is great, if that is part of the plan, but don't let the conversation digress into something altogether different. This can't help you with your business and remember that is what the call is about.
10. Don't lose your cool: You're going to meet some ignorant or rude people from time to time. I've heard the number quoted as high as 20%. I'm on the phone a lot and have only run into about 5%. I don't know if I'm just that charming or if some people are just pessimistic. The point is, don't fall into the trap of lowering yourself to their level. We all have bad days and some of us cope better than others. You could be speaking to the nicest guy in the world, who just found out that all his stocks took a nosedive and that his wife ran away with his broker, taking his dog and his golf clubs. If worse comes to worst, you have that little magic button on the phone. Just say good-bye and push it.
Don't hesitate to use the phone to build rapport at warp speed. Most of us have a feeling that we have a good handle on someone after we've spoken with them. Have you ever gotten that feeling from looking over a web page or fax? I know I haven't. Remember the phone can be your best friend.
David Cansler is a Consultant to the MLM Industry. He assists Network Marketers in getting Free MLM seeker leads to boost their downline recruiting efforts. For more information send mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or go to http://home.earthlink.net/dcans/tsr1.html