Telephone prospecting expert Thorn Norman, Scottsdale, AZ says there are 10 mistakes—10 communication snafus— that inhibit clear communication over the telephone. Teaching salespeople to handle these bugaboos goes a long way toward improving their tele-selling success.
1. Using inappropriate tone of voice. Friendly and conversational is best. Your mood and physical condition show in voice tone. When you feel bad, or are tired or hung over, don’t do telephone selling.
2. Speaking at the wrong speed. We tend to talk too fast when we are pr¬pared and too slow when unprepared. Matching the prospect’s conversational speed often reveals his or her listening comfort zone. For most people 140 wpm is a comfortable pace for listening.
3. Talking to the wrong person. You should establish the credentials of the person you’re talking to. Pitching the mailboy can really be punishing— to both parties.
4. Calling for the wrong purpose. “If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will get you there,” applies to phone calls as well as face-to-face. Establishing the economic buyer over the phone is tougher than face-to-face, but equally critical.
5. Giving too much information. Un¬less you are making the entire sale over the phone, DON’T PITCH. Establish some needs through questioning, tell enough to interest, get an ap¬pointment and get off.
6. Not giving the prospect a reason to listen. The opening “pitch” or tantalizer is critical. You have about 45 seconds to stimulate interest— establish your reason for listening—before the prospect freezes you out.
7. Not probing for needs. You have to “sell to the need” over the phone just as you do face-to-face. That means fact-finding/ feeling-finding questions. Ask, don’t tell.
8. Assuming you understand the prospect. You seldom can establish a complete need profile over the phone, and that’s not your goal. You want permission for a face-to-face fact-gathering meeting. Don’t assume you know everything from one phone call—it’s impossible.
9. Assuming the prospect under¬stands you. One phone call is seldom enough to make yourself completely understood. You want the person to remember you. Understanding comes later, as he or she learns of your product or service through experience or more communication with you.
10. Failing to check prospect’s availability to talk. Just asking for a minute of the prospect’s time isn’t usually enough. You have to be sensitive to what’s going on at the other end of the phone: Do you hear conversation in the room? Is the prospect speaking in an unnatural, guarded way? If you pick up clues that it’s a bad time to talk, make an appointment to call back.
Source : TRAINING MAGAZINE