10 Basic Principles for Turning Your Prospects into Clients: Get Them on the Phone

November 13th, 2009 by | Print



This is a little disclaimer that I will be adding to the beginning of every post in this ten part series so new readers that jump in mid way will understand the premise for these posts. If you have been following through the entire series, you can skip the following paragraph to get to the latest lesson.


If you are just joining us, I am writing a series of 10 basic principles that will help you increase your conversion rate of turning prospects into paying customers. If you missed that post, then I recommend that you click on the title, “10 Basic Principles for Turning Your Prospects into Clients” and give it a read before going on.


Today we are going to chat about the importance of getting your prospect live on the phone. Yes, I know that this is the age of instant messaging, emailing auto-responders and Twitter, but we are going to extol the values of working with a little invention patented by Mr. Alexander Graham Bell in the late 1800s.


I admit that I love email and the written word – probably due to my current work as a copywriter. With email you can include links and attach documents, videos and audio files, plus keep a record of written agreements and timelines. However, unless you are extremely skilled at crafting verse, it lacks some of the subtle nuances and opportunities for building rapport as compared with the telephone.


And even if you are a talented typists with the gift of grammar and a master’s degree in communication, you still run the risk that the receiver of your text will misread and misunderstand your intent or simply lose focus.


Let me give you an example.


In a previous profession, I was an actor. I mainly performed in local theatre and did some commercials, too. When you look at the bare bones of a script, it is far removed from the meat of the intent portrayed through the actions and emotions of a live or recorded performance.


An actor can say the phrase, “I love you” to bring to life a myriad of meanings including, “I love you”, “I think I love you, but I’m not sure”, “I hate you”, “I don’t love you anymore”, “I’ve never loved you”, or “I am in love with someone else”.


The most talented actors are those that listen and can clearly convey their message appropriately through believable emotions and actions regardless of the dialogue drafted on the script. Words are secondary. They are a vehicle for delivering intent. The same is true for getting a prospect live on the phone as compared to having the first interaction via email.


Haven’t you either got someone on the phone or they finally reached you live, only to exclaim, “It’s nice to put a voice with a name”?


Here are my top 7 benefits for reaching a prospect with the phone on your first contact as compared to email, instant message or auto-responders:


  1. You get a sense of their personality and level of energy
  2. You get a sense of their true urgency for finding a solution
  3. You have the ability to control the conversation and ask questions
  4. You get a sense of how they react to what you are saying
  5. You have the opportunity to inject your personality
  6. You build a better bonding live than you can with email, instant messaging or auto-responders
  7. You have the opportunity to close the deal on the first call


Remember, people do business with people before they do business with businesses. Don’t hide out behind email, instant messaging or auto-responders as an excuse for saying, “I tried to get in touch with you”. Your prospects are seeking solutions, not excuses.


The sooner that you can get a prospect on the phone the sooner you can build a personable rapport and switch their status in your contact manager from “prospect” to “customer”.


All The Best,

Doug Dolan
The Solopreneur’s Guide


2 Responses to “10 Basic Principles for Turning Your Prospects into Clients: Get Them on the Phone”

  1. Paul Says:

    Excellent point, when you are busy with current customers it is easy to just exchange E-mails with prospects thinking you are getting them the info they need and still being efficient enough to get the rest of your work done. But this is a bad trap to fall in to, getting them on the phone is a HUGE benefit.

  2. Douglas Dolan Says:

    I obviously agree, Paul.

    Email, auto-responders and IM are ways of responding back to prospects that actually hide us from building the best relationship possible for turning them into customer. Have you ever tried to close a deal on email? It can be done, but it far less effective than by phone. In person is the best way, but with the Internet allowing us to reach a much larger audience than our local demographic and with multiple projects to manage, the phone becomes the best alternative.


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