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Warning! You may be one of MILLIONS of people leaving money on the table because you won't work the phone!

Warning! You may be one of MILLIONS of people leaving money on the table because you won't work the phone!

by Dr. Jeffrey Lant

Have you looked at the economic news lately? The so-called recovery is still weak as a new born kitten. People are still being thrown out of jobs. Home foreclosures continue. Financial and social instability blanket the land.

Yet you who says you're in business...

You who tells me you want to squeeze every single cent from your business, won't pick up the phone to talk to prospects and so are leaving big bucks on the table.

Is that crazy or what?

Now hear this: e-mail did NOT replace the telephone as a crucial business money-maker

Listen to some people, and you'd think the telephone became obsolete when e-mail was invented. "Oh, I never phone anyone anymore. I e-mail them!"

If you're one of the silly ones singing this tune, you need to stop, look, and listen to the vital information I'm about to deliver: as far as connecting, working with and developing long-term relationships with customers is concerned nothing beats your Alexander Graham Bell.

E-mail is spectacular... but it NEVER can or will replace the way phones enable you to communicate directly with your prospects and DO BUSINESS! In plain English, the phone is a money machine. You must learn to use it as such.

1) Review your current use of the phone

Do you make it a point to telephone your prospects, introduce yourself, ascertain what you can do to assist them, follow up with all you prospects to make the sale, and (a little while later) make sure they're happy with what they've purchased?

If you are remiss in some or all of these vital categories, it's time to make changes in your use of the phone... or continue to leave dollars on the table.

2) Do you end each day drawing up a phone list for the next business day?

The key to maximizing phone potential and profit is planning; knowing who you want to connect with on the morrow... and having whatever you need to do so readily at hand.

Create a computer file for each business day. This file should contain

* name of prospect

* prospect phone(s)

* prospect fax and, yes, email

* what prospect is interested in

* then space for a record of all contacts, including what the prospect said and what you promised to do (and then did).

Review tomorrow's phone list BEFORE leaving for the day. That way it will be fresh in your mind when you start calling tomorrow.

3) Call your easiest prospect first

We're human. We all function better when we get off to a good start. In business, this means calling your easiest prospect first, the prospect you know and have a good relationship with. They'll be glad to hear from you; they'll be happy to place that kick-off order. When that order is in , the success of your day is ensured!

4) Be clear on the objective for each call.

Because the telephone is used both personally and for business, it's easy to lose track of why you're calling folks. Personal telephone habits spill over into business time. That's fatal to your bottom line.

Before you call each prospect, review just why you are calling. It is NOT just to say hi and chat. It is either to start a new business relationship, foster an existing one and, above all else, get the sale!

5) Keep good notes

The average telephone business user is casual (and hence ineffectual) to a degree. Sometimes they take notes on their prospects calls; sometimes they don't. This catch-as-catch-can approach to the telephone is not good enough... for you. YOU know the importance of good notes. The time to enter them into your computer file is the MINUTE your phone conversation ends. Indeed, if you have your computer screen in front of you while speaking to your prospects, enter your notes as you go.

6) No answer? Call back. No answer? Call back again.

Over the years, I have been consistently astonished at the high level of self-delusion that permeates the business community about incomplete calls; that is calls which do not result in direct conversation with your prospect.

Any call you place, including calls where you just leave your prospect a message, must be regarded as incomplete calls; that is, calls which must be made and made again until completion (that is direct customer contact) takes place.

7) Regard your customers as assets who need the time and considered attention of any other asset

If you are one of the legion of business people who don't call prospects, a major change in attitude (and procedure) is necessary. From this moment on, think of each prospect as an asset for your business and as one of a string of assets from which you derive wealth.

Would you take a corporate bond and abandon it in a taxi?

Would you leave the deed to your house on a picnic table in the park?

Of course not!

Then don't be cavalier with your customers and efficiently calling and following up. They are ASSETS, and they must be treated accordingly. One phone call at a time. Starting today.

About The Author Harvard-educated Dr. Jeffrey Lant is CEO of Worldprofit, Inc., where small and home-based businesses learn how to profit online. Attend Dr. Lant's live webcast TODAY and receive 50,000 free guaranteed visitors to the website of your choice! Dr. Lant is the author of 18 best-selling books as well as an internationally recognized marketing expert. Republished with author's permission by Vaurn James 

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