Before you make that next call, try these tips:

  • Instead of saying "me" and "my company," use words like "you" and "yours." This lets prospects know you're interested in their needs, not just making a sale.
  • Practice, practice, practice. To hear how you really sound--and to monitor your use of annoying or distracting phrases--use a tape recorder.
  • If you tend to ramble, use a timer. This helps keep you on track and enables you to cover the salient points and not lose your prospect's attention.
  • To remind you to smile while you talk, put a mirror next to the phone. Speak in a natural tone, and make sure your enthusiasm for your product or service comes through the phone line.

Excerpted fromGet Smart: 365 Tips To Boost Your Entrepreneurial IQ