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Before you pick up that phone


Before you pick up that phone and begin to dial a prospect’s number, make certain that you are prepared. Preparation includes managing the details, such as having your calendar open and in front of you, closing your office door, and placing a note on your door telling others, “Do not disturb.”

As part of your preparation, you should ask yourself a few questions:

Why are you making this call?

Are you on a fact-finding mission, researching some facts about the company? Or do you need to find out whether they are using a competitor’s products?

Is it realistic to expect the prospect to speak with you at this time?

Is there a slow time of day for his or her particular business— such as the afternoon for a restaurant or early morning for a car dealership—during which it would be best to call?

Do you know the name of the person you need to speak with?

What kinds of questions will you ask to find out who the decision maker is?

What do you plan to accomplish?

Do you want to simply introduce yourself and your company or do you want to go into detail about your services?

Are you prepared to offer to send additional information?

Do you have a fax, e-mail, or snail mail ready and an appropriate brochure or letter to send as a follow-up to the conversation?

Preparation can help you identify what you want to accomplish, how you will achieve your goal, and what your next step should be. Once you’ve identified your goals you will better  recognize that moment when you meet—and  better yet—exceed them!

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