We employ an abundance of technique in simply the way we go about introducing ourselves on the phone. Techniques are not tricks. They are a way of communicating in a professional manner to help influence people toward something which they will benefit from. We promote professionalism and ethics above all else.
This page could be a mile long but I'll give you a couple of tips here, which you will hopefully find useful and you're welcome to call us for more!
I've often heard sales trainers telling people that 'open' questions are ones which begin with 'who', 'what', 'where', 'when', 'why' and 'how'. For me this is simply inaccurate. For instance the question, 'what is your favourite colour?' asks for a one word answer, unless the person takes it upon themselves to tell you 'why' in spite of not being asked why. True 'open' questions are grammatically speaking more like instructions than they are questions. This is taught in journalism as 'TED' - the three 'questions' being, 'Tell me.....', 'Explain...' and 'Describe...'. These are undoubtedly statements which will provoke longer answers. For instance, if you were trying to find out more about someone you could ask, 'where do you live?', 'what are your hobbies?', 'when did you last go on holiday?', 'what is your favourite colour?' etc etc - or you could just say, 'Tell me about you...' Four little words that could be answered with a very long and detailed response. (I think there's also a tip for first dates in that!). These statements are fine for journalism, though to use them in sales they need to sound like natural speech and not a preprepared inquistion. I find 'explain' and 'describe' a little hard to use in conversation on a regular basis. I find the phrase 'talk me through...' to be a more natural way of inducing a longer answer during a conversation.
The 'who, what, where, when, why & how' questions are actually what we call 'fact-finding questions'. Each of those questions relates to a particular type of response. 'Who' gives a name, 'What' gives a thing, 'Where' gives a location, 'When' gives a time, 'Why' gives a reason and 'How' gives a method. The answers could be long or short depending on the type of information being enquired about.
Another common question I'm asked relates to following up on a quotations or leads. The common issue is that by following up too soon you can look too eager and pushy, whereas not following up soon enough can make you look disinterested, disorganised and you could potentially miss out on opportunities.
A simple tip is to always ask the contact you're dealing with 'When?' (a fact-finding question ;) ). 'When would be good for us to speak next?', 'When would be good to meet and go through the next stages?' etc. This way you are always ready to make contact with them at a point that they have requested, which means that even if things change and more time is needed (a common occurence in my experience, though I'm sure you'll agree) you have not been pushy and can agree a new timeframe. By handling the customer's expectations on the next contact and allowing them to guide it, you will always be able to follow up in a suitable fashion, which will also help build your rapport with the client.