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Make Money on the Phone

The Best Techniques to Use When Selling Over the Phone

My Grandma Lillian was an entrepreneur. When her boys were in high school she raised violets; when they went to college she sold guppies; as they were getting married she was teaching china painting.

The summer I spent with her she was solidifying a new business by gathering customers and teaching other women that their dream of financial independence could be realized if they would do the same.

At age 14, with delight and glee, I flew from Oregon to Michigan. Plans of camp with my cousins and sleepovers with friends from first grade danced in my mind. And those were good times, I'm sure they were, but the memories I hold now are weekday mornings with Grandma.

From her I learned the value of business routine. Every morning, from 9:30 to noon, Grandma made prospecting phone calls. After that, the day was ours, until evening when she went out to build her business.

If you weren't fortunate enough to learn these lessons from your grandmother, here are four things you would like to know.

1: Work with a clean desk.

Even if this means sweeping the current piles into a shopping bag until your telephone time is finished, don't have anything on your desk except your calendar and your favorite pen.

You get two benefits: distractions are limited, and, perhaps more importantly, the person you are speaking with senses that they have your full attention.

If your prospect doesn't feel that they are getting your full attention, why should you have theirs?

2: Have a mirror on the wall in front of you.

If you doubt that the smile on your face carries through your voice try this exercise. Record your side of a prospecting telephone conversation. Play it back while you watch your face in the mirror. Surprise! Your face will match the feelings you had while you were on the phone. You will actually see the fear or anxiety or need that you felt.

Your tones affect your listener that way, too. A mirror on the wall in front of you increases your telephone prospecting profitability in these specific ways:

First, you can see what your listener is hearing. The added awareness of your own body language makes your verbal language more effective.

Second, because you keep your chin up to look at the mirror on the wall, your voice will automatically have more enthusiasm and energy.

Try this experiment with your tape recorder. Role play a prospecting telephone call with your head down, chin to chest, doodling on an order form. Now raise your chin, look in the mirror, and repeat the same sentences. Because you sound more successful you will be more successful - people like to do business with a winner.

3: Use Scripts.

A script is a group of words, in order, that generate predictably profitable results. A script is effective because your listener will know when it is their turn to talk, and they'll know what you want them to say. When a prospect asks you how much your product costs and you use the script "Well, that depends on how much money you have in the bank!" you will receive a predictably different result than when you use the script "Forty-five dollars a month. Less than most people spend on coffee and cokes."

Listen carefully to these two scripts: "That depends on how much money you have" tells your prospect to respond just as glibly with "Oh, about 25 cents." While a specific amount, followed by an example gives your listener the opportunity to say "Great, that works for me."

Prepare scripts for the nine questions you are asked most frequently. They are probably about product cost, delivery time, references, options and guarantee.

4: Keep your best result in mind.

When Grandma Lillian was making prospecting calls, her favorite result was to get an appointment. "You can't get a haircut over the phone," she told me, "what I want is an appointment in their home."

She had a second acceptable outcome - the prospect's permission to call again. "Shall I call you in about a month?" I heard her say sweetly, several times each hour. And then she put their name and phone number into her calendar for the agreed upon date.

Either way, Grandma Lillian felt good about herself and had customers and distributors who loved her, too.

Use these tips and you will experience the success she enjoyed. Ready. Set. Go Make Money!

This is part one of a three part article.
Part 2: Using Voice Mail Effectively
Part 3: Presenting a Business Image on Your Home Phone

Ready. Set. Go Make Money!

Wendy L. Kinney, PowerGenerator at the referral marketing network PowerCore, is a speaker, trainer and author based in Atlanta. Known for her trademark seminar titled "Ready . . . Set . . . Go Make Money!" Kinney also covers such topics as "Fishing for Referrals in the River of Life," "Money is Chocolate: Get Off Your Diet," and "Networking Aerobics: Cardiovascular Activity for Your Wallet." She has produced an audiocassette tape pack titled "Exceptional Networking: Getting in Touch, Staying in Touch, and Making it Count in Dollars and Sense." Reach Wendy by e-mail at wendy@powercore.net.