10 Phone Marketing Mistakes to Avoid
By: Charlie Cook


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"I hate making marketing calls. I don't know what to say and how to say it. I've been assigned to find new clients and in the past 4 weeks I brought in zero new clients."

Do you ever feel this way?

Are you tired of being turned down?

Are you frustrated by your limited success selling on the phone?

Making any of the mistakes below takes the fun out of your job and can kill your sales.

1. Using Push Versus Pull Marketing

Most of us don't like pushy people who talk about themselves all the time. Think about your marketing. Are you constantly pushing information out about yourself, your products and services? This may be pushing prospects away when what you want to do is pull them in.

Focus your marketing on prospects' concerns and offer them something they want. You'll help them, convert them to clients and increase your revenue.

2. Not Generating Enough Qualified Leads

Marketing is about starting conversations with prospects so you can learn what they need and help them understand the solution you provide. To bring in more business, help more people understand what you do and prompt prospects to contact you.

Does your marketing help you generate enough leads and start a conversation with prospects?

With the right marketing message, advertising copy and online and offline strategy you can generate a steady stream of qualified leads.

3. Responding To Inquiries With an Email or a Letter

Nine times out of ten, when you send a prospect a written response to a query, it won't result in a sale. Pick up the phone and you can use their questions to start a conversation. With just a couple of additional questions you can learn what their objectives are and then you can sell them the solution.

4. Quoting Price Too Soon

When prospects call, one of the first questions they ask is about pricing. Tell them right away and you risk ending the conversation and losing the sale. Dollar figures by themselves are meaningless.

When a prospect asks what you charge, don't tell them until you've had a chance to learn what they want. Then put the price in the context of the value and quality solutions you provide.

5. Wasting Time With People Who Aren't Buyers

No matter how good your system is for qualifying leads, you'll end up on the phone with people who can't afford your services or won't benefit from your products. Conversations like these can take up way too much of your time.

Use your qualifying questions and their responses to determine within the first 3 minutes of a conversation whether or not the person you're talking with is a promising prospect. If not, thank them for their inquiry and move on to your next call.

6. Doing Too Much Talking

You know your services and products inside out; you could talk for hours, if not days, about your processes, product features or benefits. Don't. You'll lose your prospects attention, especially if you're marketing over the phone.

Whenever you call a prospect or they call you, use the call to learn what they want and need. Ask questions. Let them do the talking so that you get the information you need.

7. Not Clarifying Value From the Client's Perspective

You have a crystal clear idea of the benefits of your products and services; you want prospects to understand these benefits from their point of view.

To help prospects understand the value you provide, get them to define what they are looking for and what it's worth to them.

8. Not Getting To "Yes"

Your primary objective is to get the prospect to say, "yes" when you ask them whether they want to place their order or sign up for your services. Set up a pattern of "yes" answers and you'll increase the chances they will say "yes" when you ask them to buy.

Review their objectives and ask them if that is what they are looking for. Review the solution you provide and ask them if that is what they are looking for.

9. Neglecting To Ask For The Sale

If you want people to buy your products and services, you need to ask for the sale. This sounds obvious, but the tendency is to wait for the prospect to say they are ready to buy.

Why do we do this?

Until you gain confidence in your phone selling technique, you're afraid of getting turned down when you ask for the sale. It's common to compensate by talking endlessly about the features and benefits of your products and services.

If you're working with qualified leads, many of the people you are talking with want to buy your products and services. Help them clarify the value and then help them make the purchase.

10. Forgetting To Follow Up On Sales

When you make a sale it may seem like the end of your marketing effort. Think of your first sale not as closing a sale but opening the door to a long-term relationship and you'll increase future sales.

When a prospect becomes a client or customer, they've provided tangible evidence of their trust in you and your products and services. Follow up with a phone call to find out how the product or service is working and there is a good chance you'll uncover a need for more of your products and services.

You don't have to hate marketing on the phone. Learn what to say and how to structure the conversation and you'll have more fun and make more sales.


2004 © In Mind Communications, LLC. All rights reserved.

- The author, Charlie Cook, helps service professionals and small business owners attract more clients and be more successful. Sign up for the FrŽe Marketing Plan eBook, '7 Steps to get more clients and grow your business' at http://www.marketingforsuccess.com










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