Telemarketing is still an important route to market for many SME’s and even large corporations. It makes sense, therefore, to ensure you follow the best telemarketing tips and advice to make the most out of your calling. Below are our Top 50 Do’s and Don’ts of Successful Telemarketing.
50 Telemarketing Do’s
Ask for what you want — an appointment, a demo, a sale – Don’t be shy. It’s the reason you are calling.
Ask great questions — Open ones to encourage the listener to talk and find info. Closed ones to qualify and filter
Be confident – It radiates to your prospects. Expect to succeed and you will
Be honest — it really is the best approach. You WILL get found out if you lie.
Be motivated — People buy people. If you’re not positive about what you offer, why should your prospects be interested?
Be patient – Telemarketing can take time and perseverance
Be prepared to make your calls at times to reach your decision-makers e.g. before 9am and after 5pm if necessary
Build rapport — Use frames of reference, name drop, mirror their language and use their name (but not too often)
Call out of normal hours and lunchtime – the gatekeeper won’t be there to protect your Decision Maker
Change your pitch if it isn’t working. Plan a call structure that is like a good story. An attention grabbing start, a compelling middle and a great ending!
Secure a good call list. Make sure it is clean before calling. A good list is the best asset to your success
Ensure your phone line is clear – No gremlins in terms of interference
Find a ‘Trojan Horse’ — To get under their radar so that they will engage with you especially if they have already a current supplier of your services
Follow up – Make your follow up calls on time and keep doing so until you know where you stand
Get agreement from your prospect to call them back at a later date. Even if they aren’t interested now, things can change
Have a pen and paper at the ready at all times. Take down concise and good notes including language, style and key info
Have your diary open and ready to give available dates
Keep control of calls with the gatekeeper. Sound authoritative and you have a better chance of getting through. Keep what you say short. KISS!
If you feel you must leave voicemail messages, make sure they are enticing and compelling with a good call to action
Listen carefully — You have two ears and one mouth
Sound professional on the phone with a good speaking voice, pace and tone. Match your prospects if you can
Make sure you are calling for the right decision-maker contact. Ask the question
Make sure you have a relevant email to send should the prospect ask for more information
Make sure your data is as fresh as possible
Make you are able to talk ‘off script’ to really engage the prospect
Make sure you are passionate about your product or service
Make sure you fully brief your agency if you are outsourcing calls
Make the calls — Don’t delay. Just get on the phone. Inertia is your worst enemy
Prepare likely objection handling questions and techniques. You know the objections. Plan for them
Plan your calls — Know your products, market, competitors, pitch and the issues your company resolves or the opportunities your company creates
Read between the lines of what the prospect says. Clarify if you’re unsure.
Role-play or record your calls to see what could have been done better. Listen back to improve your techniques
Send timely info when requested including appointment confirmations
Set realistic objectives — based on your market, experience and proposition
Set realistic targets – how many calls per hour? How many appointments do you want to make? Over what timeframe?
Smile — It transmits to your voice
Sound authoritative. You need to sound at least as important as the person you are speaking to. It’s peer to peer and you won’t get past the gatekeeper if you don’t.
Summarize the conversation with the prospect to ensure that you have listened and understood their ‘pains’ before you go ahead and pitch / recommend your product or service
Take good notes — Include info on verbatim comments, language, tone, pace and personality
Try to fool an IVR by dialling 0 to get to the switchboard. Or call accounts and try to be put through that way
Use a good CRM system — so you can quickly search and find follow up calls
Assume you are going to get what you want and ask for it with that assumption in mind
Use evocative and compelling words like huge, massive, significant, dramatic and so on — It adds impact but don’t go wild!
Use the ‘feel, felt, found’ technique to combat objections along with good open questions
Use frames of reference — Past work, client reference points, and industry examples
Treat people how THEY would like to be treated. Consider their motivations and needs and treat them accordingly.
