Telemarketing training

The central challenge with telemarketing is what the caller should be saying in the first 10 seconds of the call. Overwhelmingly, almost as soon as the telemarketer starts talking, the recipient of the call just wants to get rid of them.

I’m delivering two telemarketing training events this month, for separate clients. Telemarketing is part of the promotional mix (which contains over 300 different techniques). In a digital economy, using the phone to sell is still remarkably effective, if it is done properly.

Sadly, this is not usually the case, as can be attested by virtually all of the cold calls that our office receives. Do cold callers get through to you? How do they get on? How do you treat them?

I spent several years in sales in my early career, with Rank Xerox and their channel partners. I was subsequently a coach with an international sales training programme.  I have always enjoyed learning about sales and practising my skills in this area. This is partly because of the psychology of selling, which is fascinating.

Is sales something that you dread or enjoy, I wonder? Do you ‘hit the phones’ to get more business? Is this working for you?

When people ask me what I do, I tell them about my four step system: 1) Marketing plan. 2) Website review and update. 3) Promotional mix review and relaunch. 4) Sales skills.

On this basis, telemarketing is part of both 3 and 4 on this list as it can be used as part of the promotional mix and also as part of the sales process (i.e to close that sale!)

My Telemarketing training course includes a process which can generate conversations with 50% of the people you call. Sales conversations lead to the discovery of needs – which is where the sales journey begins.

Sometimes, the business people who are interested in telesales training also want to talk to me about other forms of sales lead generation or the many things that connect to the sales process, i.e. their website. Knowing something about strategy, copywriting, digital marketing and the promotional mix can come in handy, when these questions arise.

How to sell to clients on the telephone

Do you use the telephone to find new clients? Does selling on the phone bring terror to your heart? Most of us would rather have root canal work at the dentist, than pick up the phone and speak to strangers. In my twenties, I had to cold call, as part of my sales job at Rank Xerox. The butterflies fought to get out of my stomach and the phone kept slipping from my sweating palm. As we had two young children to feed, I persevered and learnt the secret of using the phone to sell. I am often asked how to sell to clients on the telephone. I can tell you that it is a lot easier if you begin with a marketing mindset. For example, differentiate your business, have clear messages and segment your list.

Mind you, perhaps this is why I became a big believer in marketing. Let’s face it, my last book was called How to Get Clients to Come You (buy it here and we will send you a signed copy) so my subconscious is clearly trying to tell me something. it is the combination of marketing and sales thinking which makes all the difference to using the phone to sell to clients.

If you insist on ‘hitting the phones’ (which feels a little unfair on them) here are some ideas for you:

*  Plan your telemarketing. Decide what your objectives are, i.e. how many sales meetings you want to arrange within a given period. The key thing is to have numbers / targets that you can refer to, i.e. “book 10 meetings during this weeks’ telephone sessions.”
*  Write a script to get you through the first 12 seconds of the call. Tests show that scripts outperform all other approaches by a factor of 9 to 1. You need to know what you are going to say, before you pick up the phone. There’s nothing worse than stumbling within the first few seconds of the call, is there? (Incidentally, I have a magic script which I have used to get an 80% success rate on a first call).
*  Write down the first five people that you are going to call, before you start calling. Five isn’t very many, is it? Once you have made calling a habit, write these names down each evening.
*  Play some fast music, before you start calling. Anything will do, as long as you like it and you can feel the rhythm.
*  Stand up when you dial. Standing up makes you feel more powerful. This is why teachers all over the world prefer to stand up when they talk to their class.
*  Towards the end of the call – if you can feel that there is potential business there – always ask for a meeting.
*  Record everything within your CRM (Customer Relationship Management system). Not pieces of paper. Not a spreadsheet. My preference is a cloud based CRM which backs itself up automatically and which you and your team members (if you have them) can access. If you are confused about CRM technology – ask me – as I have studied dozens of them or ask via The Marketing Compass.

Find out about my telemarketing training course and if you are interested by all means, get in touch with me.

Telemarketing tips

Do you use the telephone, in order to sell your products / services? Do you get nervous? If that’s a “Yes”, here are some telemarketing tips which you may find helpful.

‘Telemarketing’ includes all forms of outbound calls, including appointment setting and direct sales (‘telesales’).

* Use a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system in order to store all of your contacts. A (cloud based) example is (which we use in our office).
* Have a clear objective for your calls. However, be prepared to be flexible, as the call proceeds (otherwise you will sound like a robot).
* If there is a pre existing relationship, the whole experience will be much less daunting, i.e. via networking. It will help if you have a Customer Attraction System.
* Schedule time during the week to make calls.
* Put yourself in a good mood, by listening to some of your favourite music, before you call. Choose up-tempo tracks.
* Stand up, when you start to make calls.
* Introduce yourself, using your first and last name (no matter how well you know the person you are calling).
* Ask if this is a good time to talk. Most telemarketers don’t do this, so this will differentiate you. Once you have ‘permission to talk’, the conversation will proceed more smoothly.
* Depending on the nature of the call, you may wish to use a brief pre-written script (contact me if you wish to discuss this, as you can achieve up to an 80% success rate with the right wording).
* The objective of the script is to move you from the introduction phase (Part A) to the sales conversation (Part B).
* Ask open questions, as they can’t be answered with a yes or a no.
* Once you are talking to a decision maker, take your time, listen and build the relationship.
* People remember how you made them feel – not precisely what you said.

Within The Marketing Compass, we run a half day telemarketing training day.

Nigel Temple is a sales and marketing consultant, speaker and trainer. He shows business owners, professionals and teams how to get better results from 21st century marketing – including brand awareness, website traffic and sales enquiries. To find out more about Nigel’s services email or call Joanna on +44 (0)1628 773128.

He welcomes media enquiries about any aspect of sales or marketing. He has appeared within the national press and broadcast media.

Nigel is the founder of The Marketing Compass – join thousands of business owners, tell us about your business and ask some marketing questions!