"An expert is a man who has made all the mistakes that can be made in a very narrow field."

~ Physicist Niels Bohr, quoted in the Harvard Business Review ~

5 Telesales Tips You Can't Afford To Ignore

Words of wisdom from a seasoned sales trainer… 

The signal most frequently asked question to me as a professional telesales coach is for 'tips'. Let me be perfectly straight with you here: tips on their own will never work for anyone who is struggling in telephone sales and appointment making. The reason? Success or failure is all about YOU. It's not about me, it's not about the experience or knowledge that I can pass on with my sales coaching hat on...it's about you. You will need tips about YOU long before you need tips about me and what tips I can give you in the telephone sales process. 

The first tip would be to ask yourself if you are truly cut out for sales? My truth for you is that everyone, every single human walking the planet is in sales. Most of them, that's 90% of them are not very good salespeople. You need to be in that 10% at the top; mentally very fit, very success focused, very positive. If you don't make the cut at this level you will not make the winners enclosure in telesales. You never will. So firstly my number one telesales tip is to get yourself in shape for a career in sales. Avoid getting in shape and you will be in there with the 90% who struggle. Get yourself in shape for selling and that includes admitting you are in sales, not marketing, business development or any of the excuses instead of the proper title of salesman. Get a sales attitude which is one of helpfulness. 

Here's tip number two. People talk about luck. I have always been called very lucky in sales. You know what? That very old saying about people making their own luck could never be more true than today. Good telephone sales people are harder to find and keep than ever before and that is despite hundreds of thousands of bodies being involved in the persuasion by telephone business. The tip here is that you need to learn to make your own luck by being prepared for every outcome. Having all the product or service knowledge is the unbeatable advantage. Learning from mistakes and missed sales. Understanding what people are really saying to you as you listen to their replies. 

Tip number three is to look the part and be the part. Offices up and down the country are filled with slovenly dressed, slovenly spoken sales reps on telephones. Any chance you might buck the trend, take a pride in your appearance, your speech, your manners, your language? Doing this will add a good percentage to your daily success and you will enjoy life more. If there is an opportunity to dress up or down keep dressing up for business. It will never do you any harm. Avoid dress down days and all such larks. Business is business and your boss is your own pocket and what goes into it. Be a professional

Telesales tip four is professional telephone sales coaching. If you are just being managed at work or if you are the owner and just "managing" then get your company a professional sales coach who will only have your best interests at the heart of their help. Make absolutely sure that your coach has many years hands-on telephone experience. Never take advice from people have not done exactly you are being asked to do. It's easy to spot a professional coach from an amateur. Anyone under 45 teaching others how to sell needs to have a rethink. They should be selling and at the height of their selling career.

My 5th and last tip for this article will be of practical assistance today and every day. Everyone eternally asks  "Getting past the gatekeeper" questions when they meet me. The tip is never to try and "get past" anybody. Be truthful and very natural as your adversary on the other end of the phone will usually be smarter than you, having spent a long time fielding Smart Alec salesmen cold calling on the phone. If you don't know someone, never pretend you do and always tell the truth to a gatekeeper and watch your prospect connection rate soar.

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