Living Life as a Learner

Selling by Phone


Selling by phone – three simple words with the power to evoke a multitude of reactions.

Even in this consumer driven age, selling is still an uncomfortable concept for many but for some reason, selling by phone carries an even greater sense of aversion.


Now, don’t get me wrong: I’m no fan of the late evening double glazing sales call. In my opinion that kind of phone selling has had its day. However, in this modern environment, there’s no escaping the phone as a viable and necessary form of communication. You can run a business from a phone and business is founded on the exchange of goods, products, services, knowledge and skills and exchange is a swanky word for…! You, infront of a customer, is always preferable but it’s just not possible to put yourself physically infront of every potential client. In today’s competitive market place, the choice not to use the phone as part of the sales strategy means missing out on business. There’s no ‘maybe’ about it.

‘I use the phone everyday’ I hear you say but the truth is, for many, the phone is used purely for talking to their existing customer base. Used correctly, the phone is the perfect tool for creating sales opportunities with brand new customers – canvassing, researching, introducing, explaining, identifying and clarifying. It can create not just sustain business success. To not utilise the phone as a sales tool is a waste.

You may (or may not) have noticed two key words in the paragraph above…. ‘used correctly’. Sure, you can talk on the phone, but can you ‘sell’ on it? Do you understand what to do before picking up the phone, the elements of a good phone opening, how to motivate the person on the end of the call to want to listen you, how to present your message clearly and simply and how to handle the basic ‘phone’ challenges such as invisible pressure and the early brush off? Part of the aversion to selling by phone is that people have tried it, poorly and with little success, and from that experience springs the belief that ‘it’s had its day’ or ‘it doesn’t work for our type of business’.

I genuinely believe it’s possible to sell pretty much anything by phone but it has to be acknowledged that success depends on the quality of your phone sales ‘skills’. Like any skill, it requires ongoing application and practice to keep skills current. If you don’t take this approach, confidence decreases and ‘will’ falters.

So, before you assign selling by phone to the ‘not for my business’ category the question is, ‘when did you last invest time refreshing and updating your phone sales skills?’


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