Monday, June 29, 2009

Tips For Using The Phone To Build Your Business!

Need to call a new customer and explain your product or service? Get a lead and want to make contact? Here at Real Vision Studio in SouthEast Michigan, at full service dealer for RTV, we get and make numerous business/sales calls a day. Phone skills are critical for the success of our business, any business for that matter.

The telephone is the most important point of contact with your prospects and customers. Improving your phone skills with these tips can make a big difference in the level of your success and how quickly your business grows.

The telephone can be one of the most valuable as well as inexpensive resources available to you. These practical tips will help you with becoming more productive and profitable, whether you are making the call or your customer is calling you!

~Prepare yourself by getting mentally set for the task ahead and by having a purpose and an agenda ready.

~Follow your script, but be flexible. Don't sound like you are reading.

~Create index cards (or cgeat sheets) with specific points that keep you on point. If it's more natural for you to just strike up a conversation, then just do it!

~Keep it brief, and get to the point right away. Make sure you are clear concerning your reason for making the call.

~Be friendly but try not to get off topic.

~Be a good listener. That way you will be able to help your customer with making the right decision, hopefully about using your services or products.

~Avoid the hype. Show enthusiasm, but make sure it is sincere.

~Smile! Keep a smile on your face, your attitude can show through the phone.

~Understanding how your business works will help you feel more confident when talking to customers over the phone.

~Don't get on the phone if you are in a bad mood.

~If someone is not interested, then don't keep calling them. This will only make you look desperate, not to mention waste your time.

~Be aware of two things as you speak, what you say and how you say it. The sound and tone of your voice is just as important as what you are saying.

~Alway's leave a message! Let your potential customers hear your voice and know that you are available.

~When leaving a message don't speak too fast. Slow down so your message is not hard to understand.

~Say your name clearly. If it's not common spell it, just make sure the caller understands your name.

~Slowly leave your phone number. Assume that the listener is writing it down, so make it easy! Repeat the number at the beginning and end of your message, if possible.

~Most importantly, if you don't get an answer, leave the reason for your call. Why would they call you back if they don't know what you want?

~People can be very impatient, so it is important to answer your phone by the third ring or make sure your voice mail is set to pick up by the third ring.

~Your answering machine greeting should make a good first impression. Be short and to the point and don't drag it out. Leave clear instructions and what information they should leave. Such as their name, phone number and the best time to call them back.

~Check your messages often. A customer may be waiting on information to make a decision, and by taking to long returning their call they may choose someone else.

~Return all phone calls! This could be the most important thing that you do to build your business. Set a goal to return all calls within 2 hours.

~Avoid using a speaker phone. It will make the caller think that the call is not private and that you are not concentrating fully on them.

~Put together a list of answers to frequently asked questions (Price List, Features, etc.) and post it by your phone.

~Decide what you will say if someone answers the phone other then the person you are calling. Should you leave a message with them or call back later?

~Don't type or shuffle paper while you are talking, it can be distracting to the other party.

~If you must put the phone down for any reason, do so gently so you don't startle your caller.

~Never chew food or anything else while talking on the phone.

~Cover your mouth and the receiver, if you have to cough or sneeze.

~Always speak directly into the receiver.

~Don't hang up if you dial the wrong number, just explain yourself and verify the number to avoid repeating the call.

~Avoid any background noise such as TV, radio and computer beeps and clicks.

~Listen to how people talk and not just to what they are saying. You can learn how to connect with a person over the phone by reading "between the lines".

~Be prepared. Have a list of calls that you need to make including the name, phone number and any other information that you may need.

~When you first begin using the phone rehearse in your mind what you are going to say. Once you do it enough, it will come naturally.

~Know what your schedule is before making any calls. That way you can set up any follow up appointments if necessary.

~Do not procrastinate. Get you calls done first thing in the morning. Putting them off may mean losing business.

~Make sure you are not hungry, cold or need to go to the bathroom before making any of your calls.

~Record whether you left a message, if you need to make a return call, who you talked to and what was said.

~Leave an email address as an alternative communication option. Many people will use email to get back to you rather than the telephone.

~Always enunciate clearly keeping the volume of your voice moderate. Speak slowly and clearly.

~Speak properly while sounding professional. Avoid using slang or jargon.

~Think before you speak! Offending potential customers will not encourage them to use your service or product.

~Never say "I don't know", instead say, "Let me find the answer for you". This is a great way to set up a return call.

~Don't do all the talking. Give the person on the other end of the line an opportunity to answer you, to ask questions, or to make comments. Never interrupt your customer.

~Remember the Number One Rule Of Selling Anything: Ask for the order. The reason most often given by people for not buying is, "No one asked me to."

~Have fun! Remember that some will and some won't, just keep at it!

Good phone etiquette is good for business. It can set you apart from your competition and it can actually get you the results you want much faster. Many customers are calling on an impulse. They have developed a sudden need and want that need filled. You have a great opportunity to bring additional revenue to your business. People buy where they feel comfortable and appreciated. Give them that feeling when they call. It's just common courtesy.

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