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How to Speak to Clients on the Phone

Dec 19, 2017

Starting any phone conversation, remember: time is money. First of all, it’s your own money. Therefore, I propose to understand how to wisely spend them making phone calls to clients.

So, you have done preliminary work – you prepared a list of clients for calling. Or someone did this work for you ))).

The next step is a call. It is the call that separates you from the sale.

To make a call, you need an inner mood, a greeting, a couple of questions, the ability to listen to a client and willing to make an appointment or give up a client. That’s all.

The purpose of a call is to find out to what a decision-making level a client has, identify the initial needs and schedule an appointment or give a presentation. The presentation can be conducted both by phone and at a meeting.

Set up your inner mood

People will only agree to make a deal with a languid non-initiative partner if this partner has Donald Trump’s level ))). Have you ever seen that Donald Trump was sluggish and non-initiative in the negotiations? No. Because Donald Trump always does his best to make a great deal!

The same is required of you. The same is required of you. You should have such a spirit that allows you to make your best deal!

There is no possibility of visual contact by phone. An exception is a video call. When you call, a client does not see what you are wearing, what color your hair has, what’s on your desk, etc.

Therefore, your voice and inner spirit play a huge role. How a client will perceive you depends on your inner mood.

Speak freshly and vigorously. Arrange the meaningful pauses in your message. The rate of speech should be moderate – slow speech will plunge an opponent into a dream, with a quick speech he (she) will not understand your message.

Smile, as if a client is sitting in front of you. A smile will allow your voice to sound positive and cheerful. But do not overdo with a smile.

A false smile and superfluous friendliness will be perceived by a client as non-professionalism and it will serve as a reason for distrust and refusal to cooperate.

Join to a client

It is important for you to feel, in what condition a client is, and to join to him (her). If he (she) is concerned about something, you can express concern about his (her) problem and gradually bring his (her) to the desired state for you.

When you call, the ability to join to a client is limited. You do not see his (her) pose, gestures and facial expressions. Therefore, your task is to pay attention to his (her) feature of speech: tempo, intonation, rhythm, loudness, diction, specific sounds (snigger, laughter, etc.), repetition of certain phrases, etc.

In addition, develop your skills for express analysis of a client in style and manner of speaking, temperament type (Sanguine, Choleric, Melancholic, Phlegmatic), communication style (Visual, Auditory, Kinesthetic, Digital). This skill will allow you to hold meetings and give presentations on the same wave with a client. For example, when you communicate with a Melancholic, you can relieve tension by showing how you will solve the emerging organizational challenges. And a Visual is faster oriented in your presentation if it has graphics and diagrams.

Prepare a greeting

Start your conversation with a greeting and purpose of your phone call. You can skip naming your job title. You have 1-3 minutes which you and your opponent evaluate the usefulness of a contact and the cooperation prospects to each other.

In a greeting, you can add that your company is looking for new partners and you are considering his (her) company as one of them. Also, say that you want to understand how your companies can be useful to each other.

Should you ask a client “May I have a minute of your time?”? In most cases – NO, do not be interested in that!!! Exceptions: if you hear noise on the client’s side (street traffic, construction work, etc.) or you feel that a client has no mood to talk. In these cases, a question of whether it is convenient for a client to talk will be appropriate.

May I have a minute of your time

– May I have a minute of your time?
– Sure, go ahead! I’ve just cleared my schedule…

So, save your speech from phrases:

  • May I ask you a question?
  • May I have a minute of your time?
  • Do you have a minute?
  • May I bother you?
  • I bother you cause …
  • and so on

Otherwise, using these phrases, you are wasting your and a client’s time. Also, you provoke a negative reaction:

          – May I ask you a question?
          – No!

Pay attention to how clients react to your greeting. If your communication ends after a greeting – urgently change it!

As you change your clothes depending on situation and environment, so you should change your greeting for clients. Create different greetings for clients from different industries, different forms of ownership, different decision-making levels.

If a client asks to postpone a talk or call him back, be sure to appoint date and time for the next call.

A greeting without greeting

What if your communication ends with your name and your company name? As a rule, this can happen when you talk to receptionists.

In this case, refuse to greet!

This method works well to get in touch with top management. You have to know the name of a person whom you make a call:

          – Has Nikolas already left? … No? … Connect me with him!

Only friends and close friends can make such a call so easy. Therefore, you may not be asked for your name and your company name at all. )))

Identify client’s needs

Imagine a situation. You come to a client to give a presentation and suddenly find out that a client does not need your iPad since they exclusively use ballpoint pens. =8(  )

Surprise! We do not need your service at all.

– Surprise! We do not need your service at all.
The image by 61015,

To exclude such situations, after greeting and prior to appointing of a meeting or giving a presentation, clarify the primary needs of a client. Think of questions that will help you with identifying their needs.

Does your client have no needs?… Really?… Are you sure?

Don’t get carried away with shelling out of questions. Ask 2-3 questions. Then briefly tell about your company and its business in the context of asked questions. Then continue to ask your questions. At this stage of a conversation, your task is to find out if your offer is useful to a client and whether a client is interested in your offer.

During communication, observe what more suitable for a client: innovation, prestige, reliability, comfort, a speed of service, etc.

Actively listen to a client

If a client talk more – do not interrupt him, let him speak.

When a client talk more, you must show you are listening carefully to him. So from time to time say “yes”, “so”, “of course”. However, you should not only show this but also really listen carefully. Note what a client is talking about, what words and phrases he (she) uses, his (her) manner and style of communication.

When a client takes a conversation aside, gently return a conversation to the right track.

Make your offer

Now you have an idea of whether you can be useful to each other or not. On this basis, make an appointment or give a presentation.

Close a phone call

Always close a phone conversation correctly.

Thank a customer for his (her) time and acquaintance. Then summarize the identified needs or reasons for rejecting your proposal.

As a rule, when a conversation ends, people relax and can share more information with you.

At any outcome of communication keep good relations with a client.

Files for download


  1. Set up your inner mood
  2. Join to a client
  3. Say a greeting
  4. Identify client’s needs
  5. Actively listen to a client
  6. Make your offer
  7. Close a phone call

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