Telemarketing Strategies of the 21-st Century
Cold calls are enough to make most people break out in a cold sweat! As if calling a stranger and initiating a conversation isn’t frightening enough, you then have to manoeuvre the discussion towards making a sale – no wonder it’s such a scary prospect!
But cold calling can also be highly effective and profitable – if you learn the craft.
Cold Calling in the 21st Century
In the old days, telemarketing was easier. People were less informed about products and services, received fewer cold calls, and were less aware of marketing techniques.
Modern life has changed all that. People are bombarded with advertisements and information everywhere they go. Individuals and businesses can much more easily do their own product research online. They are well aware – and tired – of dated cold calling techniques. Also, in a world of instant messaging and fewer phone calls, people can feel like their privacy is being invaded – and their time wasted.
To be a successful telemarketer in today’s marketplace, you really need to hone your craft. The good news? You’ve come to the right place! Here are some killer tips to make your calls count!
Before you begin
is absolutely key. Set yourself up to be knowledgeable, organised, and effective.
Know your product.
Make sure you know your product inside out. Keep helpful facts and figures at your workstation.
Know your targets.
Regardless of whether you’re calling individuals or businesses, it’s vital that you do some research – actually, the more the better!
You need to understand each type of target customer, their needs, their concerns, and how your product can help them.
Design a clear call plan.
A call plan is key to making a strong first impression, controlling the conversation, and ultimately making a sale. Don’t write a script – they may look great on paper, but they’re too rigid to work in reality. Instead, make a bullet-point outline. Plan out the key stages of the call, and include the information you want to include at each stage. It’s OK to script some key phrases – but nothing more!
Plan a powerful hook.
Your research should teach you what is important to your targets. Now you can pick a key selling point to stress (or several, for different types of target), and design a hook (an opening to your sales pitch) to best emphasise it.
Anticipate objections and plan responses.
Imagine every way that your target may try to either get out of the call or dismiss the product. Plan apt responses (e.g. defend the product with real-life examples, ask for a better time to call back, offer to arrange an in-store demonstration instead).
Practice a few times with your colleagues, friends, or family. This will help you hone your message, sharpen your delivery, and build confidence.
Set up your workspace.
Keep water, a pen and paper, your call plan, and product information to hand. Having everything to hand will free you from disturbance and distraction, and help you stay in the zone.
On the phone
Your on-phone delivery is just as important as your message. Think about the kind of salesperson you would want to meet – and be that person!
- Smile. Believe it or not, you can hear a smile! Smiling when you speak will make you sound friendlier and more personable.
- Don’t work from a script. Reading from a script will sounds staged and impersonal, and will be far less likely to lead to a sale. Work from a call plan instead.
- Cut to the chase. You have less than 30 seconds to make a good first impression and attract the target’s interest. Also, you’re calling for a purpose – don’t be afraid to be clear and direct. You don’t want to waste their time – or yours!
- Speak in plain English. Avoid technical jargon or marketing language – it’s impersonal. Use polite conversational English instead. It will help humanise you and build rapport.
Assume that your target will benefit from your call. Believe in yourself – and in the product. Act under the assumption that your call will genuinely help your target. This will make you sound friendly and convincing.
- Stay positive. Even if your last twenty calls were unsuccessful, stay positive! Remember that cold calling wouldn’t exist if it didn’t work! The results will come!
Telemarketing is tough work – but it can bring great rewards to you, your client, and your targets. With planning, practice, and positivity, you too can become a telemarketing success story!