How to make your sales calls screen proof

franchise sales

Salespeople can disarm the person on the other side of the phone by following this simple script

We all make a lot of phone calls in franchising. One of the questions I get a lot of from franchise professionals is “Nancy, how can I keep from getting screened?” Whether you are a franchisee, a franchisor, or a franchise consultant, you’ve probably had challenges getting to the person you want to speak (or sell) to. But it doesn’t have to be that way. We all hate being screened. But take heart. Conversations like below can be avoided.  

“Hi, may I speak with Mr. Smith, please?”

Answer: “Who’s calling? What company are you with? What is this in regard to?” (Or worse, “Will he/she know what this is in regard to?”) Aggggg!

HMMMMM, how would you like to NEVER, EVER get screened again? I mean never. I don’t get screened. I never get screened on a phone call. EVER. Here’s my secret. Every phone call I make is like this: 

(If the person answering the call uses her or his name, I use it as well.) “Hi Sue. MY NAME IS Nancy Friedman, with Telephone Doctor Customer Service Training. I need to speak with Bob Smith, please.”

We have eliminated the screening process by giving them the answers upfront. Essentially, we have disarmed the person answering the phone by giving the information she was going to ask. (Handling the objection before it’s asked.)

Oh well, yes, sure they can always ask “what is this in regard to” or “will he/she know why you’re calling?” However, I have found my process eliminates that last question because we have been so upfront with the person answering, they’re almost intimidated to ask that last question.

BUT, if they do sneak in that “What is this regarding?” question, I take a 3 count and simply say, “I’d like to do business with your company.” STOP! Let that sink in. 

Who in their right mind would say, “No thanks, we don’t want any more business.” They don’t want to risk the idea of losing a customer. The call normally goes through. Then, YES, when you get to Mr. Big or whomever, reintroduce yourself and ask if they have a moment to talk. 

The truth is, everyone screens their calls. In fact, getting to a real, live person can often be the biggest challenge. Once you do, be prepared with your own version of the script below. Practice if you need to.

Introduce yourself to the caller with the company name and with a big smile on your face. Use the person’s name if you have it and confidently say, “Hi, (NAME if you have it). My name is XXXX with XXXXX. I need to speak with XXXX.”

Of course, it’s not just what we say, but how we say it. To avoid the screening process, be friendly in your tone. Speak clearly and employ confidence and professionalism. As Theodore Roosevelt once said, “Believe you can and you’re halfway there.” 

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Nancy Friedman is Founder and Chairman of the The Telephone Doctor Customer Service Training. A former franchisor, she is expert on customer service and is a frequent keynote speaker talking about customer services best practices. Her real-world, hands-on tips, ideas, skills, and techniques help both franchisors and franchisees take their businesses to the next level.
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