Telemarketing can be tough- Here’s how to actually get leads
Making a phone call to a stranger is something that can never come naturally to anyone. Nonetheless, we can get better at it. Telemarketing is not an easy job. It takes persistence, courage and planning to succeed. With the economy as it is today, people are skeptical and do not take unsolicited calls well. This makes the task of telemarketing a lot more difficult. It is the epitome of outbound marketing and as we all know by now, outbound is on its way out.
That does not mean telemarketing cannot work. There are millions of calls being made on a daily basis and business does come in through these calls. Some may be small; some may land up as a million dollar deal. This unknown quotient is what makes telemarketing so exciting. When done well, a telemarketing call can turn around your fortunes for the good. It takes a serious amount of dedication and passion to succeed at telemarketing.
Making a sales call should be a personal affair. You are calling a person and you need to respect that fact. If you talk to the prospect like they are a machine, the disconnect tone will be your daily tune. To make a successful cold call, you need to be prepared for all types of outcomes. You will be yelled at, spoken to, turned down or you may even be reported. That being said, your cold call may be timed in such a manner that the prospect is looking for your services and you turn up at the right moment.
How to ace your cold call
Here are some steps you need to follow to ensure that you get through to your prospects fast and are able to convert a cold call into a hot lead.
1) The introduction
It is paramount that you are able to get a clear line of conversation set between you and the prospect immediately. They should be able to understand that you are calling from XYZ Company and this is the agenda of the call, whatever it is. The introduction is important because you need to be able to make the prospect remember you, your brand and your product.
Starting with the usual formalities such as good morning/afternoon/evening are a given. You need to emphasize your name as well as the brand that you represent. Pausing is one of the most effective methods to gain interest, but do not pause when you are delivering your introduction, it will only look like you are not sure about what you are saying. Be assertive, direct and calm. You represent your brand, own it.
A good introduction allows you a foothold into proceedings. It can mean the difference between a negative answer and a continued call. People generally tend to turn down a call when the introduction is botched.
Things you shouldn’t do-
- Use a deep voice and try to fake assertiveness ( you aren’t a loan collector)
- Be too fast that they ask you to repeat
- Show surprise when the prospect responds that they do not know your brand name
- Do not go for the sales pitch immediately after introduction
Ask the prospect if you have the right information about them. Confirm and recollect. Then you need to use this time between the next step and the introduction to confirm things such as if you got their number from a reference. References work most of the times.
If the prospect is an up-sell, then you need to confirm if they are already a customer and thank them for their association with your brand. Sometimes you may end up getting the wrong end of the stick, dissatisfied customers and such. You should never say that it isn’t your business if they have received bad service. Remember, you are the brand, whatever the brand does; you are responsible for it, no matter the good or bad. Calm them down, understand the issue and try your best to find a suitable solution. This is a sure way of getting their attention.
2) Time is money- ask for it
After you are done with the initial pleasantries, you have to always ask for their time. Ask if it is the right time to speak to them, and also tell them that you will need approximately X amount of minutes to do it. This puts the prospect in the driver’s seat. When you request for their time, it means you value their time and prospects feel important. More times than not, you will get a positive answer. If not, then you have to ensure you get them to give you another time you can call, according to their convenience. Confirm it before you drop the call.
You can always use humor; it may or may not work. Sarcasm does not work-ever. Sales calls are a shot in the dark anyway, so why not experiment? Be subtle with the humor, you may be an award winning standup comedian in your high school but your prospects did not pay to hear you.
3) Case studies help
After you have ascertained their interest in your product/service, people are looking for reasons to disapprove your points. It is only human to negate a strangers point, more so when it is through the phone. You need to be able to build trust and the best way businesses build trust is by proving their efficacy via proven case studies. You can use their customer profile and state that your business has basically helped someone like them, and then go ahead and explain it.
This trust building is not easy and requires you to be ready for questions. Know your case studies well before you use them. You can always use case studies related their field of operation, or the position they hold in the company. These are direct entry points to their interest base.
4) Find out what they need
Their need is what you need to satisfy. Very rarely does a product work based on creating a need. One which solves an issue that they are facing has a far higher chance of converting. Knowing common issues that your prospects face helps. Most times, they will be facing these problems themselves. You can always ask them directly to get the information yourself. This is where your smart thinking comes into play. Be able to connect the dots fast. You need to take the problem and see your product/service solving it for them fast.
Give them this information as quickly as possible. After a certain point in a cold call, your smartness is what makes all the difference. There is only so much that a script can do for you. After that, you are on your own. This is what divides the wannabes from the experts. The best telemarketing executives will say that they take personal interest in their prospects and their issues. They step into the prospects shoes and see if the solutions they have can help their prospect. This works more times than not.
5) Every call needs preparation
We are not joking when we say this, every call needs you to prepare. You cannot be doing a volumes business in the tele calling industry. That is a thing of the past. If you want the cold call to convert, dedicate time towards research and understanding who you are calling, why you are calling and how you can make a difference to them.
The eventual result should be a sale, but do not be too eager to close every call. It does not work that way. You will have to toil for it. Follow ups are as important as the initial call itself. You need to be diligent when following up, and go through notes that you have already made. Being prepared is half the job done.