Four Simple Tips for Selling Products by Phone

I’ve been housebound for about 3 weeks, suffering from Gastro, Severe Vertigo, and Tinnitus.

Consequently, I have had to deal with the 3 or 4 telephone calls each day that, according to the person ringing, are not selling anything. Yet, ultimately, they are.

What has rattled me today is not that they call me – but they fail to sell themselves properly, if at all.

If the people employed are done so for the communication skills, then someone is failing to realise that communication is not just about speaking, it is about listening.

After the last phone call, I was so angry with the caller that I wrote these 4 important points in less than 5 minutes. I can only hope that someone out there who runs a call-centre reads and installs these ideas into the telephonists:

Dear perpetrator of the telephone centres that call households oh-s0-many times each day, here are few tips that MAY keep the house-bound on the line.

#40 On the Dog and Bone 1. Ask questions, don’t assume.
Rather than jumping straight into your spiel, ask if the home-bound is actually applicable to receive your product. This will save both of us a lot of time.

2. Explain yourself.
Whilst you might think your standard regimented spiel is perfectly written, I will ask questions of you. Particularly who you are, who you represent, why you are calling me, and how the frak you got my number. If you cannot explain these few facts, you have failed representing the business you are trying to sell.

3. Have alternative spiels.
How I hate your spiels, your pre-written script, your incredibly non-descrip description of your product. When I interrupt (and, oh, I will!), have an answer – don’t keep repeating yourself. If you cannot talk, I won’t bother.

4. Listen!
When I have a question, listen to my question. Don’t repeat yourself. Don’t repeat yourself. Don’t repeat yourself. Stop, Breathe, Listen. Listening to voice mannerisms, for huffing in exasperation, for nothing (because I will be silent while you rant through your spiel), and for dial-tone. If you don’t listen, neither do I.

The next time one of you call me, I trust you are listening.

Oh, You know what I really should do? Once they state who they are (which they amazingly rarely do!), stop and say…

Gotham Wallpaper

Before you go any further, I should let you know that I am recording this call so I may go through it again later.
I am doing this because as a human I cannot retain that much information all at once.

Even if I am not recording it, it would be interesting to see how they respond, if at all. I’d hope I’d hear more dial-tone than spiel.

That’s it. For now. I may add to this list. Particularly if I am stuck at home much longer. Looking forward to going back to work!


Lack of Civil Communication

This was written on my Apple Touch about 3 years ago, and it has been sitting on it ever since. Tonight whilst clearing out data I happened upon it again. I’ve decided to publish as is. Your responses are welcomed on any part of what I have said.

It’s our action and in-actions that effect the outcome. This is never more obvious on the train to & from work.

Each person we choose not to speak with, the person we avoid, the loudness of the ear/head-phones to our music – each of these choices will effect opportunities to meet somebody interesting.

United We Meet

Yet we live in a society whose presence is predominately active on the WWW and not set in the real world. This shallow existence is a result of technology built for extreme situations being sold to the masses with a vague byline that suggests it will improve their lives.

Which, to some degree, has happened – there’s little doubt of that. Businesses both big and small use this avenue to promote their wares more extensively. Up-n-coming startups are able to show off, thereby encouraging Angels and investors. Businesses can diversify their product range for a solely online audience.

And sole propietors can subtley promote their ideas and progects with little expense -other than the monthly cost of an Internet connection.

Yet it is this activity that is slowly destroying the way of life we knew before we had the Internet. The carefree travelling across the country is dissappearing as a new generation insist that each destination has FREE Wifi.

In our attempts to move freely across this un-worldly terrain, we choose unusual actions, we choose to be ‘friends’ with people we’ve never met, and sometimes we choose circumstances that suit the supposed requirements of the lives we think we’d like to have.


Yet we still continue to restrict ourselves. The actions we don’t take, the direction alongside life’s path we ignore, the pain avoided, the lesson left unheeded, the friendships abandoned, each of the non-actions stop each of us from progressing.