Use natural engaging language — sound natural. Use simple English. It helps rapport
Use technology to speed things up eg click to dial CRM and Skype number recognition enables 1-click dialling
Use telemarketing to follow up other marketing activity eg emails or visitors to your stand
Have a glass of fresh water available for those ‘parched’ moments. Watch out for how caffeine affects you.
50 Telemarketing Dont’s
Apologise for calling. You’re not sorry and your prospect knows you aren’t
Be afraid to ask for the sale.
Be afraid to challenge the prospects’ objections through good questions
Be afraid to change your approach and message if it isn’t working
Be rude or dismissive of your prospects replies to your questions
Eat when making calls. Chomping and chewing while calling is bad
Forget to keep it legal. Make sure you screen against the CTPS opt-out register before you dial
Get distracted by ANYTHING else whilst on a call i.e. text messages, emails, colleagues, facebook! Do however NEVER ignore a fire alarm!
Guess! If you do not know the answer to a question a prospect poses then be honest and promise to find out and call them back.
Have your mobile on when making calls, you will be tempted to look to see who is calling and this will tell the prospect your attention is not 100% on them
Interrupt the prospect when they are talking. It is an indication you are not listening
Keep your telemarketing team in the dark, make sure they are prepared with responses to typical objections and reasons why the prospect should see you NOW
Lie – You will get found out and it damages the credibility of your brand
Forget to ask if the product/service is relevant to any other individuals/departments in the company you are calling. Even if it’s not of interest to the person you are speaking to, there may be a need elsewhere.
Make assumptions based on what you think you already know.
Make friends with the gatekeeper too early — Their job is to block you. The more info you give, the more they can ask questions
Over complicate the calls. Use the KISS technique!
Over script the calls and sound stilted
Overuse the prospect’s name. You DO NOT need to get it in to every sentence — it sounds like a hard sell tacky sales call.
Patronise your gatekeeper or prospect.
Pitch something you don’t really understand. — You will get found out
Prejudge any call. You never know what their issues are in the background that may prove an opportunity
Promise anything that you cannot deliver be it about the product or simply timescales for calling someone back.
Rush your call — Slow down and take your time. You will sound more confident
Say ‘How are you today’ — It’s a tell-tale sign of a sales call
Set yourself up to fail. Give yourself realistic targets that you can meet and exceed
Sit back and wait for calls to come to you – be proactive and make the calls. It is a numbers game in many respects.
Slam the phone down — It damages your brand
Smoke! You may think no-one can tell but they can. Smokers will know what you are doing and non-smokers will think you are a heavy breather!
Sound bored and uninterested. If you are, your prospect will be
Speak too quickly — You sound less authoritative
Stalk someone you are struggling to get hold of. The gatekeeper will remember and this will gain your company a bad reputation for nuisance calls. You are also more likely to be blocked.
Swear. Profanity will get you on a fast track to a dial tone in your ear
Type while you are listening or talking — They can hear you
Um and er. Know what you are going to say and relax
Use industry jargon or buzz words that you don’t understand. The prospect will assume you are more of an expert than you are and answer you in jargon expecting you to know exactly what they mean.
Use patronizing / slang names :- love, pet, darling, sweetie ………..yuck, yuck, yuck and not professional.
Use unnecessary humour or jokes – get to the point.
Waffle! Be concise and don’t go on and on
Wait for ages on hold — hang up and try another time. Don’t waste precious calling time
Worry about failure — Before the call you had no appointment. If they say no, you still don’t have an appointment. Nothing has changed.
Talk over your prospect – it shows you aren’t listening
Spend ages researching a company before calling, if they are not there, it’s a waste of valuable calling time.
Be afraid to go on a course to improve your telephone and marketing skills
Have a lot of background noise when you are calling. It will sound like you are in a call centre which is not always desirable
Argue with your decision maker if they are not interested. Keep your integrity high
Underestimate the power of ‘mirroring’ language or using NLP techniques to really build rapport
Call unprepared for objections and how you will handle them
Forget to follow-up when you said you would.
Bully your prospect into meeting you
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