10 phone solicitation tips

Solicitation will be part of life as an entrepreneur. Not comfortable with solicitation? That's normal. Try to be yourself. Don't push to make the sale at all costs. Talk to your future customers enthusiastically about your business and chances are you'll win them over.

Not everyone is comfortable talking on the phone. And it's even more difficult when you're looking out for your own interests. Solicitation is at the core of what you do as an entrepreneur—no solicitation, no customers!

To win over your potential customers and land your first contracts, you need to speak about your product or service naturally without trying to sell it at all costs. Be yourself. Talk to your future customers enthusiastically about your business. Share your passion for your product or service and the sale will make itself! If you need to, try out your approach with people you know and get their feedback.

Here are 10 tips for easier, more effective solicitation.

Reach out before you call

Reach out to your future customers before you make the call. Networking events are great opportunities to make that first contact. You can also email potential customers to introduce yourself, tell them about your product and ask to set up a time to talk on the phone. Reaching out ahead of time gives you a reason to call and increases your chances of building a relationship of trust.

Write out a call script

You know what you want to say, but stress and anxiety can fluster you and trip you up. Write out your sales pitch and a few answers to the main objections you may encounter. Make sure to discuss the advantages of your product for this particular customer. You don't want to read your sales pitch word for word when you call, so review it ahead of time so you can deliver it naturally.


Start by calling those customers who are least likely to buy your product. That way you get practice without jeopardizing important contracts. If you only have 1 customer to call, practice with a friend. Practicing on the phone will help you find your voice and bolster your confidence.

Figure out the right time to call

Before you call potential customers, make sure to figure out the right time to call. Monday morning and late Friday afternoon usually aren't the best times to call. You can ask the person who answers the phone to check your prospective customer's schedule to find out the best times to reach them. If you get the customer on the line but they seem rushed, ask what a good time is for you to call back. Again, this will give you a reason to call and make the customer more likely to listen.


Did you know that you can hear a smile over the phone? Try it! Record yourself saying the same thing with and without smiling. What you hear will surprise you!

Stay focused on why you're calling

Transferred. Put on hold. Sent to voicemail. Reaching prospective customers can be difficult, making you lose sight of why you're calling in the first place. Your conversations with future customers can also push you off course. Write down the purpose of your call, such as setting up an in-person meeting, and have it in front of you during your call.

Remind the person why you're calling

Your potential customers will be more interested in what you have to say if you first remind them why you're calling. For example, "We met at such-and-such networking event and you asked me to call you." This makes them the reason why you're calling and will make them more attentive.

Make your pitch

Tailor your presentation to each individual customer and their needs, interests and priorities. Make a short presentation, starting with the customer's own words about the problem and desired solution. Then describe your offer, stressing any economic benefits.

Ask clear questions

  • Would you like to receive or use our product? When would you like to receive or use it?
  • Is there anyone else you would like to discuss our offer with? When could I call you back?
  • Would you like a written proposal? When would you like it by? Could we meet so I can present it in person?
  • Would you like a personalized cost/benefit analysis?
  • What do you think about starting with a pilot project or trial period?
  • What criteria would we need to meet for you to accept our offer?

Update your database

Keep a detailed record of your calls. This database will help you track your phone solicitation and get the names and contact information of key people in the organizations you contact, such as administrative assistants, secretaries and receptionists who can easily put you in touch with the executives you want to reach. This way you won't call the same person twice or miss an important phone appointment. Here's a template you can use to start your database.

Customers to solicit
Pre-call Call Call outcome
Company name Address Contact person Title or position Phone no. Date and time Meeting Call back date Transferred Other

Lastly, never act like a salesperson when doing phone solicitation. Instead, cast yourself as someone with a solution to a problem. Remember, being passionate, enthusiastic and confident about your product is a sure-fire way to win over potential customers!