Training Tuesday– Tips for Phone Calls & Voicemail

You can use the same tools when leaving a message as you do when speaking with a live gatekeeper: be aggressive, assume control, sound important, and be confident.

Here are some tips that will help you be an effective communicator on the phone or through voicemail:

  • Be clear and clever. Make sure you sound enthusiastic and authoritative on your business and theirs.
  • Being an effective communicator on the phone or in a voicemail is a skill that takes practice. Be sure to speak slowly and distinctly enough to be clearly understood.
  • Make your message short. Time is valuable. Give the prospect the headlines instead of the entire story, until you’ve grabbed their attention.
  • Smile with your voice. A friendly voice will hold your prospect’s interest. Prospects like to buy from people they’re comfortable with so be sure to project your friendliness over the phone.
  • Be an energetic speaker. This expresses your enthusiasm for your job and your product.
  • Make it clear that you’re not calling to make an immediate sale, rather to make a scheduled time for the call because you understand that their time is valuable. This also implies that you are busy helping other clients, which in turn translates to a perception that you’re successful.
  • Listen attentively. No one appreciates being interrupted. Sometimes the prospect will give you useful information that you can use during a face-to-face appointment, or a follow up phone call. Be sure to take notes.

Connecting with a prospect over the phone or through their voicemail can be frustrating, but it is also a very effective way to start the sales process. With the tips above, you’ll be on your way to being a better phone communicator.


Training Tuesday:Closing Techniques – Part 2

Last week we mentioned 5 of our top 9 closing techniques you should try on your next sales calls. This week we’re addressing 4 more methods for confirming sales.

6.The “Testimonial” Close

To build credibility and reassure the prospect that they’re making a wise decision, tell them about success others have had in working with you.

7.The “All That” Close

To use the “all that” close, simply reiterate the client’s needs and wants, and how your service satisfies them: “From what you’ve told me, you want this and you need this, we can do all that.”

8.The “Ben Franklin” Close

Since we can’t offer perfect service all the time, it’s often difficult to overcome every one of the buyer’s objections. When an unanswered objection stands between you and a sale, make a list of benefits versus objections (just be sure that the benefits far outweigh the objections), and present them to your buyer and say, “As you can see, the reasons for buying far outnumber the reasons against.”

9.The “Reverse” Close

The reverse close turns the prospects’ reasons why they shouldn’t buy into reasons why they should buy. When your prospect voices an objection, think of a benefit to that objection: “that’s the reason why you should use us.”


The more closes you know, the better prepared you’ll be to face that moment of truth at the end of your presentation. With so many effective ways to confirm a sale, odds are, you’ll be able to confirm a sell on your very next call.

It’s no secret why you’re making the call in the first place. And it’s no secret why your prospect is listening.  They know you’re there for the purpose of selling them your services.

Be a closer (or confirmer). Your main objective is to get new business. At the end of the presentation, a real sales professional will confirm with their prospect that they’ve done a good job, and that confirmation will come in the form of a sale.


LTL 101:Cubic Capacity

Do you know how cubic capacity can affect your shipments?

Almost every LTL carrier has a cubic capacity rule in their rules tariff that may affect any of your shipments. LTL carriers impose minimum cubic capacity rules to effectively counter very light, fluffy shipments that take up more than their fair share of a trailer. In most cases, LTL carriers state that if a shipment consumes 750 cubic ft. of space or more, AND the shipment has a density of less than 6 pounds per cubic foot (pcf), it’s not paying its fair share. While the rule varies dramatically amongst carriers, most artificially adjust the weight to a minimum of 6 pcf, AND apply a class of 125 or 150 to the commodities being shipped with their associated tariff rates. Most carriers use the 750 cubic feet as the threshold, but not all.

This week we wanted to clarify what to watch for with Cubic Capacity by providing an example from XPO:

XPO is now enforcing their standard cubic capacity rules on all tariffs. What this means is that shipments requiring 350 cubic ft. or more of the trailer with an average density of less than 3 pcf will have the weight calculated differently then what the actual weight is. Yes that is correct, the actual weight will not matter!

