All telemarketers, whether they like it or not, have entered a high-stakes game. In every exchange or interaction by phone, someone is going to come out victorious. The question really comes down to who winds up controlling the energy and the conversation. A great telemarketer tends to jump on the phone and dance in front of prospects while effortlessly navigating barriers and obstacles. While this is absolutely more natural for some than others, a few key telemarketing tips can make all the difference.
Below are 10 telemarketing tips to help you take control of your conversations and win:
- Have a clear goal for the call. This sounds waaay too simple, but quite honestly it is one of the most crucial of all telemarketing tips. Often, ill-conceived campaigns try to accomplish too many things or do not have a clear definition of success. While a tele-qualified lead campaign will measure success by the ability to verify information and/or the interest level of the prospect, a sales-oriented campaign will be pushing to set a sales appointment. An audience acquisition campaign will be looking to drive traffic to a specific event. All three campaigns have different measures of success. Before you ever start your campaign, you need to have a very clear idea of what measurable return on investment (ROI) looks like.
- Don’t sell to the gatekeeper—E-V-E-R. Repeat after me: “The gatekeeper does not care how great you, your products or your services are, and is not the decision-maker.” While you absolutely should be polite and respectful when speaking with a gatekeeper, remember that at the end of the day it does not benefit the sale to pitch to the gatekeeper. You can banter, you can dance, you can talk about the weather, you can even use a familiar tone, but the gatekeeper is going to decide two things: whether you were kind and respectful if their boss or colleague inquires, and whether or not they will connect you directly to the prospect or put you through to voicemail.
- When you are looking to grab your prospect’s attention, DO NOT set the primary focus of the call as a sales call. Sales is a tricky business. The odds that anyone you call for the first time will give you time to do a proper sales pitch are slim to none. At the end of the day in sales, your goal should never be about a cold, hard sell anyway. Instead, you should always be looking to match prospects with a product or service that clearly benefits them. A great telemarketing tactic is to use a phrase like, “I’m looking for a strategic partner and wondering if you might be a fit.” Remember that your first sale on any telemarketing call is to convince the prospect that they have a reason to listen.
- Show excitement. Often overlooked among viable telemarketing tips, excitement and passion in the voice of the caller amount to the telemarketing “X factor.” Have you ever wondered why some telemarketers can magically pass through gatekeepers and book their appointments with ease? Quite often these individuals are “bringing it all to the table” through their voice. While a caller cannot see you smile, they certainly can hear it in your voice. People can also tell the difference between those who are genuinely passionate about a product or service and those who are not.
- Watch your pace. This is a crazy-common mistake made by beginning telemarketers. In an effort to follow #4 of our telemarketing tips (“Show excitement!”), callers will start to speak too fast and raise their voices. The ability to control your speed shows poise, professionalism and confidence. Speaking slowly and clearly also gives a prospect time to digest what you are saying.
- Listen for any sign of emotion and address it. Hey, let’s face it, we are only human. Human beings can follow every sales and marketing playbook on the planet and lose a huge deal because of the prospect’s feelings or moods. If you happen to hear a prospect laugh, compliment them; if you hear them sigh, acknowledge their discomfort and ask if something is the matter. Instead of regarding human emotions as pitfalls in a conversation and avoiding them, EMBRACE them as an opportunity to connect with your prospect.
- If you are struggling to listen or need to buy time, repeat what you think you were told and clarify. The very best telemarketers and sales people are genuinely great listeners. They listen for opportunities to sell. If you find yourself struggling to listen well, this is probably the most important of our telemarketing tips. Take a moment and repeat back what you did hear to the prospect and confirm whether the information is correct. Not only will it validate the prospect and help you log the correct information, it will also give you a chance to collect your thoughts and stall if you somehow lose your focus.
- Remember that the transfer of power between a caller and a prospect happens when the caller stops asking questions and the prospect starts asking them. Most telemarketers are great question-askers by nature. You have to be in order to survive the game. But a successful, experienced telemarketer also knows when to STOP asking questions. A seasoned pro will strategically insert leading comments or statements and open-ended questions into the conversation, hoping to open a window for prospects to engage and ask questions of their own.
- When you get an answer you want, STOP TALKING. This may sound like it’s right out of Sales 101,but when you’re in the middle of a conversation, simple telemarketing tips like this one can be easy to forget. Every single time you talk, you create an opportunity to blow the deal. If you happen to get the answer you want, take it at face value, thank the prospect and book the next appointment.
- If you have no other choice but to take “no” as the answer for now, find out if there is any possible future interest, and if the prospect will keep you in mind for referrals. While there is not a telemarketer on the planet who likes the word “no,” sometimes the conversation reaches a dead end. Asking about future interest and asking for referrals puts the ball back in your court and gives you one more shot at success.
For more telemarketing marketing tips and best practices, information about telemarketing or demand generation campaigns please visit us a www.zinfi.com