Thursday, 20 September 2012

Mind your selling language

Double Olympic Gold medalist Mo Farah
 struck up his famous Mo-bot pose with two telephones
 joining traders at global bokerage BGC in raising money
 in memory of 9/11 victims last week
Today those of us in Selling have more channels to communicate through than ever before.

 However many of us have fewer and fewer business meetings with buyers that are done face to face.

The phone is the predominant whether using landline or mobile.

Yet how many of us consider how best to communicate on the phone. Do we even consider what words work best on the phone?

Just consider for a moment how professional braodcasters have different approaches on radio as opposed to TV.

 For example the approaches by BBC Sports Live Radio and Channel 4  TV on this summer's Paralympics were quite different.  Clare Balding and Ade Adepitan had the advantage of graphics of the Lexi decoder to explain the 20 classifications.

 The BBC Radio 5 live  broacasters however Shelagh Fogerty, John Inverdale and Russell Fuller  had to explain the classifications more descriptively.

So it is with phoning a client. There is no visual so you need different vocabulary and technique.

Day 10 of the series  '5-a-day to go' Selling tips

Medals do hang on trees !

       46.       Polish up your telephone technique

       47.       Set aside time  to do research on existing and potential customers
         Click here for 3 key levels of research

Medals on the trees in Leicester Square
 during London 2012 Olympics

      48.       Plan my territory

            Click here for examples of territory and resource planning

       49.       Find out more about my customers and their organisations

Google search

Use Adword Key Word tools  Click here for link to Google Adwords

       50.   Identify other contacts within customer organisations

Ask the question " Who else should I be seing?" more often.


  1. The days have gone when you could walk into an office on an industrial estate and ask to speak to the decision maker. The days have certainly gone when you could call into an existing customer unannounced! The phone now plays a major part in securing relationships and meetings.

    Body language sadly plans no part in the message you give out over the phone, so how you sound and the words you use are vital.

    Interestingly enough the following are some words that are over used on the phone, yet used correctly can make a major difference to the impression you are trying to create. For instance. Words like, obviously, I think, all I can do and finally the most common basicially. The word 'basically' is over used when trying to describe what you offer. I've often heard individuals saying 'Well basically we do....'. I question whether its that basic that we can't give some thought to how we are going to describe it. Do we really have to imply that what we are about to say is so 'basic' that you need to simplify it for the person listening because they haven't got the intelligence to understand! Of course I know this isn't always the case, but why can't we just say. What (use the company name) do is..., or what this is ...

    Choosing the right words can be difficult on the phone and as a non lover of 'scripts' we don't want to sound like robots. So just a tiny bit of planning of what you are going to say and what impression you hope to leave will go a long way.

    Words really do matter, they create 'word pictures' which ultimately lead to the customer or prospect wanting to continue listening to what you have to say.

    Finally, sounding enthusiastic and upbeat always helps!

    Great article Hugh.

    Audrey Bodman
    @TelephoneCoach - twitter

  2. Thanks Audrey

    Good advice about those tell tale verbal habits such as "basically" , "obviously" etc.

    Your point about sounding genuinely enthuiastic and upbeat is a good one. It is not only what you say but also how you say it.

    I appreciate your comments on my blog particularly as someone who not only runs great programmes on phone skills but also does it for her business.