Business Phone Etiquette

Most small businesses still have to do a great deal of business over the phone. Working with customers by phone is a whole different ballgame. It is much different than any other marketing technique, like brochures, postcards, flyers, or any other impersonal tool. On the phone, you have to be personable and likeable.

Here are some general tips to help you improve your over the phone marketing.

Get to the Point Quickly
You usually only have a few seconds to convince the person on the other end to stay on the phone. If you don’t do so in a hurry, you will probably be hung up on. If you have been hung up on a great deal, it could be because you are too slow at getting to the purpose of your call.

You should get to the point of your call in no more than 15 seconds. That is just enough to time to say, “Hi, my name is…” and then tell them why you are calling. Don’t waste any time by trying to warm the customer up…they are far too accustomed to marketing calls to fall for that.

Be Friendly and Positive
This sounds painfully obvious, but, sadly, it’s not. How many times have you received a call from a company and had a bland, uninterested person on the other end? Even if you didn’t have much of an interest in their product to begin with, a negative salesperson will certainly clinch your decision to not buy anything. Always be upbeat and bright when talking to customers over the phone, even if you are having a bad day. You have no idea how important that can be in your efforts. A negative – or even just a less than happy – mood will be noticeable and detrimental.

Try to Become a Friend
Although you have very little time with which to work, try to get personal with your customer during your phone conversation. I’m not talking about asking questions regarding their personal life, but try to learn something about them that will help you in making the sale. If you learn that your customer has 13 grandchildren, you might want to pitch your product as a great Christmas gift. If you learn that your customer works in an industry that relates to your product, use that to your advantage. Any information you can get could be very valuable.

These tips should go a long way towards improving your phone etiquette and improve your sales performance. Combine these efforts with your other techniques, such as your printed literature, to create a tremendously effective marketing campaign that will have your company succeeding for decades.

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