Customers love being put on hold! Honest.

Customers love being put on hold! Honest.

Written By Jeffrey Gitomer

KING OF SALES, The author of seventeen best-selling books including The Sales Bible, The Little Red Book of Selling, and The Little Gold Book of Yes! Attitude. His live coaching program, Sales Mastery, is available at



Customers love being put on hold! Honest.

Put me back on hold.” Ever hear that from a calling customer? Want to?

Being put on hold, and played a rude, dumb or obnoxious message bugs me. How about you? Why do you think businesses do it?

Don’t get me started. Here’s the solution.

How can the right message on hold be used to increase sales? Here’s how to begin the success process:

1. Make people think. Be new and innovative with the information you present. People spend one hour a week on hold. Wow. In order to make an impact, you better differentiate yourself with content that generates thought. What are they thinking when they get put on hold? What were you thinking when you created the message?

2. Create a pending need. Ask your caller thought provoking questions that leads them down a road that ends with an investment in your product.

3. Show off in an unobnoxious way. Eliminate the FUD Factor (Fear, Uncertainty, & Doubt) by boasting of your company accomplishments through the testimonials of satisfied customers.

5. Ha, ha, ha, ha. Make me laugh and you can make me buy. Create a happy mood when you begin to talk by providing humor on hold.

5.5 CHANGE IT MONTHLY That’s right, the same people call. You want them to see you as a fresh, new, stateofthemarket company don’t you? Change your massage to reflect that.

Get the idea?

Here’s more detail about message content and format:

A personal message from the CEO something cool, not maudlin or an order of pablum a steak meat and potatoes. Something that makes me think and respect you for taking the time to make me do so.

Real sounding voice like conversation, not a deathknell. Use an employee or several people who sound real. If you want to hire a professional voice that’s OK, but have him or her sound like talking not reading.

Present value in bites that take 1030 seconds each. Tips they can use. Ideas they may find interesting. Valuable information that makes them value you for giving it.

Live testimonials from customers Have an onhold message that has actual customer quotes or the customers themselves bragging about what a wonderful job your company has done for them. Thirty seconds each of testimonial professionally edited down from a five minute interview.

COOL “ON HOLD” IS A BIG ADVANTAGE TO SMALL BUSINESS. Fortune 500 companies have no prayer of responding quickly to anything especially a message on hold. Small business can make a recording on Monday buy the equipment the same day and have a new image Tuesday morning. Big business has to have 50 meetings to figure out who will requisition the tapes and when the script is done and 6 months later, all that’s left to do is “run it by legal.”

“To differentiate yourself from the pack of your competitors who make the same claims you do, you must give value to the listener (the customer),” says “onhold” expert Andy Dinkin. “It engages their mind about you in a positive way while they wait for you. It also generates positive talk after the hold experience.”

Dinkin, president of Charlottebased Tegra Telephone Systems, is on a mission to revolutionize the way corporate America puts people on hold.

THE UNIVERSAL ONHOLD GOAL: Be creative enough to make an on hold message tape that’s so great that your callers want to be put back on hold to hear more of it.

WHAT WE JUST DID: We bought a machine that digitally loads and plays twelve minutes of information on an endless loop. We downloaded a sales tape I recorded offering telephone and telemarketing sales tips and techniques.

WHAT HAPPENED: We started to put people on hold for the heck of it, just to get their reaction. Unreal. Smash hit. Home run. People are saying hey, hey, put me back on hold, Yes!

ADD A WOW!: So here’s what we decided to do we’re having a few hundred copies made of the tape we play on hold any time someone gives us a positive comment, or asks to be put back on hold (which now happens a lot) we’re going to mail them the tape as a surprise gift not say anything to them on the phone just mail it to them.

YOUR CHALLENGE IS YOUR OPPORTUNITY: Is to revolutionize the phone “onhold” message and afford the leaders (those who take action) a chance to crush their competition with creativity. I’m challenging you to do something (say something) of value “on hold” before your competition does.

YOUR SELF TEST FOR SUCCESS: How may callers a day ask to be put back on hold?

FREE GitBit… Want the technology solution to make and play your own message on hold? It’s digital and compatible with any phone system. If you want a list of equipment to play your personal tape on hold Just go to click Free Stuff the click GitBit register and enter the secret words, “ONHOLD”.

Jeffrey Gitomer is the author of The Sales Bible, and Customer Satisfaction is Worthless, Customer Loyalty is Priceless. President of Charlottebased Buy Gitomer, he gives seminars, runs annual sales meetings, and conducts training programs on selling and customer service. He can be reached at 704/3331112 or email to

1999 All Rights Reserved Don’t even think about reproducing this document without written

permission from Jeffrey H. Gitomer and Buy Gitomer 704/3331112