Home Blog Telephone sales: 10 tips for establishing first contact with a customer
January 12, 2022

Telephone sales: 10 tips for establishing first contact with a customer

In this article we will share how to win over a potential client from the first minute of a phone call.

In this article we will share how to win over a potential client from the first minute of a phone call.

Have you noticed that it is easy and pleasant to talk to some people, even if this is your first time talking? The contact is established as soon as it is clicked. In such cases, the conversation goes smoothly, pleasant for both parties. And sometimes, on the contrary, the conversation doesn’t go well. If, in the case of a personal meeting, it may not be possible to get rid of such an interlocutor quickly, then it is much easier to do this when talking on the phone. Especially when it comes to offering goods and services.

For a salesperson, the ability to strike up a conversation and not rush into a “no, thank you” refusal in the first seconds of a conversation is a necessary talent. Today we’ll talk about how to “hook” a client at the first contact by phone.

The difference between the first contact by phone and the personal contact at the meeting.

The first impression is very important. With personal contact, we have more tools to make this impression: appearance, smile, manners, body language, etc. – you can have many trump cards that help to win over the interlocutor.

But even if you are fluent in the art of negotiation, a personal meeting still needs to be made. This means that it is necessary to establish contact and interest with the interlocutor even when talking on the phone, which is more difficult to do: after all, a call is always an invasion of personal space.

It is impossible to predict in what frame of mind we found the interlocutor and from what affairs we were torn away. In addition, during telephone conversations, the number of tools that we can use to position the interlocutor towards ourselves, at first glance, narrows down to one – the voice. But here, too, there are nuances, using which most of your calls will bring customers, not rejections.

Why first contact is so important in phone sales.

Don’t underestimate the impact of the human factor in business. We do not want to associate with those who are unpleasant to us. When choosing a partner or supplier, the factor of personal sympathy or antipathy can also be decisive.

The art of making a good impression from the first minute of the conversation will multiply the chances of turning the interlocutor into a client.

The whole further conversation depends on what the first contact will be when talking with a potential client. If you could not arrange the interlocutor right away, then you should hardly count on the fact that the negotiations will be successful.

Establishing contact with a client is an integral part of successful telephone conversations. The impression of a company is the impression of communicating with the people who work there.

If you, as a manager, have the “right of first contact” with a potential client, you have a great responsibility. The impression you make is automatically extended to the entire company that you represent.

How to win over a client?

Having a client located does not mean that it is necessary to communicate with him as a friend. Positioning the client at the first contact means creating an easy and comfortable “atmosphere” for the conversation.

A bonus from communicating with a positive-minded client will be for you that such negotiations are always easier, more pleasant and with a greater chance of success.

So, here are 10 tips for establishing the right contact between you and the client from the first minute of the conversation.

1. Start a conversation with a smile.

It doesn’t matter that the interlocutor does not see you. Believe us, your smile will be heard. The “smiling voice” is more welcoming and relaxed.

We cannot predict in advance what state the called interlocutor is in at the moment when we make a call. But even if your call finds the client not in the best mood, a “smiling voice” will help smooth things out. Using a smile, in a situation where rejection usually occurs – you will simply be asked to call back.

2. Personalize

Psychologists say that for each person one of the most pleasant words is his own name. Even if you only have a contact phone number – get acquainted with the interlocutor. Introduce yourself, find out the name of the prospect, and refer to them by name.

3. Melt the ice

Start your conversation with a “warm-up”. Ask a simple question that will let the caller know that you are human.

Christine Knott, beyondthebox’s telephone sales and marketing coach, says that opening a conversation like this will break the ice faster. She suggests using questions like “I hope you have a good day today?” or even phrases about the weather: “How is your weather? Better than ours, I hope? ” If you call on Friday, ask “have you taken the other person away from planning the weekend and is he ready to devote a little more time to work issues?”

Most people will respond to you in a friendly manner – it helps to relax. The main thing is not to delay the introduction, after one or two relaxing phrases, get down to business.

However, such an unconventional start must be considered. And yet it depends on who and what your company offers.

4. Ask a “provocative” question

It may be an alternative to the previous point if you work in the b2b segment or call another company to offer a partnership.

Pretend to be a customer. Ask a question about a service that is currently not provided to customers in the company you are calling, but they could have used your service.

