Don't say Dumb Stuff

Updated: Jan 16

'How' to talk

Speaking slowly, clearly and courteously is essential. Repeat. Slow + Clear + Courteous = Essential.

Phone Marketing is about the Art of Conversation with strangers. So trying to be a great communicator is not the first step. If you're the first business to return a call from an inquiry, you'll probably get the sale. The first step and sometimes the ONLY STEP, then, is to avoid saying Dumb Stuff :-)

What not to say, in general

“What did you say your name was?” It seems like a fair question to ask if someone mumbles their name. But the customer may interpret it as “can’t you even say your own name!?” Write down what you think they said, and clarify later.

“Sorry it’s our policy.” Policies change over time. Maybe this is the time to change your policy or make an exception? How would you like to be on the 6pm News because you said “it’s our policy” to someone in distress?

“I’m sorry you were offended.” This is apologising without apologising. Silly and Annoying.

“There’s nothing I can do.” Wrong!

“But,” is a word used to start an argument. Use "and" instead

“As I said before.” Sounds like you are ‘talking down’

“Is there anything else I can help you with.” Be careful of your tone. You don’t want it to sound like, “I’ve got better things to do.”

“Speaking to.” Not a huge problem, “talking with” sounds better.

Don’t raise your voice,

there’s no need and it may sound pushy

Don't sound Formal

this is Sales and Marketing NOT Mergers and Acquisitions

Guessing Answers If you are not sure what they are asking, and you guess the answer, and you're wrong, you’ve lost their trust, foreverrrrr.

Placing a customer ‘on hold’ without telling them.

Answering simple questions, with questions


If a customer in a shop asks, “where’s the milk?” “The fresh milk is in isle 1 and the long-life milk is in isle 2.” is the correct answer. Answering “which milk?” (just like the TV advertisement)

is annoying

Don’t interrupt The more they talk, the more you learn. When they finish talking, wait 2 seconds, then reply.

Re-frame and Lead with the Positive

Example Instead of saying “No we don’t have a rooftop bar.” It’s better to say “Yes our rooftop bar will be opening next week. If you want to book a function I can give you a tour now, the view is spectacular. Or you can have a drink in our poolside bar down this hallway.”

Finally - Have Fun

Before you phone. Scan their website for ‘talking points’.

  • “How was your weekend? I went surfing.” 

  • “Is your office above that Star Wars themed cafe?” 

  • “Wow, you’re in New Zealand, I’ve always wanted to go there” 

Enjoy the Call.

To continue this conversation Contact James

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