Is Your Phone Sales Opening Cliche?

Have you taken the time to think about your telephone presentations lately? Make sure you're not just spitting out an ineffective sales opening.

Have you taken the time to think about your telephone presentations lately? Make sure you’re not just spitting out an ineffective sales opening.

Year by year, as people continue to communicate by text on the smartphones, it becomes more challenging to communicate by phone. Challenging but not impossible. Taking the time to tweak our presentations keeps us on our toes and continually helps us to become more successful selling on the phone.

Possibly the hardest thing to do these days is reach a decision maker by phone. People don’t listen to voice mails, don’t pick up if they don’t know your numbers and generally make a snap decision whether they want to speak with you.

What happens when you do reach them, though? Are you making the most of your opportunity? Have you created an opening that makes people want to listen to you and become active participants in the conversation? All too often when I look at prepared scripts, I notice sentences that might look well in a direct mail piece but will either get you shot down quickly or simply won’t engage your prospective customer.

Here’s two clichéd examples: openings that tout money savings or a saving of time and effort. It may very well be the case, but everyone says their product either:

  1. Saves you money
  2. Saves you time
  3. Makes your efforts more efficient thereby also giving you savings from 1 and 2 as well.

Seriously, everyone says it. But because everyone does it, there’s a major downside. Doing this actually makes it easier for a decision maker to tune you out – because you’re not different from anyone else who calls – and they’ll try to get off the phone as quickly as possible. Not what you are looking for, I’ll bet.

Let’s think about a better way, even a simpler way.

Why not just introduce yourself and your company name, make a quick one sentence statement about what your product is, and then ask some questions. Use a combination of open and closed ended questions.Take this opportunity to learn more about your potential customers. This makes it easier to learn more in order to tailor the rest of your presentation to your decision maker’s needs.

In fact, one of the things you might find is that this decision maker is not a potential customer. Isn’t better to find that out up front? Isn’t it better to learn who you should be talking to or know that currently your products/services are not a good match for a particular organization?

Sit down and review your opening. Make it natural sounding. Avoid tired and hackneyed phrases. Take the time, instead, to become genuinely interested in your prospect. You’ll be far happier with the results.

Jo-Ann-Kirby_2290Jo Ann Kirby is president of KRG Communications Group. She has 20 years experience in inside telephone sales/mgmt & customer service; in both inbound and outbound environments. Jo Ann also has an extensive practical and educational background in training & development. As a coach and motivator of sales and service personnel, Jo Ann works with a wide variety of positions in different industries. She also excels at needs analysis and coaching to success. Jo Ann’s goal is to help you be successful in your endeavors. Find out more at

Photo courtesy of Garry Knight [FLICKR]

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