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Five things to avoid when you sell by phone

Now you'll hear something funny. In retrospect, I get laugh attacks just from thinking about it.

Some time ago I bought a full page in a magazine. I will not torment the poor ad seller by revealing the newspaper's name here, but his call two weeks after the ad introduction was absolutely absurd and it proves that the vast majority of sellers are only interested in selling NOW - not to create a long term partnership that is profitable for both parties. Did you hear that - for both parties.

Here are your 5 tips on what to avoid when you follow up a sale by telephone:

1. Don't bother to find out if your client has time to talk to you right now
Never respect that your customer may have other things to do. Assume that he/she has been sitting on a chair with his/her feet on the desk, staring at the phone and just waiting for you to call.

2. Never ever come to the point
Open the conversation with a skinning hearty ”Hey” and then start a tirade of impersonal babble about where you are calling from and which side of the country you are calling from, what the weather's like (in detail) and then wait quietly for any reactions.

3. Be frank about how little you care about the customer's response to your questions
Say:”Absolutely, absolutely, absolutely ”without emphasis throughout conversation no matter what the customer says and when he/she finally gets quiet, ask if he/she wants to buy more.

4. Let your rapidly cooling interest to call shine through quickly
When you realize that the customer will order more right now, begin to look through your paperwork for new prospects to call in about 3 minutes (make sure that you shuffle through your papers real loud).

5. Forget to determine the next step
Decide that a follow up call is properly carried out after dialing the numbers, having received a response, said nothing and hung up again. Never set any higher demands than that. Never bother to find out the client's plans for the future so you can learn about new opportunities to create a long term cooperation.

And once you've hung up – don't think for one second about how you can prove to the customer that what you are talking about has gone into your head. Was there a problem? How can you show that you intend to solve it? Never send an email with a smart proposal that shows the customer that you heard what he/she said during the call. Then pull the covers over your head again and doze off again.

About the author

Stefan Ekberg has worked in marketing for small business for 20 years and has written around 30 books on how small business owners can market themselves with limited resources. . In 2012 Stefan was nominated as Entrepreneur of the Year in Stockholm.

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