"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 ~

The Single Best Telesales Tip Ever

Why success boils down to this one piece of advice… 

"If you were to condense all the telephone sales' tips down to a single piece of advice, what would it be?" This was the intriguing question put to me at a recent seminar on telesales for professionals.  My reply was something which has been with me ever since I first started in sales and was given to me as a sage piece of advice by a sales manager I worked with all those years ago. "Work on yourself", he bellowed at me, his very young protégée.

This response usually makes the assumption that everything else is in place.  You've got yourself a good job, working in a team making outbound or receiving inbound calls.  The company is solid; it's provided you with training and support; your colleagues are smashing sales' targets and you need to join them in the winners enclosure.  Of course you do, you are ambitious. ' Work on Yourself' applies whether you are appointment making or making telephone sales calls, doing customer service calls or follow up to inbound enquiries calls. It is all exactly the same for this, the best piece of sales coaching advice.

So let me now pass on that tip to you, since it's the most valuable I can give.  'Work on Yourself' is about attitude, aptitude, application and ambition. You need to develop all four to become a winner.  As for finer detail, you can add the following:  try hard to be the first in the office, the first on the phone and the least likely to be distracted by browsing your smartphone.  Identify the top two performers in your team, learn from them and use them to build your self-esteem and your enthusiasm on the phone.  Providing you are respectful of them and their time, they will rarely decline to help.  Good people are generally happy to share their knowledge and tactics - it's the amateurs and their advice in your circle you need to dodge.

Aptitude really does mean that you have to be the right person for the job. If your head is out the window and you would rather be being something else or anything else than sales you will never end the month in the winners’ enclosure. You need to be on the next train out of town. That's the sorry reality for many these days same as it has always been. Sales is for resilient, very smart people only.

Working on yourself means ensuring you have the very best attitude towards your work, your potential clients, your boss and your colleagues.  No matter what anyone else does, remain professional yourself - and this includes dressing and speaking properly.  Perfecting and refining the way you appear to others in person as well as over the phone is absolutely central to a successful career on the phone. Then make a whole bunch of calls every day without letting yourself off the hook, that's application.

Remember also to be truly professional on the phone at all times, this is your attitude to the work in hand. Attitude can be quite a challenge for most of us and getting a good attitude doesn’t happen overnight.  So please never try to pretend that you are already the person you aspire to be in telesales since this is most unlikely to be the case.  As in most things, there is no end to the learning process inherent in telephone sales. So never forget that you're in a continuous state of evolution!

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