How Can I Make Best Use of the Telephone?

In an age when telemarketers, credit card solicitors, political candidates, pollsters, mortgage bankers, college alma maters, and others are annoying customers with a flood of calls—and more households are using caller I.D.—it’s no wonder that it’s becoming increasingly difficult for salespeople to institute a successful telephone campaign.

There are two problems: First, the customer doesn’t want to get the call; second, the salesperson doesn’t want to make the call.

There’s one solution to both problems: You have to get customers to ask you to call them. Once that happens, you’ll be comfortable making calls, and the customer will be more tolerant about receiving them.

Here are some examples of what you might say to customers when they’re in your store:

  • “Would you like me to give you a call in a couple of months when it’s time to have your new jewelry cleaned and checked?”

  • “We have some very special events planned for later this year. Would it be OK if I call you with the specific dates and events?”

  • “Why don’t I call you a couple of weeks before your next special event so that you don’t have to worry about shopping at the last minute?”

When you make the phone call, remind the customer that he or she asked you to call, and relate back some personal information. If you do that, the person will think of you as his or her friend in the jewelry business. Here’s an example: “Hi, Ashley, this is Brad from ABC Jewelers. You had asked me to call when it was time to have your ring cleaned and checked. It’s been six months already. By the way, how was your skiing trip to Vail over the holidays?”