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Smile and Dial . . . but watch out for phrases that put a glitch in your across-the-wire sales pitch.

By Bill Kelley

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Since sitting down to write this article, I've alreadyreceived two phone calls from telemarketers. One asked if she wasspeaking to the owner of the house ("Yes," I thought,"but you won't be speaking to him for long"). Theother assured me he wasn't trying to sell me anything--which,of course, he was. Although I'm not a particularly tough sell,neither salesperson got the order.

With a rejection rate of close to 85 percent, it's no wonderthat even sales pros hate selling over the phone. Still,telemarketers and others required to sell by phone can make iteasier on themselves--and those they're calling--if theycarefully choose their words. "Selecting the right phrase canmean the difference between coming across as helpful orobnoxious--even if you're basically saying the samething," says Sandy Herman, director of marketing at TranscomUSA Inc., a Carmel, Indiana, teleservices company. "And a lotof it is common sense."

The following phrases are those your sales staff should avoidwhen selling your products or services via telephone:

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