100 Do’s and Dont’s of Telemarketing

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

For queries write at basityousuf@gmail.com. For general blog click here.

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