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7 Deadly Telephone Sins Salespeople Make

Blue Bird Sales Consultant

7 Deadly Telephone Sins Salespeople Make

In this episode we talk about common mistakes sales organization make regarding their telephones.  In this solo episode  I walk through a check list you can investigate in your current phone system. Often times companies are not even aware they are making these critical mistakes.  Consider yourself a prospective client. Test and see if you’re easy to connect to.

7 deadly sales sins that kill bluebirds.


When a new customer calls you out of the blue to  buy something,in sales we call that  a bluebird. Sales people LOVE bluebirds. It’s fun to earn a commission with very little work. I always did a little happy dance when those infrequent sales plopped in my lap.

A buyer that takes the time to pick up the phone and call you is a motivated buyer. I LOVE motivated buyers. Yet I’m constantly shocked by how difficult companies make it for prospective customers to connect with a sales rep.

A motivated buyer is a precious commodity. It’s critical to quickly take the money when the desire is strong to purchase. Tomorrow maybe too late.

This past week I’ve been calling  sales organizations.

Over and over I keep seeing the same telephone mistakes. If I didn’t know any better, it’s like they don’t want people to buy!

If you’re a sales manager, business owner or a sales rep, take a moment and investigate your telephone situation. To help,  consider the following 7 deadly telephone sins sales people make.

Check your organization against this list and  see if you are unwittingly killing bluebirds with your telephones.

No Voice Mail Greeting Setup

Make sure every sales rep has voice mail setup on their office phone  and cell phone. Twice this week I’ve heard “You reached the phone of 630-555-1212”. I was never certain if I even had the right person.  I would leave a lame voice mail like “Hi Johnny? I was calling about a placing a million dollar order with your company?”

Voice Mail Greeting Non-compelling

Some people  have a voice mail greeting but it’s nothing like what they would say if you were to meet in person. The greeting should be warm, inviting and helpful. It shouldn’t sound like you  are bored with your job.  You would think people would know how to do this.   Instead do this…

“Hi, you’ve reached the phone of NAME at COMPANY. I’m not available right now but please leave a message and I’ll get back to you as soon  as I can.”

If you’re a sales manager, Listen to your reps voicemail. Does it meet that criteria?

Voice Mail Full,  Can’t Leave a Message

Nothing is more frustrating than dialing through a complex phone system, listening to a long greeting only to be told you  CAN’T leave a message. Ugh.

Call everyone in the sales organization. Is their voice mail ready to accept new orders?

No Telephone Number on The Employees  LinkedIn

Did you know that recent studies show that 30-40% of the sales happens online BEFORE you talk to the prospect?   Let’s say one of your clients passes the name of a rep onto a friend. That person will then investigate and look up the sales rep on LinkedIn. Despite the fact that there is a place to enter a phone number, MANY PEOPLE LEAVE IT BLANK. This is not the DO NOT CALL LIST.   You want people to call you!

Or if there is a phone number it’s a Home phone. Was this left over from the days when LinkedIn was considered your online resume?  It’s not. It’s a portal to you. your brands as a sales professional.  Place your office or cell phone  number in LinkedIn. Make it easy for people to connect.

“But Pat”, you might ask “I don’t want sales people calling me“.   Sigh and  let me wag my finger for a moment.   You know, you’re a sales person, right?

Instead do this:  treat them with respect, see if they can help, and if it’s clear they can’t say “I’m sorry but I’m not a qualified prospect for you. I’m in sales too. I believe your time would be better spent working on your next lead. Good luck!” 

No Telephone Number on your Website

A surprising number of organizations make it very difficult  to contact the sales department or a specific person. I’ve recently seen this issue on both big brand companies and Mom and Pop companies.  A few days ago I was forced to call the support line (hidden on the About page), wait in a queue, then get transferred to an operator, who then looked up the name and transferred my call. It took 10 minutes and this was a large big brand company. Most people  are not so patient.  And mind you I see this on small business websites too. Make it easy for people to connect.

No Updated Telephone Directory

Again nothing is more frustrating  then using the letters on a dial pad to peck out a name that’s NOT in the directory. And you probably did this after navigating through a series of complicated phone system.  Make sure everyone’s phone is up to date, by first name and last.

No Attendant

This is always the last hope when you can connect, hit 0 to connect with an operator. But what if there is no operator? The calls should transfer to a sales rep. If it goes to a general mailbox, that give the prospect little faith their call will be returned. To the best of your ability, have a live person answer ALL calls on the sales line. If it’s a support call they can transfer it.

These are the 7 deadly sins that kill bluebirds

Again, take a moment and investigate your current phone system. Often times companies are not aware they are making these critical mistakes.  You may not be aware that you’re guilty yourself. Consider yourself a prospective client. Test and see if you’re easy to connect to.

Bluebirds are too precious to lose, motivated buyers are as good as gold. Don’t let these opportunities pass you by!

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