Ignore the Phone and Fail!

Peady’s Selling Engagement sponsored by IRD Prospector

Welcome to this week’s post on sales and selling success.

Let’s start with a quote from sales trainer and author Jeb Blount“ Salespeople who ignore the phone, fail” – from my perspective, if you’re not comfortable on the phone, sales probably isn’t the career for you! And don’t tell me the phone is dead, don’t tell me you can rely only on social selling or emails (yep they are great tools, however, sooner or later you’ll need to get on the phone).

Of course, the trick when you use the phone in a selling situation is to capture and keep someone’s attention without physically being in their presence. It’s a skill all salespeople need. It’s also a skill that demands regular practice to improve.

My top 5 phone tips

1. Use a script. Don’t like using scripts? Call it a roadmap then. Either way it keeps you on track, but the key is not to read it. 

2. The tone of your voice matters. Enthusiasm and excitement involves the other person and reinforces a sense of the positive. 

3. Smile. Sounds corny but a smile “comes through” on the other end of a phone call. It also helps you relax (if you are relaxed so will the person you are calling). 

4. Stand up to make your calls. For some reason when you stand to use the phone you gain greater energy and focus. 

5. Use their name often. It’s a truism that people love to hear their name so in the first 30 seconds try to use it at least 3 times.

Bonus tip: Respect the gatekeeper.

Sometimes, the person who picks up the phone is not the person you want to speak to but if you plan to progress past them, treat the gatekeeper with the same level of respect as the customer. They are no less important than the decision maker and could provide you with valuable help and information.


Finding ways to creating rapport with the person on the other end of the phone is crucial to the likelihood of you making an appointment or developing an opportunity.

How? By creating empathy and demonstrating to the customer that they are your sole focus.

Until next week, good selling!

About the author 

Stephen Pead is a media industry veteran of 30 years with significant experience in direct sales, sales management and general management. He is based in Sydney and specialises in helping SME’s market their businesses more effectively and providing training for salespeople and sales managers.

He can be contacted at [email protected]