You might be the greatest salesperson on the phone in your organisation but when your new prospect calls you back to order, the person answering the phone on the frontline of your organisation has not been trained in telephone sales skills and his/her manner loses you the order. First impressions of your company are made by a person’s phone answering manner in the first 15 seconds.

I called a company the other day in response to a big expensive advert in the newspaper. I wanted the special offer they were advertising but the person answering the phone told me she had heard nothing about a special offer and it would be prices as normal. I could not really believe what I heard. This company was spending huge dollars on advertising but the marketing department had not yet had time to alert the people answering the phone about the offer and how to sell it. What a waste!

In the same way as we need to have a sales process in our scripting of an outbound telesales call, the inbound calls need to be scripted too. MRC Refrigeration in Queensland realised the importance of this. They realised that the way they were currently handling their phone enquiries might be causing them to lose customers. Even their message bank might not be encouraging people to leave a message. They called me recently to request I generate scripts for the following scenarios. I suggest you make sure your company has these scripts too.

1. A message bank phone message for after hours and weekends
2. A message bank phone message for the trades men and the boss’s mobile phone
3. Receptionist taking an order to include the questions she should ask and a process for an up-sell.
4. A call back script to customers who have left a message out of hours to include the questions she should ask and again an up-sell.
5. An appointment setting script
6. A script for dealing with complaints
7. A script for handling price shoppers
8. A script for collecting overdue accounts
9. A follow-up script for quotes

Once your sales processes are in place you will be promoting sales as opposed to killing them! The skills of your frontline reception are so important to everyone in the organisation. Then of course, it’s not just about the script, I suggest you get me or your inhouse trainers to coach the frontline staff how to use the scripts. Practise, practise, practise makes perfect

Jenny Cartwright – International Sales Trainer / Speaker / Coach

Author of “Don’t Get Hung up! – How to sell products and services by phone” and “Secrets of Top Sales Professionals.”

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