What I Wish I Knew More About In Sales #4: Just Pick Up The Phone

by Robert Driscoll on October 30, 2009

PrintPick up the phone and call people – I am much better in person or on email and feel uncomfortable on the phone.  It is a barrier…you need to be able to call people and feel comfortable establishing relationships over the phone.  It took me a long time to learn this skill, and it is one I use every day.”

Laura Lowell

Founder, Author & Executive Editor, 42 Rules


Most, if not all, salespeople hate picking up the phone and making sales calls.  The possibility of rejection is never more immediate than when you’re cold-calling or more uncomfortable when the people you are calling see you as an interruption to their already busy day.  While most people feel more comfortable just sending and email, unfortunately, picking up the phone and calling new and existing customers is a necessary part of selling as well growing your business.

Identify and Research Your Prospects

When calling on new prospects, you need to think of the call as a friendly conversation.  Remind yourself that you’re there to help and that your product or service can possibly take care of a concern of theirs.  Before you can pick up the phone you need to know who you’re calling.  You need to understand who your prospects are and research their company and how your product or service can help them.  Make sure that when you do talk to your prospect(s), the focus is on their business and not yours.

Prepare A Script

If you get a prospect on the phone, you only have about 10 seconds to get their attention and interested about your offer.  It’s important to have a script about what you are going to cover not to read it over the phone, but to use it to help you gather your thoughts and make sure that all of your points are covered.  A script also allows gives you something to fall back on to if you falter.  Remember, this is not a sales pitch.  It’s a conversation.

Stay Focused

It can be great to close a sale over the phone, but depending on the type of sales that you do and the complexity of your offer, the purpose of your call might be to simply schedule a meeting to discuss your offer in further detail.  Ask open-ended questions to keep the conversation going until you are either able to secure a follow up call or an in-person meeting.  If the prospect asks you to send them information, make sure you set the stage to follow up with them once they’ve received the information.  Tell them you will be following up with them on a specific date to review any questions they might have about the information you’ve sent them.

Be Persistent

Only those who are persistent and continue to follow up with their prospects get through and make the sales.  Even when you do find a prospect, you need to continually ask for the business, but it’s just as important to analyze the situation as some customers might be turned off if you appear to be too pushy.  There is no one size fits all in sales.  You’ll be much more successful if you treat each prospect and their solution individually.

Calling on prospects doesn’t always have to be stressful.  Just think of it as having a conversation with someone who could benefit from your services.  In order to do business in the marketplace though, you have to participate in it to let people know you’re out there.


Logo was created by Stacy Driscoll who is a freelance designer based in South Florida where she continues to provide her clients with innovative design solutions while continuing to grow her client base and skill set.  More of her work can be found at her website www.stacydriscolldesign.com.

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