Talk like you talk – Do not put a phone voice on. “Hello, my name is and I’m from” – who says that? It’s not a school French lesson! If you do anything that triggers the ‘it’s a standard sales call alarm’ you’ll be finished. So, talk like you talk, relax, slow down and have a chat.

Be bold – Like a dog smells fear the human brain unconsciously picks up on nervousness, lack of confidence, lies and reliability. The natural reaction is to respond in kind. So how do we build fast respect and gain attention? Use bolder language and avoid filler words!

Avoid –

  • Just
  • Basically
  • Actually
  • If it’s ok?
  • Do you mind?

Try –

  • Listen
  • So
  • Let me tell you
  • Does that make sense?
  • Great to speak with you
  • I’m so glad we’ve got to speak

Don’t pitch people! – So many calls sound like you’re reading a brochure about your company. “Good morning, we’re an award-winning company that promotes XYZ and I’d like to talk to you today about blah blah blah.” There’s no value to the prospect there, no intrigue, it’s just you, you, you! Think about why you need to speak to each other? How do you think you can help? Why does you giving them a call make sense?

Awards, the year your business was established, or corporate jargon are of zero interest or benefit to a prospect and give no reason for them to talk with you. Prepare a solid and genuine reason for your call. “Listen, I know you’ve a new intake coming up soon and we attract a lot of attention from students, it made sense to me that we should talk and see how we can help. I’d like 2 minutes of your time and arrange a day to come and see you” – Sound like you have something important to talk about! At the very least you’re going to get questions from them, and questions start great conversations.

Know what you want – you need to be clear about what you want your call to achieve. If you don’t know where you’re going you could end up anywhere. How will you know that you have got what you want? A meeting? A name? A direct sale? ‘Just a chat’ is not a measurable outcome or a desirable goal for a call and gives zero value to the prospect. You may not get what you want but you’ll get further if you know what you’re aiming at.

Practise – The secret to making something look easy is to have made it look hard 1000 times. Oscar winning movie stars rehearse and rehearse again and again. Pro golfers hit 1000 balls a day – every day and Olympians dedicate every waking hour to training and pushing themselves. What do we see? A great two-hour movie, a gripping four-hour round of golf and a ten second flash at the 100-metre track. We don’t see all the practise and dedication that goes on behind the scenes. If you want to turn up at 9am and ‘do a bit of sales’ you may get by, randomly earn commission some months and keep hold of your job. If you want to smash it consistently you must take it seriously. Record your calls and listen back – every week! Take notes on how you can improve, what you’re doing well and how the prospect received you. Invest in yourself, buy books, watch YouTube videos on sales skills, attend courses and seminars then practise what you learn. You’ll be amazed at your improvement in just one month and how far ahead of those who ‘just turn up’ you become.