One of the most important weapons you have to implement The System is your telephone. Yes, I said the telephone. But as with all your weapons, you need to be trained in its proper use. Most people do not enjoy “putting themselves on the firing line” so they avoid (without realizing it) using the telephone. They fuss with prospect lists, enter endless information on their computer database, analyze and study their product or service, draft emails — all the while subtly avoiding the thing they have to do to succeed: make the call!
This next statement you can take to the bank: The more you pick up the telephone, the more money you are going to make. As counter-intuitive as this may sound, it is true as rain. It’s a direct relationship. Let me repeat that in a strict mathematical formulation:
Picking up the telephone + dialing + asking questions + listening = dollars in your bank account
What outcomes can occur as a result of your picking up the phone? Let’s list the negative outcomes first.
- The person on the other end of the phone may not want to speak with you;
- may not be interested in what you’re talking about;
- may hang up on you; or
- may be nasty or rude.
Chances are that you have exhibited all of these behaviors at one time or another when some unsolicited caller dialed your number. This does not make you a bad person. It just identifies you as a disinterested one. In all of my selling days using the telephone, only two people have ever been nasty to me. Many people have not been interested. That’s perfectly normal.
The good things that can happen on the telephone far outweigh the bad. Here’s a list:
- You may have a very pleasant conversation;
- find somebody who is interested in what you do;
- schedule an appointment that leads to new business;
- learn something that will lead you to an entirely different strategy;
- get a tip on a hot internet stock that sends you into immediate retirement on a beach in Hawaii. (I put that last one in to be sure you are paying attention. Obviously, I haven’t experienced that positive outcome yet. But, believe me, the good things far outweigh the bad things.)
Re-Orient Your Reason For The Call
Let me give you an attitude that will make it easier for you to use the telephone as a marketing tool. Most people don’t enjoy calling strangers because of the anxiety associated with “selling” on the telephone. We all naturally fear (or at least dislike) rejection. And when you try to “sell” on a first phone call, you are bound to get a lot of what feels like rejection. So, don’t try to sell on the telephone. You can’t sell on the telephone. Re-orient yourself to a new objective — a new goal of calling:
You are not calling to sell. You are calling to check interest and to schedule an appointment.
If I told you to sell me a toaster on the telephone, or sell me a car, or a trip to Tahiti, picking up the telephone would become a very stressful experience and hard on your stomach. You might even stumble on your words. But if I said call me and simply ask if I can meet you for lunch, that would be very easy.
More on this subject in my next column.
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