returning-phone-callsAlthough statistics and reports have shown for ages that one of the best ways to close a deal is by picking up the phone, there are still many small business owners who won’t do it. And, when they do, they aren’t getting results and likely it’s because they aren’t working their phone muscle enough.

I’m asked all the time why am I so successful on the phone and the simple answer – I’ve been working that muscle using the phone to grow my business since my Mary Kay Cosmetics Days. The truth is, connection is the key to sales and albeit email is increasingly popular, it will never be more effective by itself than the phone. Period.

When I got Martine’s question, I was kind of tickled because I remember when that was my story – check out her question:

“Hi Darnyelle. I have been trying to focus on picking up the phone more to reach out to clients both current and previous as well as new client prospects, but I’m having a hard time getting people to call me back. Do you have a strategy that you use that works to get prospects to call you back?”

Watch my response to her question in this week’s episode of Incredible Factor TV:

As I shared in the episode, I really applaud Martine for getting on the phone. The fact is, every time I open my mouth, I get a client. There’s power in proximity and the phone brings us closer to our prospects.

For those of you who are a little reluctant, I’m serious when I say that the phone is one of THE best ways to get new clients – why else can you explain why cold calling is still an effective business development tool?! I should mention, however, that depending upon who your ideal clients are, the way you use the phone and the way you have to act will vary slightly. (Yes, there are subtle differences if you’re serving B to B versus B to C.)

So, let’s talk about your phone process. I recommend doing the usual: vary call attempts, don’t leave a message on the first attempt so that you can try again in the same day. When you finally leave a message, you want to make sure that it is compelling and piques their curiosity so that they want to find out who you are and what you want. Remember, if your voice mail is compelling enough, you’ll get call backs, but I recommend that you be proactive and not reactive and already have it in your plan to call them back within a few days if they don’t call you. You can even say that in your message!

Here are a few quick phone tips to help you:

  1. Don’t wing it. Please take the time to create a script. If you’re going to take the time to call, you want to at least script out the beginning of your call. You need to:
    • Introduce yourself
    • Offer something that is timely and relevant that creates a reason for you to have a conversation with them
    • Share the reason for your call
  2. Do your due diligence and research your prospect BEFORE getting on the phone with them. You need to be clear on the who, what, why and how of them and their respective business.
  3. Be conversational and focus on getting the formal meeting. Depending on who you’re calling, trying to sell them in the first conversation can be a big no-no. Instead, you want to be clear on what your goal is for the conversation BEFORE you pick up the phone. Ask yourself: what do I want this prospect to do? (Remember “do” is an action word. )

Now I want to hear from you, what’s your two cents?: What’s the call strategy you use to get return calls? How do you script out your calls to ensure that you get to your goal in the conversation? What can you offer to Martine to help her work her phone muscle more effectively?

©2013 by Darnyelle A. Jervey. All Rights Reserved. Darnyelle A. Jervey, MBA, The Incredible Factor Speaker, Business Coach and Marketing Mentor, is the founder of Incredible One Enterprises.com, Incredible Factor University® and the Leverage Your Incredible Factor System®, a proven step-by-step program for more clients, more income and more leverage in your business. For more information and a FREE audio CD “7 Critical Mistakes Entrepreneurs Must Avoid When Unleashing Your Incredible Factor So You Attract More Clients, Make More Money and Gain More Leverage” just fill out the form below.

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