How To Turn Incoming Calls Into Incoming Profits

Written by Sean McPheat | Linkedin thumb

Phone CallOften the value and significance of the incoming call is overlooked. Sales and customer service people often take such calls for granted, believing that the caller MUST have an interest since they called in. However, you have to remember that an incoming cold call is STILL a cold call, requiring, tact, care and precision.

#1: A Clear and Simple Greeting
One of the most frustrating things in the world is to call a company for information and hear something like:

“Thank you for calling Absb*&#!alh, bakbesb&*)%…company, (unintelligible)…great service…(unintelligible)…may I help you?!”

Often the potential customer is not even certain if they called the right number, let alone what the person who answered said. Keep your greeting simple and intelligible. A quick thank you and the name of your company are sufficient.

“Thank you for calling ABC Widgets…”

Depending on the structure of your company, the person answering the telephone may mention his or her name. If so, make sure the name is the LAST thing the caller hears.

“Thank you for calling ABC Widgets, this is James.”

If the last thing the customer hears is the name, they are likely to respond using that name, which will help create rapport.

#2: Give Something to Get Something
Too often, the company asks the customer to provide all of their information, before they will provide an answer to the customer’s question. Do not put potential customers through the preverbal “third degree” before you address their reason for calling.

Offer some information. Become an adviser and EARN the right to ask for future contact information.

Not Good…
Caller: “Yes, do you sell the XJR Widget model?”
Sales Person: “I can help you with that…Who am I speaking with?”
Caller: “Ethan Jameson.”
Sales Person: “Thanks for calling Ethan. And what company are you with?”
Caller: “XYZ Systems.”
Sales Person: “Great. And what’s the best number to reach you….”

Arrrrggh! Stop! Answer the question!

#3: End the Answer to the Question with a Question
Trailing on the above tip, you need to answer the callers concern. However, end the answer to the question, with a question.

Caller: “Yes, do you sell the XJR Widget model?”
Sales Person: “Yes, we do sell the XJR Widget model. It is normally sold as an upgrade to the older XJJ model. Do you use the XJJ currently?”
Caller: “Yes, I do, and was thinking about upgrading. What would that cost?”
Sales Person: “Well, let me get a little information and then I will be able to get you a quote. Who am I speaking with?”

Be confident. Answer questions. Offer advice. Then ask questions.

Do this even on the most simplest of questions…

Instead of:
Caller: “What time do you close today?”
Sales Person: “We close at 6.”
Caller: “Ok. Thank you.” Click.

Caller: “What time do you close today?”
Sales Person: “Well, we close at 6, during the week…however, we are always available for service. What was it that you had in mind?”
Caller: “Well, I was thinking about picking up a new battery for my phone.”
Sales Person: “Well, we have the largest assortment of cell phone batteries in stock and many are on sale this week…who am I speaking to?”
Caller: “Susan.”
Sales Person: “What type of phone do you have, Susan?”

Give to get.

Keep it simple.
Give to get.
End with questions with questions.

Before I sign off, here are some more tips on becoming a great sales person:

Happy Selling


Sean McPheat

Sean McPheat
Managing Director

MTD Sales Training | Image courtesy of Imagery Majestic at

450 sales questions free report

Originally published: 13 July, 2012

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