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Telephone Training – Ten Instant Tips


Take the time to perfect your enquiry handling skills and reap the benefits. Here's a list of ten instant telephone training tips, if you have any to add to this list please leave us a comment.

1. Listen

Give the caller a chance to explain exactly what they are looking for. Sales people love to talk but not listening to what the customer wants can kill a close in its tracks. There is an old saying in sales: "God gave you two ears and one mouth and that is the proportion of listening to talking time you should spend with your sales enquiries".

2. Smile

You can hear it in the tone of your voice and the caller will warm to you. If the caller feels welcome the conversation will open up. This will make it easier to get a positive outcome.

3. Take an interest

Find out what your customer likes doing in his spare time, does he have children, pets or an interesting hobby? If the customer feels like you are genuinely interested they will see you as a figure of trust and become more inclined to buy from you.

4. Set the tone

Positive, negative or neutral, you can set the tone of the conversation right from the start. If the caller is a little neutral, try and lift him or her a bit by imparting an interesting fact or comment that will appeal. Most importantly if you or your sales team are having a bad day make sure this does not come down the phone!

5. Mirror the caller

If your caller talks quickly, then mirror them. The caller will instantly feel more comfortable and more receptive to your offering. If they slow down, so do you, it's a classic technique that works, try it.

6. Concentrate

Even if you are very busy, stop what you are doing and give the call your full attention. You can tell if someone is busy multi-tasking at the other end and this will result in a disjointed call. Remember that every enquiry has cost you money. There is nothing worse than hearing someone working at their PC as they get out a vital email to their boss – the caller knows you are not interested in them.

7. Get the source

Find out the source of the enquiry, this will help to measure the response to your marketing efforts. Also, you will find out how this particular customer buys which will help you sell to them on this occasion and in the future.

8. Upsell

Make the most of each enquiry by offering additional elements of your product or service. If they are buying one item ask them if they have thought of one of your complementary offerings and suggest that you will price the original item a little lower as a gesture of goodwill.

9. The assumptive close

This method is when you bypass actually asking for the business. Assuming the customer is happy to buy from you with a statement such as 'would you like the car in red or green?', 'are you free to take delivery next Friday?' Be confident and assume the caller wants to do business and it’s very likely that you will.

10. Practice

Using all these tips take confidence and practice. Try recording your calls and listen back to them to sharpen up your skills. Listening to your triumphs and mistakes will help you to prepare for the next call and improve your results overall.

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