Guest Author - Karen Tempel
This is the second article in series, The Art of Selling. This series of articles on selling will highlight some of the basic skills that if applied, will make you a better salesperson. The basics never change! The previous article covered prospecting.
Assuming you have done your homework in identifying a future prospect, you are ready to make the initial phone call, and guess what? You are going to run into voice mail.
Whether you’re trying to reach a business person or an individual, voice mail has become the new gatekeeper that you must deal with. Learning to handle voice mail effectively is important. Here are a few tips:
Smile on the phone. You can actually hear a smile in your voice when you speak.
Speak slowly and directly into the mouthpiece of the phone. There is nothing more frustrating than a message that is too fast or too garbled to understand.
Spell your name out right away and slowly give your phone number immediately and again at the end of the call.
Leave a brief, but complete message as to why you are calling. If you were referred by someone, relay this information in the message.
Remember to use the following: be friendly, show respect, be brief but speak slowly, state your purpose.
When you are away – First Impressions
It is often said that you never get a second chance to make a first impression. When you are away from your phone, leave a message that leaves a good impression of you on the caller. You want to convey professionalism and let callers know when they can expect to hear from you. A caller needs to hear an upbeat, friendly, and informative message (don’t get cute).
If you don’t have a separate line for your business, you may want to consider getting one. Many chefs will use their cell phone for business purposes as it is easy to keep in touch while on a cook date. If your business line is the same as your family line, make sure that your callers hear a professional message that identifies the business. Stay away from cute messages from the kids or off-topic messages. It can be very frustrating to have to sit through a ‘cute’ message when contacting a business and it certainly doesn’t create a professional first impression.
Next article in the series will cover listening.