Now that we’re better aware of some of the pitfalls to avoid (read my article “Tele-phony”), let’s discuss how to be an effective professional on the phone. People like to be around people, who are appropriately positive, appropriately enthusiastic, and who reflect a belief and confidence in what they’re doing.

There are several ways to sound positive and enthusiastic:
• Be positive and engaged in your phone work, but not artificially so.
• Make your calls during the time of day when you have the most energy and the best attitude. This will play to your natural cycle of energy.
• Smile! You’ve probably heard this before and it’s true. When you smile as you talk, your smile can be “heard”.
• Get proper nutrition to feed your body, your mind and your attitude. Ever notice how you become impatient when you’re hungry? Ever notice how you have trouble staying focused when you’re hungry? Ever notice how your attitude dips when you’re hungry? Don’t neglect this important aspect of phone success.
• If you’ve been on the phone for a while (an hour or more), take a break to refresh yourself and rejuvenate. Your attitude and energy level will rise and your voice will reflect it.

As far as being and sounding professional goes, there are a number of very important techniques to employ:
• It’s good to develop a script so you remember the important points you want to make, but most of us don’t write the way we speak. Get out of the habit of writing properly, and instead, write how you speak. It will make you sound more natural and will keep you from having to read your script.
• Practice saying your script so it sounds like a completely natural conversation for you and your style.
• Work to have a conversation instead of a presentation. As you get into your conversation, ask questions. Be consultative. Remember, this is about your prospect, not about you.
• An excellent way to establish yourself as a professional is to introduce yourself as someone who helps people or businesses solve problems, rather than as someone selling insurance.
• Another GREAT technique for setting yourself up as a professional is to be respectful of your prospect’s time. After introducing yourself, simply ask, “Do you have a few minutes to talk?” If you’ve been clear with your introduction, they’ll know who you are and what you want to talk to them about. Their answer to your question will be very revealing.

Here are a couple of additional pointers:
• If you feel like you sound like a telemarketer, you probably do. Change your approach/style.
• If you feel that you’re “over the top” with enthusiasm, you probably are. Tone things down to a more professional level.
• If what you are saying makes you feel uncomfortable, your prospect will undoubtedly feel uncomfortable as well. Change how you say what you want to say so it comes out professionally and naturally. This way, you and your prospect won’t become uncomfortable.
• If you feel like you’re coming across as being pushy, you probably are. Change your approach to reflect your own style of expressing yourself.
• If you feel like you’re not doing enough phone work, you probably aren’t. Find a way to say what you need to say in a professional manner and in a way that protects your attitude and energy, and get to work!

In conclusion, by listening to yourself as you use the phone and being sensitive to how you sound to others, you can develop an excellent style of telephone marketing that will set you apart from other marketers, will establish you as a professional, and will boost your rate of success tremendously.

Author's Bio: 

Written by Michael Beck, an executive coach, speaker & trainer. He is the nation’s leading expert on recruiting independent sales representatives, and helps executives and managers build and lead productive sales teams. For more information, and to receive his program: “Smart Recruiting Strategies in a Tough Market!” for FREE, please visit: Permission to reprint with full attribution. © 2008 Exceptional Leadership, Inc.