Despite all these choices, we still accumulate material items.

My shoulder bag is now ‘Crumpler‘, my diary is ‘Apple‘, my pen and paper are careful purchases to ensure high quality, my music is a massive collection of MP3’s and MPEG’s!

My camera, computer & related accessories are now the best, yet I still refuse to pay full price – because I always haggle for goods. But these materialistic items pale into insignif’ when you look at what has been given up or lost.

Normal conversation with mouth-breathers has been replaced with 140 characters, each of which has been carefully chosen to ensure the maximum impact. Whereas previously we could have mashed the English language with grammatically incorrect colloquialisms, people either destroy words with SMS-speak or torture us with corporate jargon that only their peers comprehend.

Yes, it seems to have ended halfway through the story, yet since the moment in which I wrote this (presumbably during the 40minute train-ride into town) is long gone, I have chosen to leave it it at this interlude.
Maybe it went too far even. You choose. 
Feel free to comment on my thoughts.

Re-Panorama of Adelaide CBD

How do you use the Internet?

It would appear that I use the internet differently to most people.

1. I don’t want to lead large groups of people.
I prefer to be part of the group, get involved with the machinations and converse with the crowds.

Outboard Motors

Yes, I am the leader of the Adelaide/SA Photographers on Redbubble. It is merely a title, and gives me no financial reward. I basically keep the group submissions to the calibre we want to display to the world. We are not a happy-snap group, we display images that show Adelaide and South Australia in best light.

2. I don’t aim to make quadrillions of dollars from the internet. I do upload graphics and photographs that I sell occasionally, but I don’t expect the internet sales to jump through the roof so I can quit my day job. That might be a dream, but I am neither so egotistical nor naive enough to believe that is possible. Instead, I use the internet as an one very large online gallery. So far, it’s working.

3. I don’t connect with just anyone. I am not going to connect with you just because your popularity is determined by the followers you have swarming all over your profile. Unless I actually find your content to be interesting. Yes, I do connect with a lot of interesting people who have reached that interesting online status of ‘Guru’, ‘Pro’ and ‘Venerable’. But when we first connected, they were just regular Joe’s like me. They ran with the concept of using the internet to increase their net worth. It’s a grand scheme if you can keep up the pace.

So that is the do-not’s. There’s probably a few more, but those were the few that jumped out of my head after perusing a few other sites.

Here is my always-do list:

Solo Flight

1. I always find time to talk. Even if it is belated. On twitter I sometimes respond with ‘Belated response : …’. I figure it’s polite to be honest. I also figure that a late response is better than no response. But I try to only respond to questions, not pithy responses or ego-aimed praise. Praise is nice, and admiration is OK, but an honest critique wins every day of the week.

2. I do a lot of reading. Mostly using Bloglines (an RSS reader). Not as much as I used to — we all change direction, evolve and sometimes take completely new paths. I’ve certainly done that. My reading matter includes web-design, photography, self-improvement and a smattering of philosophical stuff. For many, it makes no sense. For me, it’s the closest I have to surrounding myself with people with mutual interests.

3. I enjoy getting hooked on a site for a few months at a time. My longest addiction is Redbubble, which is now just over 3 years! I pray they neither sell-out nor collapse, as I plan to be with them for the long-haul, even if I was to never sell anything. Great people, both on the site and in the office. I’ve met a few, yet have to go Melbourne again soon, if only to meet Peter Styles. Great guy. Not just saying that, I mean it.

That’s my use of the internet. Whilst I’d love to make money from my blogs via advertising space (and I could), I’m not focusing on that at the moment. I have a bunch of emails asking me to take the next step, but I’m letting that option/idea slide a little longer. It’s not procrastination, it’s finding sufficient time to actually sit down and redesign aspects to enable it all sit aesthetically. I’m all for well-placed advertising that doesn’t take over a site.

That’s me in a nut shell. Oh, before I forget, and because I couldn’t NOT advertise myself: Check out my previous article. Someone other than me has to buy a PacMan shirt! !