Sales Strategies

5 Stupid Phone Mistakes Ruining Your Sales Pipeline

Phone calls need to be performed well, or else they're totally useless as a sales tool.
  • ---Shares

Many social media gurus would have you believe that the era of phone prospecting is dead and gone -- but they couldn’t be more wrong. With your competitors making fewer phone calls than ever before, the phone is now a jackpot of untapped sales potential.

But phone calls need to be done well, or else -- quite frankly -- they’re totally useless.

Unfortunately, most salespeople make some pretty obvious mistakes when it comes to phone prospecting. These mistakes kill their sales pipelines and waste huge opportunities for closing more deals.

If you master the phone, you’ll see your sales pipeline fill to the brim with qualified prospects, getting you closer to crushing your sales goal. Start by eliminating these five stupid mistakes from your telephone game:

1. Not picking up the phone.

Countless salespeople suffer from “my phone weighs ten thousand pounds” syndrome. These salespeople dread picking up the phone to make sales calls, so they never quite get around to prospecting by telephone. The best way to cure this syndrome is to move past your initial dread of making calls by simply picking up the phone, dialing the numbers and doing it regularly. You’ll never get over your fear of the phone unless you push yourself through it and make phone prospecting a part of your daily routine.

Related: 5 Keys to Making Phone Calls That Actually Sell (Video)

2. Refusing to use a script.

At the first mention of a script, many salespeople balk. “I don’t want to use a script,” they say. “Scripts make me sound too… scripted.” But here’s a question for you: If scripts are so bad, then why does every good movie use one? You only sound scripted if you haven’t practiced. The more you practice your script, the better you’ll sound -- way better than you’d ever sound without a script. In fact, not using a script can do way more damage than “sounding scripted” ever could. So swallow your pride and embrace the script. It’ll keep every prospecting phone call on track and increase your odds of closing the sale.

3. Overdoing the enthusiasm.

Nothing screams, “This is a sales call!” like a high-pitched, chirpy, overly enthusiastic greeting. Cheerfully shouting, “Hey, there! How are you today?” will end your call before it even starts. Instead, opt to start your phone sales calls with a low-key greeting that’s genuine, calm and personal. With this one small tweak to your phone style, you’ll stand out from your overly enthusiastic competitors -- and get through to your prospects way more often.

Related: 7 Tips for Cold-Calling Success

4. Focusing too much on your product or service.

Most salespeople forget this crucial fact: Prospects don’t care about you, and they don’t even care about what you have to offer them. They only care about themselves. When you’re on the phone with a prospect, never launch into an explanation of why your product or service is great. If you do, your prospect will tune you out immediately. Instead, use that first call to focus exclusively on discovering your prospect’s biggest challenges.

5. Failing to establish a clear next step.

Have you ever had a great call with a prospect, only to fail to get them back on the phone? If so, you only have yourself to blame. This is an extremely common issue for salespeople, and it’s happened to the best of us. The trick is never to let a successful call end before establishing a clear next step with the prospect. Be sure to schedule your next call, and put the date on the prospect’s calendar while you’re still on the phone. It’s the only way to ensure that your phone prospecting approach will convert to actual sales.

Related: Get Over Your Telephobia (Yes, It's Real) With These 3 Steps

You can radically improve the quality and quantity of leads in your sales pipeline by eliminating these five stupid phone mistakes from your prospecting approach.

For more powerful sales tips, check out this free report on three questions you must ask to close the sale.