How would you like to increase your income by 25 percent? Improve your phone skills! Yes, just about everyone who sells something of importance must speak to their prospects over the phone, even in this age of instant messaging and e-mail. And telephone sales are not easy. Typically, you're speaking with someone you don't know very well, trying to develop a rapport with them and win their trust in a matter of minutes or seconds. However, those who perform better over the phone make more money than those who do not. It's that simple.
Of course, it is not that simple to improve your phone skills. For some, telephone skills are natural, but for the vast majority, it is a learned skill. This article deals with the process of improving these skills through role-playing exercises. Here are some of the keys to this method:
You will not get better if you don't
Have you ever hung up the phone and thought to yourself, "I should have said..." Well, it's too late now! Like an Olympic athlete who trains for years, if you trip coming out of the starting lane, the race is over. So what do they do? They practice as much as possible.
Role-playing is not the same as
Benchmarking is very important to those who would like to improve their sales processes because it can show how their performance compares to their coworkers. And, if others are better at doing what you want to do, why should you reinvent the wheel? Listen to what they say over the phone and use what works best for you. But, remember that watching is not the same as performing the task. Nothing substitutes for practice.
Practicing the wrong way will make you
If you don't believe me, ask your golf pro. If you have a bad swing, going to the driving range and playing more often will only make you worse. If you are saying the wrong things, or the right things in the wrong way or at the wrong time, doing it more often will only make you comfortable at losing opportunities to increase your income.
What is practicing the right way?
Practice in front of observers experts who can help you get better. They don't even have to be from your chosen field, since what you need is their feedback. Role-playing without feedback is just a bit better than not practicing at all. Without feedback, you won't know if you're improving.
Use different techniques for different
It has been said that the true definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. It is important to practice different scenarios to prepare yourself for different situations. For example, practice what you would say differently to someone who needs help urgently as opposed to someone who is a procrastinator. The more you practice different situations, the less surprised you will be.
Confidence is key.
What is the real key to telephone sales? Confidence! Those who have a great telephone manner can react quickly to just about any situation. Your prospect or customer wants to hear confidence in your voice. Practice will make you confident. The one thing that is easy about telephone sales is that we know what prospects are apt to say. All of their objections have been documented many times before. You simply need to be prepared, and role-playing will do just that.
Finally, in today's busy world, where can you find the time to role-play? Try early in the morning before the world gets busy. Schedule it on your calendar. If you don't schedule it, you won't do it. It is that simple.
Role-playing the right way on a regular basis will guarantee you an increase in income. It certainly seems to be worth practicing a few hours a week, doesn't it?
Dave Hershman is a leading author and a top speaker for the mortgage industry with eight books and several hundred articles to his credit. He is also head of the OriginationPro Mortgage School. For more articles by Dave Hershman, free marketing materials and a schedule of events, visit www.originationpro.com. He may be contacted by phone at (703) 222-6456 or by e-mail at [email protected].