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Transitioning from in-person selling to over-the-phone

I worked at a marathon training program that raises money for charity for over 2 and a half years. I recruited participants and then kept them enrolled through the 6-month program.

In that job I spent a lot of time with my participants (customers basically) at the training sites and at fundraising clinics and at their fundraising parties. Hell, I met many of them at Info Meetings and got them to sign-up.

Now I'm in a *real* sales job, selling a product and trying to use all of the charm and wit and friendly demeanor i used to recruit new runners, now instead to sell Telecom and Data Center services. Most of it is over the phone. I feel a bit dissarmed. My previous boss suggested I put a mirror on my desk and look at it and act as if I'm speaking with customers in person while on the phone with them.

What thoughts do you have? Did you make a similar transition from working in-person to being caught at a desk? What do you remember or focus on while charming people over the phone? - by DedicatedCircuit
What do you remember or focus on while charming people over the phone?
Charming people (over the phone)? What does that mean to you? - by SalesGuy
Are you prospecting or selling by phone? - by AZBroker
Hi Salesguy. By charming I mean selling myself and the idea of being part of something together, with me. I'm a better than average looking person. I have a great smile and my body language is very comfortable. I'm now seeing how much I've banked on that and frankly I'm a little emberassed. I'm thinking hard how to translate the confidence I emmit in person into my phone presence.

Hi AZBroker. I do only a little prospecting. Most of my calls right now are with existing customers. A third or fewer are with new prospects brought in via telemarketing and our website. - by DedicatedCircuit
I worked at a marathon training program that raises money for charity for over 2 and a half years. I recruited participants and then kept them enrolled through the 6-month program.

In that job I spent a lot of time with my participants (customers basically) at the training sites and at fundraising clinics and at their fundraising parties. Hell, I met many of them at Info Meetings and got them to sign-up.

Now I'm in a *real* sales job, selling a product and trying to use all of the charm and wit and friendly demeanor i used to recruit new runners, now instead to sell Telecom and Data Center services. Most of it is over the phone. I feel a bit dissarmed. My previous boss suggested I put a mirror on my desk and look at it and act as if I'm speaking with customers in person while on the phone with them.

What thoughts do you have? Did you make a similar transition from working in-person to being caught at a desk? What do you remember or focus on while charming people over the phone?

First throw out the mirror. It is an old technique used to remind you to smile. If I am not in a good mood the last thing I want is someone talking to me witha cheerful voice. Instead match the voice tone and spead of the person you are talking to, this will go a long way in developing rapport. Also talk about past successes you have had with other companies. If Cisco, Intel or HP is using your services I know you must have a good product.

Before you where able to make people feel good about themselves by giving to charity. Helping them get into better physical shape and be surronded by like minded people.

Now what are you doing to your customers to make them feel better about themselves? Your selling T1, T3 and other communication avenues. You have to think how your product is better than your competitors. And will make the person buying your product feel better about himself for purchasing it.

As a former network Engineer, I always liked to keep everything the same so I only had one point of contact if something when down, I also had more leverage to get the company to bring it back up by saying my boss wants to move all our products somewhere else if we can not get this fixed a set amount of time. So if you want someone to change you are going to have to provide some proven hard facts that your service is better than the one your clients are currently using. A graph will do wonders for this. Also the type of people you are working with generally have to report to higher ups so you need to give them something they can show their superiors as to why they want to change. Last and I am sure you already know this up time is paramount. The thing I hated about my job most was when something went down. I not only had to go into work to fix it. Whick included ending vacations at Lake Tahoe but also I had to write a report as to what happened and how I was taking steps to make sure that was not going to happen again and submit that to my Manager. - by Jorel
Find out what the customer is trying to accomplish and help them get it. ;co

Your company story, competitive strengths, even how much they like you won't matter if they don't perceive a need, aren't looking for outside help to resolve the need, or don't view your products and services as the solution they're wanting. - by Liberty
"My previous boss suggested I put a mirror on my desk..." Doesn't work when you're talking on the phone because your prospect can't see you (for those who say that smiling will put you into a good mood, it works the other around because smiling results from being in a good mood, otherwise you're being a phony).

I would suggest for training purposes that the seller be put into a good mood in a natural way would be more beneficial all the way around. - by Wonderboy
"My previous boss suggested I put a mirror on my desk..." Doesn't work when you're talking on the phone because your prospect can't see you (for those who say that smiling will put you into a good mood, it works the other around because smiling results from being in a good mood, otherwise you're being a phony).

I would suggest for training purposes that the seller be put into a good mood in a natural way would be more beneficial all the way around.
Changing my physiology does affect my state. It starts off as a subtle shift but if I role with it the state does get deeper. thmbp2; - by Calvin
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