CNN's Harry Enten asks why we’re avoiding phone calls and whether we can be coached through our telephone-related nerves in this new Margins of Error podcast featuring Mary Jane. LISTEN HERE.

The Simplest Way to Increase Sales


Since attending Dreamforce in October, I’ve received dozens of sales calls and even more prospecting emails … and I’m grateful. Each of these has provided me with valuable insight into why some companies, both large and small, are struggling to meet their sales goals.

Here is an analysis of one company’s approach to prospecting and the one shift we can all make to immediately improve our sales success.

Take for example this voicemail/email pairing I received last week:

Voicemail: Hi Mary Jane, this is … with … calling in regards to the couple of emails I’ve sent over since Dreamforce this year. Want to set up a time to speak with you next week so if you’ll please give me a call back at … I’d greatly appreciate it. Again this is … with … . I can be reached at …. Thanks.

The biggest error in this message? It is all about the salesperson. Sales is not about “I”; it is about the prospect, their needs, their problems and the value you are offering to them. If your communication with your prospects is all about you, you are truly limiting your revenue.

And never, ever let a prospect know that you are counting the number of times you’ve tried to reach them. This supports the notion that you only think of yourself and betrays a subtle disrespect for, and lack of interest in, their business and hectic schedule.

The follow up email arrived moments after the voicemail message and the subject line was “I just tried to call” :

I just tried to reach you and was unable to get through.  I was looking to get on your schedule this week or next to talk about …

Again, the “I’s” come before the “you” and wanting to get on my schedule next week is waaaay too presumptuous. Reading this I wondered, “If I was this company’s client, would this email be written differently?”

And this is the simplest way to increase your sales … treat all prospects the same way you will treat them when they become your client. Make your sales process a preview of what it will be like to work with you. (Tweet This!) With every phone call, email, text, proposal, deadline show your prospects your best stuff! If they are continually delighted and impressed during the sales process, it becomes easy, and often inevitable, for them to become your client.

Enjoy your phone work everyone!

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What's The Phone Lady doing?

  • One-on-one sales process creation with business owners/entrepreneurs
  • Sales training webinars with pharmaceutical outbound sales teams
  • Fundraising and sponsorship communication webinars with national team
  • Phone skills for job search with career-change organization
  • Sales training on outbound calls for financial advisors
  • Auditing phone conversations and creating phone communication protocols manual for Atlantic Canadian natural resource company
  • Custom communication workshop on the working with compassion, self-awareness, emotional triggers and detachment in both conversations and email for a Canadian university
  • Cold calling for lead generation marketing firm
  • Cold calling for corporate education specialist
  • Creating and delivering phone etiquette module for new industry-specific college

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