Telemarketing: Think Ahead to Get Results
We’re delighted to have a guest blog from telemarketing company Talk Results. Managing Director, Felicity Francis, shares her top tips on how to maximise your sales calls and get the best results when following up on leads.
I’ve been working in telemarketing for over twenty years, and I’ve found there’s a misconception that telemarketers just pick up the phone, follow a script and get through as many calls as possible in a day. Yes, you could do that. But if you want results, you have to think quality over quantity. It’s better to call fewer people and have quality conversations, than blast through your list, sharing your sales pitch to anyone who will listen. But what does that quality conversation look like and how can you prepare for it?
Before you even think about picking up that phone, you need to make sure your key processes are in place. If there is nothing else you remember about this blog, remember these two things:
1. You should not read from a script
2. You should not wing it
But if you’re not reading from a script, then how do you also not wing it? Training yourself. That’s the answer.
Know your data. It’s absolutely fundamental. Know who you’re calling, why you’re calling them, what industry they’re in, their size, location, number of staff, turnover, net worth, and so on. Know as much as you possibly can. And then have in your mind that your training doesn’t stop there. For each and every call you make, learn as you go. Keep adding to your intelligence so you become a complete expert.
In terms of their industry, also make sure you’ve fully considered which of your products or services are most relevant, and only discuss what is relevant. That means you need to fully understand your products and services. Know them inside and out so you feel extremely confident in talking about them.
People often talk about “your why” in terms of understanding the value you offer to customers. In this instance I mean work out your why so people understand why you’re calling them. It makes for a much better conversation if there’s meaning to it.
So, why are you calling them? What is the purpose? What do you hope to get out of it? Don’t think to yourself vague things like you just want more sales. Think of more exact reasons of how you want the conversation to go.
Whilst you need to know all about the people you’re contacting, don’t forget you also need to know all about yourself too. Make sure you feel very confident in talking about how you got to where you are, what you sell and what the Unique Selling Points (USPs) are.
For the USPs, don’t think price is a differentiator. Anyone can drop their prices. Think instead of the real key features of what you do that could make a difference to the people you’re speaking to. How can you communicate all the fantabulous things you do. You also need to understand why people would choose you, and see it from their perspective.
When you’ve nailed your USPs, you then need to apply them to the questions you might get asked. Be prepared for your objections. For example, if someone says you’re too expensive, how are you going to respond? Could you say you offer flexible pricing? Or perhaps say it’s actually a misconception that the pricing is high, and overall it will be much cheaper than hiring someone in house.
Pre-empt what people will say and prepare your response. And make sure you keep learning from every new call. Update your notes and training guide with your experiences, so for every call you make, you’re more confident in how you communicate.
Getting On The Phone
When you’ve done all the research and background planning, you then need to think about the questions you’re going to ask. We recommend thinking about:
Don’t ask them questions that need a yes or no answer. Have an open conversation with them. People don’t want to be sold at. They want to be talked to in a nice way where they get to control the conversation. Let that happen.
The very last thing to mention is that, alongside working out how you’re going to have the best conversations, ensure you have the best processes around it. How are you managing things outside of the call? If they want more information, how do you get that to them? Who’s in charge of that? How are you going to follow up? If they ask you to call back in six weeks, how are you going to make sure you do that?
On top of having those quality conversations, you need to make sure the whole experience of dealing with you is a positive one. Plan, plan, plan and then keep learning. Trust me, it will be worth the effort.