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Selling over the phone is more than just “Hello, I want to talk to the accountant”

”Hi my name Bob Boulder and I'm calling from Credit Institute bla, bla, bla. On Wednesday we have a meeting in your area where we do a free review of your personal financial situation ...”

Have you heard it before?

This is this type of seller who will make you dislike what I'm about to tell you next.

Here it goes: You too can promote your business to new customers for almost free by using the phone. Ouch, I know you want to stop reading now, but give me a chance and I'll tell you something new and something that's not about how you briskly force a customer to a purchase by phone – “the American way”– but a method that will give you the chance to determine your chances with a customer (I'm tempted to call it the “British way”).

How do you get five new clients within a month by phone:

Day 1:
Find twenty-five companies you want as clients. Start by calling them and finding out who to talk to if you want to sell to them. List the names. Your job is just to create a list of names at this point. Nice, huh?

Day 2:
Prepare five to ten questions to these companies. What would you like to know about them that can support what you want to sell to them? Your job is to gather information about the company you are calling.
Instead of telling them to ”Say yes to our offer to purchase ten new toner cartridges for your printer” right away, you'll ask them how many documents they print per day.
Ask about their current supplier. Ask what's best and worst with the supplier. Ask what they are looking for when they're buying what you can deliver.

Day 3-5:
Start calling around and ask questions. The most common mistake is to start selling immediately or rather - The most common mistake is to make demands on yourself to sell right away. Anyone who is not an accustomed telemarketer will become unnaturally nice, ridiculously fake and just wait for the other person to say “no thank you”. The one calling for information will feel more comfortable and retain control - and also be able to act again soon. Write down the answers you get.

The following week:
Think about the answers that customers have given you and what you can offer that can make the customer's world better. Call and tell them about your analysis of their current situation and fill in what the future may bring. Most people will like what you say. They will appreciate that you are interested in, and thought about, their situation. And the customers that you can't offer anything you don't even have to call. Remember that not everyone can become your customer. Isn't that a liberating piece of knowledge?

How about this ... Do you dare to win?

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.

230 000 prescribes to his free newsletter "The 5 minute marketer"
Every week some 230,000 prescribers gets his free newsletter about 5 minute marketing.

"The 5 minute marketer" - the book
You run a small business and you want to get ahead of the competition, but how can you give resources to marketing when you're short on time and the budget is tight? The solution is here! The 5-Minute Marketer is packed with 395 tried-and-tested ways to market your business in 5 minutes or less.