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Tools of the TRADE – 2

In this episode, I would like to focus on a very powerful and versatile tool: the phone.

The phone is arguably the most powerful tool on your desk. Good salespeople are in demand, and management wants to give them the best possible tools to make them productive. We all understand that selling is a numbers game. As long as you do reasonably sensible things, the time invested tends to correlate to revenue earned. Therefore, productivity really does matter.  Consider this, how many words can the average person type a minute, 60, maybe 70.  Now, how many words can you speak in a minute, probably around 300? That means you can get almost double the work done if you are calling your clients, instead of emailing and waiting for their responses. SO LET’S BE PROACTIVE NOT REACTIVE.  A phone call is personal, and shows that you care. A friendly voice on the phone bonds you with your client. You can hear, understand, and feel the tone of the voice. A lot can be understood just by listening to the other person talk. Consider this, how many emails do you get in a day, 50, 75, maybe 100! Now, ask yourself, how many calls you get in a day.   Not a whole lot…why is that? Cause people do not have time to call, but they surely do have time to email.

Well, I will call you because my time is important. Once we conduct business over the phone, this task is off my table and not part of a chain email in my Inbox. Today, technology has given salespeople dozens of invaluable tools that make their job easier and more efficient. The future will bring even more. Currently, there are phone systems with a variety of features, teleconferencing tools, voice mail, speed-dial keys, caller IDs, etc. A benefit to people who talk on the phone all day are the numerous hands-free microphones available for various phone systems. Some are wired to the phone, but many are wireless and allow the person to move around without being tethered to a desk phone. I personally have worked for companies that invest heavily in headsets and audio gadgets so the salespeople are able to communicate better.

As a professional salesperson, make sure that you have a legitimate reason to call first. Chances are that the person you call is busy, too, and may not appreciate a how-ya-doin’ call in the middle of a deadline project. In fact, you may lose some trust points for the call. Instead, determine the call’s objective and what you plan to achieve before you pick up the telephone. And have a short and relevant script nearby in case you get switched to voice mail. Like a DJ that alternates the beats of the music to keep you on the dance floor. Let us use the phone to make our clients dance to our tunes…

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