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Secret Ingredient #1

November 29, 2009
Mary Jane Copps

First, a big “thank you” to the folks at IWave in Charlottetown for welcoming me on Friday. What a great group of people! The day was high-energy and lots of fun – a solid reminder of why I love my job! One of the big secrets of phone work is – you have to create and inspire conversation in order to make something happen. No matter what you want to accomplish – a sale or fundraising or collaboration on an idea, if you haven’t had a two-way conversation with the person you want to work with, you are unlikely to get anywhere. How do you create/inspire conversation with someone you don’t know and have never met? You begin by asking simple questions that require only yes or no as the answer. For example, you can start by verifying that you are talking to the right individual i.e. “I’ve been directed to you as the manager of marketing. Is that correct?” In answering this question the person begins to enter into conversation with you. Follow up this question with a second close-ended question such as “The purpose of my call today is to make sure you are familiar with XYZ Company. Does that company name ring a bell at all?” By answering this question, the person has indeed agreed to have a brief conversation with you. To be precise, they have agreed to give you approximately 30 seconds of their time. You can now proceed to give them a precise, concise description of your company, or idea, or fundraising efforts and then … . At the conclusion of your 30-second description or pitch, the discussion may come to a conclusion (which is fine because we don’t really want to continue speaking with people who are certain they are not interested in working with us) or you will begin a more in-depth discussion. How? Again, it is all about asking questions but this time, the questions are open ended. Tune in fnext week for an in-depth look at this next aspect of phone work. Happy December everyone!

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