350 cubic ft. of the trailer equates to approximately 5.46 linear ft. of the trailer so you can see that we are severely limited on the amount of skids of LTL we can ship when the density is below 3 pcf.

As an example, for two pallets of LTL, cubic capacity would be calculated as follows. Please note that the carrier uses the actual height (96”) of the trailer when they look at the cubic capacity of the shipment, not the actual height that the shipment might be:

One skid = (40” x 43” x 96”) / 1726 cubic inches per cubic ft. = 95.67 cubic ft. x two skids = 193.34 cubic ft.

You can see that this falls way under the 350 cubic ft. rule so we are safe to ship this with XPO.

However, if you want to ship 4 skids, the cube of the shipment is now double at 386.68 cubic ft. which is outside of the cubic capacity limit. The only way you could ship this as an LTL shipment is if the density of the shipment was greater than 3 pcf.

Four skids with a total weight of 500 lbs., the density would be the 500 lbs. / 386.68 cubic ft. = 1.3 pcf.

If we shipped this LTL, we would be hit with the cubic capacity rule and our cost would skyrocket.

Four skids would have to have a total weight of 1161 lbs. or greater for us to be able to ship them as a standard LTL shipment with no problems. 1161 lbs./386.68 = 3.0 pcf.

Below is the actual excerpt from the XPO rules tariff:


Training Tuesday:Closing Techniques – Part 1

There are as many different closes as there are sales people, but there are some recurring techniques that may come in handy. While you may find that certain closes work better than others, that shouldn’t deter you from using a variety of closes or confirming techniques, depending on different situations. We’ve outlined the first 5 of our top 9 closing or confirming techniques. Learning the closes listed here will increase your chances of getting more sales, more often, from more accounts.

1.“It Costs Too Much” Close

Emphasize the benefits you know the prospect finds irresistible. Uncover the prospect’s hot buttons and emphasize how your solution will actually save them money in the long run.

2.The “What You Really Want” Close

Help the prospect see themselves using your service. Speak to them as though they already use it, and tie in a hot button benefit to its use. “When you use us, then this will happen, and that’s what you really want, isn’t it?

3.The “Minor-Major” Close

The minor-major builds a chain of affirmative answers to questions you ask to help lead a prospect into saying yes to the sale. To put the prospect in the habit of saying “yes,” ask questions you’re sure will get an affirmative answer.

4.The “If I Can” Close

This close uses the prospect’s questions and comments to help you get them to buy if you can provide what they want. Instead of immediately assuring the prospect that you can meet all of their needs and wants, ask them if they’ll buy from you if you can…

5.The “Give Us A Try” Close

If the prospect is waiting for an invitation to buy, give them one. Make a persuasive argument for choosing your product or company, including reasons why the prospect should buy, then invite them to do it. “Why don’t you give us a try?” or “Would you like to get started right away?”

Next week we’ll address 4 more top closing methods and how adding them to your repertoire of sale confirming techniques can help you up your sales success.




Training Tuesday:10 Tips for Helping Dissatisfied Customers

Even the best company, with the best service, will occasionally make mistakes. What matters most is how you handle the situation when issues arise. We’ve included our top 10 tips to best help a dissatisfied customer.

1.Inform the customer as soon as you can – they’re going to find out one way or another – and no news travels as swiftly as bad news. Contacting them first allows you the opportunity to set the tone and break the bad news in the most productive way possible.

2.Get to the point quickly. Don’t draw out the inevitable.

3.If your customer approaches you with a complaint, don’t interrupt. Don’t become defensive or make judgement until you’ve heard all the facts as the customer sees them.

4.Take complaints seriously, even if they seem trivial to you. Remember that problems exist when a customer perceives they exist.

5.Apologize sincerely.

6.Avoid playing the “blame game,” instead focus on fixing the problem. The customer has already decided to blame you and your company, so take responsibility for the problem and solve it.

7.Let your customer suggest solutions or alternatives. Find out their expectations for a solution and follow that if it is reasonable.

8.Do something extra. Recognize the inconvenience caused by the problem and acknowledge that.

9.Listen to your customer, trust their sincerity, and empathize with them.

10.Follow up. After you’ve done everything you can to remedy the situation, follow up with the customer and make sure they are truly satisfied.