Successful Telemarketing Strategies

Make sure you have a Plan. Before you begin your telemarketing campaign, do you know what you want to achieve? Are you collecting additional contact information, such as the decision maker’s name or asking for specific contact’s e-mail addresses? Are you creating brand awareness? Are you conducting market research? Are you hoping to close a sale over the phone? Without a clear directive, your telemarketing campaign will never get off the ground.

Make sure you know your target audience. Who are you directing your marketing message too? Knowing your target audience is integral to any outbound sales program. There is no point talking to anyone who is not interested in hearing from you.

It’s all about the list! The success of your telemarketing campaign comes down to the telemarketing list you use. Your list should be accurate, targeted and the right size. The number of callers you have, should determine the size of your telemarketing list. If you only have 1 person making the calls, you don’t want the data to go bad before they are able to call all the contacts on the list. Conversely, if you have 10 telemarketers making the calls you want to make sure the telemarketing list is large enough.

Know the Rules. Many countries have Do Not Call regulations. Before starting any telemarketing campaign, do your research and make sure you are in compliance before you call anyone.

Have a killer Script. You have just a few seconds to make a good first impression on the phone. Your script needs to be clear and to the point; you are more likely to succeed in your goal if your prospect fully understands what you are offering, as quickly as possible. Working from a script keeps you focused on what you need to get out of the call. It also helps curb the nervousness that can come with making cold calls. Just make sure you don’t over-rehearse and end up sounding like a robot. With a more natural speed, you’ll sound more sincere.

Be knowledgeable. The first obvious question is why should I listen to you? Or, why should I buy from you? Make sure you are well-informed about the benefits of your product. A sound knowledge will help you persuade your prospects.

Make it into a Conversation. You should sound like you are having a conversation rather than making a sales pitch. Be prepared to talk through any questions concerns they have.

Try to get a Commitment. This is key to finishing a call. At the end of the call, you should ask the prospect’s commitment to buy your product or service. If the prospect shows some interest, thank them for their consideration and ask for their final decision.

Know how to be told “No”. Sometimes a “no” really is a “no”. Don’t let it upset you, thank the person for taking the time and try again another day. Telemarketing requires a lot of patience and persistence to produce good results.

End your call Politely. Whether you get what you wanted or not, always thank the person on the other end for his or her time.

Keep your Word. If you say you’re going to send some marketing material – send it. If you waste somebody’s time or leave them dangling, waiting for undelivered promises, they won’t be likely to buy your services in the future.

Practice Makes Perfect. It can take a little while to get comfortable with telemarketing; don’t give up if the first call isn’t perfect. Remember that the worst thing that can happen is that someone will say “no”, which leaves you no worse off than you were before you made the call.

Don’t just Cold Call. Your telemarketing efforts should be part of a larger campaign that uses a combination of different direct marketing strategies – a direct mail campaign, an email blast and even social media. You may have to reach out half a dozen times to establish a relationship that delivers results.

Telemarketing can be extremely effective if done properly. It doesn’t have to be hard, and it doesn’t have feel like you’re harassing your prospects into submission. Take the time to plan everything out. The more time you spend preparing, the better the results of your telemarketing campaign will be.

How to Overcome the Fear of Phone Selling

The end goal of any sale is to make the sale, right? Of course it is, but how you go from initiating contact to closing the sale is where the art and science of selling comes into play. Let’s focus on phone sales.

First of all let’s debunk a myth: cold calling is not dead, just re-tooled. Since we’re living in the Information Age and Google, search engines have changed the game in terms of how consumers (both individuals and businesses) interact with marketing and sales. Oh yeah, let’s not forget to mention that the government is watching to ensure consumers aren’t called when they don’t want to be with the enactment of the National Do Not Call Registry. However, don’t assume for one second that the phone is dead as a communication medium for conducting business. Most people desire to interact with another person prior to purchase. Don’t get me wrong; websites, email, text, and print mediums are significantly relevant for conducting business today. But, when it comes to the phone, it is the undisputed champion in terms of initiating (or even maintaining) contact with a prospect or client.

Best Method for Overcoming Fear of Phone Selling
Although Nike said it best with their slogan of “Just Do It”, I would offer that there’s a step before just picking up the phone and dialing away. You must have a goal for the call. The best way to squash anxiety and kick fear in the gut when selling over the phone, you need to have a purpose for the call. Remember, selling is both an art and science and follows a very logical pattern. Here are some common goals for a call: (1) Introduction with no goal of making a sale; (2) Obtain an appointment either in person or via another phone call; (3) Talk to the Decision Maker or find out who the Decision Maker is; or to (4) Ask for the Sale.

When you have a clear and direct purpose for making the call, then telesales actually becomes fun. As you build up your stamina through repetition, you’ll express confidence over the phone that your prospect or client gravitates towards and soon you’ll begin to see the fruits of your labor in closed sales.

Jericho Business Advisors provides value added consultation and advisory services for small business owners / operators in the areas of accounting, taxation, and financing.

The Easiest and Hardest Part of Phone Sales

The Ask. Yes… both the easiest and hardest part of the phone sale. Quite an interesting enigma, right? Yes again, but let’s unpack this further. Phone selling is both an art and science and it follows a logical path (maybe a little nonlinear at times, but nonetheless there’s an end goal). Depending on the solution you’re offering to the prospect, there’s usually a lead up to the Ask.

Present the Purpose of the Call Clearly and Directly
For starters, remember to accomplish (when and if possible) the goal of making the call. This can be to set up an appointment, to introduce yourself, your business, and product and / or service, or to speak with the Decision Maker. By stating the purpose of the call (and thus moving toward the goal of the call), you minimize wasting time with uninterested and unqualified prospects and you maximize your ability to make more calls, reach more people, and close more sales. Here’s some great advice: it often helps (actually, the value of having this is more than I can put into words) to have a script available during the call just in case you get off track. Scripts aid you in staying focused and moving the call forward.

Listen Prior to Making the Ask
Unless you’re a telemarketer and are intent on blasting your prospects with a “canned” message regardless of their responses, then by all means, spray on. OK, kidding aside, prior to making the Ask, listen… listen… listen. Here’s the key in listening when conducting a sales call: don’t, I repeat, don’t answer the prospect in your head while they are talking. Don’t do it. Here’s why: you’ll learn that by keeping your mind still and clear without interrupting the prospect in your head or verbally, you’ll have given the prospect something that will often be reciprocated to you in full measure: “uninterrupted time for response”. Sounds weird… yes, but does it work? oh yes. I learned this technique from Stephen Schiffmann and it really works.

Remember, plan the call (set a goal and use a script), initiate contact, state the purpose of your call directly and clearly, and listen. After listening both consciously and subconsciously, if and when appropriate, make the Ask.

Jericho Business Advisors provides value added consultation and advisory services for small business owners / operators in the areas of accounting, taxation, and financing.