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Spin Doctors

Put a positive spin on sales with these image-building tips.
March 1, 1998

There's so much talk about "image" nowadays. In addition to marketers and managers, there are now spin doctors, who polish their clients' images by putting the best spin on what the public hears and sees. As a new business owner, it's important to be your own spin doctor, molding and honing your business image to successfully appeal to your prospects and customers.

I got an e-mail the other day from an entrepreneur who worries that potential customers see his new business as merely a hobby and wants to know how he can get them to take him seriously. Thousands of entrepreneurs nationwide are faced with the same dilemma. The key is to create an image that communicates professionalism right from the start . . . beginning when customers call your company for the first time.

Every time your phone rings, what your prospects hear makes a big difference in the way they perceive your business. Here are four steps you can take to make your business sound professional:

When it comes to creating an image for your business, what your prospects see is as important as what they hear. To convey an image of professionalism and stability, you'll need a family of top-quality tools that work together.

Phone Pro

The telephone is a powerful and effective selling tool--you can get feedback from one prospect and adjust your approach to the next 20. But unless you are conveying a positive company image over the phone, your cold calls aren't as effective as they could be.

The first step is to develop the right attitude. "You need to be calm, collected, focused and confident," says Jay Schlossberg, whose North Potomac, Maryland, business, Media Central, provides film and video production and post-production services worldwide. Effective use of the telephone has played a vital role in the growth of Schlossberg's business: "When I started my company, I made about a hundred cold calls a month," he says. Four years later, Schlossberg still makes up to 100 calls per month--but now 90 percent of those calls are to existing clients.

To get into a selling frame of mind, ask yourself "What does my prospect need from me?" Then write down a mission statement that focuses on all the positive things you can help your prospect achieve. For example, "My purpose is to help my prospect obtain better-quality goods at lower prices." When you offer something that helps prospects in an important way, people will stop and listen.

As you think about how what you offer will benefit your prospect, you can't help but get excited about what you're going to say. Think about each person you're going to call as if they were a friend coming to you for advice, and use the same relaxed tone.

Believe it or not, smiling makes a difference in your voice, creating an upbeat tone your listeners can hear. Put a small mirror next to your phone, if necessary, as a reminder that putting a smile on your face helps put sales in your pocket.

Contact Source

Media Central, (800) 520-0049, (301) 217-0049,