For example, if your company is engaged in delivery and your goal is to offer cooperation to restaurants and cafes nearby, ask if you can order dinner with home delivery? Hearing a negative answer – show your cards and offer your services.

5. Show that you are listening

When the client speaks, do not interrupt and let the thought finish completely. But at times, let us know what you are listening to by responding to his monologue with soft and soft “aha”, “yeah” or other appropriate sounds.

6. Use the words of the client

The technique of “mirroring” the opponent’s pose is also appropriate in telephone conversations. Only instead of postures and gestures – use the same words that the client uses in conversation, especially for adjectives.

Even if you are used to speaking differently, do not correct the client.

If he uses a word in relation to content, the alternative word may not have the same strong meaning to him. If you are not quite clear what he means, please clarify. However, try to use, even after clarifying the client’s slang.


The client says “I need delivery as soon as possible”

You may want to answer him something like: “The fastest delivery is by courier service. You will receive your order this afternoon. This type of delivery will cost you $ 10. “

But the client will perceive the information better if the answer sounds using the same words that were used by the client: “The shortest time in which we can provide delivery is today after lunch by courier. This type of delivery will cost you $ 10. “

7. Empathize with the client

Use empathy as a tool to connect with the client. Empathy is attunement to the current emotional state of another person. But empathy is not only empathy for an unhappy customer, but also an excellent sales tool, perhaps deserving a separate article.

In short, empathy in the aspect of a conversation with a client is an expression of the fact that you understand him and are willing to be personally involved. Speech is more credible when you speak not on behalf of the company, but on your own: “I” instead of “we”, “I will see to it personally that your application is considered as soon as possible” instead of “I will transfer your application”, etc.

More examples:

“Yes, I understand what you mean”, “Yes, I can see where you are going”, “I think this might be the best solution for you,” “I think you will like this solution.”

8. Relax and have a positive conversation.

If you are anxious, tired, or annoyed, it can be felt even on the phone. And this interferes with the establishment of contact. We are all human, and we all have difficult days. And at times, this advice is very difficult to follow. However, when you pick up the phone, try to relax and smile. After all, follow the example of the actors. An actor, playing a role, has no right to show personal emotions – only the emotions of his character. If you are tired, then imagine that every conversation is your role in the theater.

In addition, the psychological trick of “pretending to be in front of oneself in order to receive” always works. In this case, pretend that you are in a good mood, that you are full of energy and calm, and gradually you will really enter this state.

Even if you don’t have the strength to pretend, remember that passing your bad mood to another person during a conversation will make your day even more stressful, and you will definitely not be charged with positivity. And the call, which passed on a positive note, will not only help to establish contact, but also really dispel the tension.

More pleasant conversations – more positive emotions.

9. Scripts are just a cheat sheet

If you use sales scripts in your work, this does not mean at all that they need to be read verbatim. Most of the time, this sounds unnatural. Surely you yourself have come across such wording when talking with contact center operators. The phrases read out verbatim cut the ear, sound fake, at best – cause a grin, and certainly does not add credibility to the salesperson pronouncing the learned phrases.

Do not forget that these scripts are designed to help you work with clients, but this does not mean that all phrases written in them must be read out word for word. Scripts are a kind of cheat sheet. After all, your job is not scripting, but selling. You must be convincing. And your speech should sound organic.

You can and should pry into the scripts, but speak in your own words. Try to make your speech sound natural and not give the impression that you are reading “from a piece of paper.”

You are a living person, not a robot. The client should be pleased to communicate with you!

10. Be kind and friendly

Politeness and professionalism do not necessarily mean dryness in communication. Staying within a professional framework, you can and should be friendly to the client. This is achieved with the correct intonation and voice modulation.

Show that you are interested in the conversation with the client. Yes, even if you offer for the hundredth time today to use the services of your company – each time you start a new conversation with different people. Each of them is a potential client. And you are the voice of the company for them.

A friendly tone in your voice will increase the chance that the person on the other end of the line will listen to you rather than getting off with a quick “no thanks”. This means that the likelihood of getting a new client will also increase.


Establishing the right contact will help make your calls more productive and enjoyable for both you and your customers. GotYourBack Support team wishes you successful negotiations, more sales and more fun at work!


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January 12, 2022

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