It used to be that the telephone was one of the few, and best options to contact customers and prospects. In today’s business climate people have multiple communication choices: email, text, social media, facetime, and phone sales calls. Wait I forgot snail mail and fax.

What’s Best for You May not be Best for Everyone

Knowing the best communication media for a client is crucial. Leaving a voice mail for a prospect that dislikes voicemail isn’t a winning strategy. Not only knowing what form of communication a consumer prefers but also knowing when they don’t want to be bothered. The best way to know any customers communication preference is to ask them as part of first contact. This post is a guide for customers who prefer to be called.

Back in the Day…

In the 1980’s I managed several large outbound call centers. We called previous customers, sweepstakes entry cards, direct mail responses, and made cold calls. It wasn’t an easy job. Part of my responsibility was to offer continuous training on telephone sales best practices. I’m going to share those best practices because much of what I taught continues to hold true today.

10 Phone Sales Calls Tips 


A smile shows in your voice. It comes through the phone. It’s easier to keep someone on the phone if you’re friendly. I put mirrors at telemarketers desks so they could monitor their smile.

Politely introduce yourself

And then show respect by calling the prospect Mr. or Ms.  If a prospect prefers to be called by their first name they’ll tell you.

Ask permission

Don’t go willy-nilly into your presentation without checking the consumer’s availability. I ask if I’m taking them away from anything.

Use your hands

Most people use their hands for emphasis and punctuation when they talk. It’s hard to make a point without pointing. Once again, using hands for emphasis comes through the phone.

Use lowered inflection

When people are confident they speak with lowered inflection. Think of it like descending notes on a sheet of music. With lowered inflection, a voice begins at a higher note and lowers throughout the statement. Rising inflection is the opposite. It’s how people sound when they lack confidence, when they’re unsure, or when they ask a question. Think valley girl.

Be aware of your volume

Too loud or soft will hinder with communication and ruin any phone sales calls made.

Ask open-ended questions

If you want to promote conversation with a prospect ask them what, when, where, and why. If you want to end a conversation asked closed in, yes or no questions.

Listen don’t interrupt

The surest way to lose a customers participation in a conversation is to cut them off.

Never be rude, hateful, or argumentative

The customer may not always be right but should always be treated with respect.

End on a positive note

The easiest way to do this is to thank them enthusiastically for their time and offer to be of service for any of their needs.

Don’t Phone it in—Do Your Best

If you’re going to use the phone as a sales tool use it the best way possible. Smile, be confident, ask permission and begin a conversation using open-ended questions. If you have any questions about telephone best practices, give me a call, Randy 317-306-9713.