8 years ago
April 13, 2016

How to Sell Better over the Phone

Selling over the phone is more difficult than selling face to face. Learn how to enhance your phone sales presence to sell better.

Rhys Metler


As a sales person, you know that when your sales activity needs to be accomplished over the phone, it’s a whole new ballgame. Whether you’re selling over the phone to an unending list of phone numbers or you have to close a deal with a big client, it takes special skills to sell effectively.

To enhance your phone sales presence in order to sell better, use the tips below. Selling over the phone will be easier than ever before.


A customer relationship management (CRM) tool can make selling over the phone more efficient. A good system can allow you to schedule calls, follow up, set up alarms for important calls, set up a queue of numbers, and even record your calls in order to sell better by reviewing your strengths and weaknesses. When you have the right CRM, you can keep better track of the phone conversations you’ve had with customers and new prospects in order to sell better.

Make a Great First Impression

You’ll only have approximately three seconds to establish rapport and make a good first impression. Maximize these three seconds. All you have is your voice—you can’t rely on body language when selling over the phone so be bright and cheery, don’t come across as aggressive, or make it obvious that you’re reading from a script if that’s what you’re doing. Your personality and tone will be vital in these three seconds. Being personable and conversational will help break down barriers that make selling over the phone more difficult. If you can get past the first three seconds in a positive light, it’ll be easier to sell your products or services during the rest of the call.

Be Mindful of the Customer’s Time

Selling over the phone is tricky because you’re already at a disadvantage—you’re interrupting your customers’ day. You’re disrupting them in whatever they are doing in that moment. So make it clear that you’re mindful of their time, appreciate it if you could have a few moments to talk, and ask whether or not it’s a good time or if you should call back. If they say it’s a bad time, take it as an opportunity to schedule a later call when you can have their undivided attention. Don’t take up more of their allotted time than you initially promised. 

Be Flexible

Your call will have a purpose. You’ll have an agenda. You might have a script. But selling over the phone requires you to be flexible. After all, the call is about the customer, not you, not your organization, and not your quotas. So you need to take action from the customer’s cues. It’s great to have key questions ready, but you must accommodate the customer at all times when selling over the phone.

Ask Open-Ended Questions

You don’t want to be the one speaking through the entire phone call—that’s not how to sell effectively. The person on the other end of the call will zone out and stop listening pretty quickly. You need to get the prospect involved in the conversation. Asking open-ended questions can get the prospect talking, and the information you receive from his answers can give you insight into his buying needs, so you can sell better. Plus, it’ll show that you really care about his needs.

Follow Up

Many sales people who don’t sell on the first phone call give up and fail to follow up. Effectively selling over the phone involves a great follow up. Sometimes the prospect just needs time to think about it. And if you don’t follow up, you’re losing out on potential sales. Plus, if you said you’d follow up and don’t, you’ll lose credibility. This is when the scheduling tools in your CRM become very helpful in helping you sell over the phone. Create a reason to follow up and schedule it with the prospect.

Rhys Metler

Rhys is a tenacious, top performing Senior Sales Recruiter with 15+ years of focused experience in the Digital Media, Mobile, Software, Technology and B2B verticals. He has a successful track record of headhunting top performing sales candidates for some of the most exciting brands in North America. He is a Certified Recruitment Specialist (CRS) and has expert experience in prospecting new business, client retention/renewals and managing top performing sales and recruitment teams. Rhys enjoys spending quality time with his wife, son, and daughters, BBQing on a hot summer day and tropical vacations.