To sell over the telephone calls for a different skill set from selling face to face. What is telephone selling? Telephone sales means just that. Prospecting, interviewing, demonstrating, validating, negotiating and closing all on ‘phone. Here are three things to consider to successfully sell over the telephone.

The tone of your voice is 85% of success

First off, you only have one thing going for you. Your voice. When selling face to face you have the benefit of exploiting the full array of senses to keep the prospect engaged. Sight is of course the most powerful, with estimates putting it at 80%. You gesture with your hands, when showing the size of the monitor you are selling because the brochure isn’t doing it justice. When selling over the telephone you cannot, close the sale with, “Sign here.” (Said in tandem with turning the contract towards the prospect while handing her the pen, because you have seen closing signals.).

Also, imagine you are selling cleaning and sanitizing solutions. When physically present you can bypass delicate issues like telling the cleanliness of a place or type or varnish used on the floor by sight and smell. When selling on telephone this is something you would have to ask. How do you even start?! So, yes. On ‘phone success of the sale depends on the tone of your voice. It sells you and therefore your product or service. Consequently, like a successful radio talk show host, being conscious of this and continually working on honing your voice, makes or breaks the sale. Listening to your recorded voice helps. Incidentally, estimates attribute 85% of the success of the sale on telephone to tone of voice.

successfully sell over the telephone

It’s only words. Not when you want to successfully sell over the telephone

Sticks and stones can break my bones but words surely won’t. Remember that adage? It is usually said to encourage one not to be hurt by what others say. Well, if you believed it, don’t. Gentle words, the Bible says, bring life and health; a deceitful tongue crushes the spirit. Believe that. Words, are a double edged knife that can build or destroy or lose you a sale on telephone. Words like but, why, busy and problem, depending on how they are used can come through as defensive, thus off- putting to a listening, detached audience. On the other hand, certainly, absolutely, I agree, of course and very true heighten engagement.

Flow of conversation. Listen don’t just hear.

The conversation cycle is a useful tools to use if you are to succeed in selling over the telephone. The 4 step cycle goes through informing (Good morning, Lend Me Your Ears, Kageche speaking); to inviting (How can I help you today?); to actively listening (to what the prospect says) then acknowledging (Would you like me to…?) and back to informing and so the cycle continues. The most difficult of this steps is listening. It calls for Job’s patience and active engagement. I recommend taking notes and infusing them into the conversation cycle.

It takes time to perfect the art of selling to someone you are not seeing. Interacting with this three activities can dramatically propel you towards said perfection and therefore increased sales.


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