For any telemarketing/inside
sales program to be successful, a number of ingredients are needed. The
most successful programs are those that mesh a number of marketing tools
Direct Mail. Newspaper.
Selected magazines. Possibly broadcast. Certainly sales support materials.
Phone sales works best when it works with other media.
And, then you need
inside sales representatives (ISRs) trained and ready to go. This list
of 33 ideas combines these two thoughts integrated marketing and
sales rep education.
Your aim in using
the telephone is to gain a commitment from your prospect or customer.
The backbone of successful
telephone sales technique is precision. You can be warm and precise. You
can be persuasive and precise. You can be convincing and precise.
It is most important
not to meander, as improvisation will take over and lead you astray.
Since the telephone
allows no eye contact, your technique must be precisely on the mark from
the opening sentence ... to make certain you gain and retain your prospect's
Use the telephone
to reinforce your direct mail, print advertising, or broadcast campaign.
has been known to double, triple, or even more, total response of a promotional
A call before the
program to your customers can generate anticipation and get prospects
to open the mail immediately upon receipt.
A follow-up, after
the program is in the marketplace, can answer questions and clarify any
The call has the added
advantage of making the prospect feel YOU are genuinely interested in
their welfare, and that you want a better relationship.
You, as the voice
of your company, will be the key to the prospect's confidence, and youll
be a major force in the success of the program. Support media direct
mail, television or radio, or print advertising cannot replace
you and your selling ability.
Before you make the
Stop for a moment
and think just what you want the call to accomplish. In a very few minutes
over the telephone, you're trying to gain agreement from one of your most
Or, from someone you
may have never seen and perhaps will never see. Yet, this person could
be one of your most highly qualified prospects. This person could become
one of your most valued customers.
Plan your opening
with great care. Be clear about the purpose of your call. Know exactly
what you want from this customer or prospect. And exactly the steps you
need to take to get it.
Know your objectives
A call before the
message is received must be designed to alert the prospect. To
get the mail opened and read. Or, to draw attention to a space or broadcast
rapport and making the prospect feel like a special customer. You're introducing
yourself as the one to answer questions and give the prospect personalized
A follow-up telephone
call must persuade the prospect to accept the offer to sign up.
To make a buying decision. The prospect will have received the necessary
information to do this. Your job is to get it done, and right away!
Calling before the
mailing to your customers ...
A schedule must be
set so you can time your telephone calls 2 or 3 days before the message
goes out. Then they will recognize the name of your company when they
receive your mailing, and the information you'll be giving them will be
Calling after the
calls to recipients should be made anywhere from 3 to 10 days after the
mailing is in the marketplace. In most cases, the follow-up call about
7 to 10 days after a mailing is good timing. Experiment with your calling
list and adjust accordingly.
Direct-mail as a door
opener can pre-screen your prospects, but you still must sell yourself
and what you can do for the customer.
Remember, your goal
is to get the prospect to act immediately and sign up for your program,
product, or service.
When you place that
Be considerate about
the time of day you call not too early or late. Make sure your
prospect is free to talk to you. After you have identified yourself, ask
whether he or she can spend a few minutes talking with you.
If you happen to catch
the prospect at a bad time, acknowledge this, apologize and offer to call
at a better time. And find out when is the best time to return the call.
When the prospect is not too busy to consider the offer. The prospect
will appreciate this consideration and be more apt to spend the time on
the second call, and to accept the offer.
Then, make sure you
do call back at the appointed time. Be courteous and helpful. And
you're a long way toward making the sale.
Greet the customer
or prospect pleasantly. Talk to each person as an individual. Identify
yourself and your company. Don't let your prospect or customer guess who
they are talking to.
Also, be sure you
are talking to the right person. It's easy for the wrong person to say
"no" before they understand who you are and what you are offering.
It's your voice that
Remember, your voice
is YOU in telephone sales. It must do the entire job of getting the sale.
It must work FOR you, not against you. Be pleasant. Be interesting.
Your voice on the
telephone can give an added boost to customer interest in your product.
Use the customer's
name. It encourages friendliness. And makes the prospect more agreeable
to buying from you. We are all vain enough to like to hear our own names.
Be friendly, but be
direct. Remember, people don't mind talking on the phone, but they do
mind wasting time.
Come straight to the
point. Get your prospect involved with your presentation. Speak the customer's
language and make sure the customer is comfortable with the exchange.
Don't assume the prospect understands all you say. Repeat important phrases
and major points.
Clearly state the
reason for your call. Make sure the reason is understood by the prospect.
Early! Talk in block statements. Short statements, with open-ended questions
designed to gain a response. You want the prospect to get involved quickly
Use descriptive word
pictures and examples. Since the customer cannot "see" what
you're selling, you must help him or her visualize the benefits. Use colorful
Avoid technical terms.
Take your cue from the customer's answers as to what level of terminology
he or she is most comfortable with. In most cases, "techy" terms
Even the best-written
script will not sell unless the voice on the phone presents it well.
From the opening exchange
of words, you must control the conversation. You'll need all the help
you can get, and your voice is the key. Your prospect will evaluate instantly
and may decide then and there whether or not you are to be taken seriously.
The next nine points
are tips to help your telephone voice do the best selling job possible.
Hold the telephone
correctly. This may appear to be elementary, but telephones are extremely
sensitive to sounds, which also means background noise. Hold the mouthpiece
approximately one-half inch from your lips.
Get comfortable before
you dial. You dont want to be fidgeting or sending "nervous"
messages to the prospect.
Speak from the diaphragm.
Breathe deeply. Most people's voices sound higher on the phone don they
really are. Unless you're a natural bass, you nay pay the penalty for
failing to speak from the diaphragm.
Pace your speech.
Come to natural stops. If there aren't natural stops, create some or you'll
sound out of breath. Or your voice may trail off. Don't talk too loud
or harsh. Neither should you talk too softly.
Check your volume.
A voice doesn't need to bellow to be heard. People feel comfortable listening
to a calm, low, and pleasant voice. With musical inflections and proper
emotion as necessary.
Develop an interesting
delivery. A flat, monotonous voice is uninteresting and will be tuned
out sometimes in a matter of seconds. To work on this, tape your
voice and play it back.
What kind of image
are you projecting? Does it have a smile?
Keep at this until
you have a tone that YOU would buy from.
To make sure you're
smiling (it shows over the phone) put a small cosmetic mirror close by.
Keep an eye on yourself.
Speak at a comfortable
rate for listening. Specialists have estimated this to be approximately
150 to 175 words per minute.
If you talk faster,
you risk having part of your message missed. Talking too slowly, though,
will lose the listeners interest.
In either case, you
can't see the listener to assess their reactions. Only by practicing can
you be assured this part of your presentation technique is perfect.
You should also practice
a change of pace. A variation in pitch, rate, and volume will help retain
the prospects interest.
Above all, make your
voice say to the prospect "this is the most important call you have
today." Use common courtesy phrases like, "please", "may
I ask", "thank you" and "you're welcome".
of the 33 secrets relate specifically to sales techniques that will work
on or off the phone. Learn them well and prosper. Disregard them at your
Know all the features
of your product or service and the OFFER before you make the call.
Keep the information
package in front of you at all times and refer to it as you talk your
prospect through the presentation.
Mention the package
or advertisement at the beginning of the conversation. Call the prospect's
attention to features that were maybe missed on first reading. Establish
your credibility early with your product knowledge and expertise.
Very few sales calls we made without some objections, and most of them
are raised because of misunderstanding or poor experiences with competitive
products. Know your product thoroughly and how it compares with others
in the market.
Be Prepared to ASK
questions that will gain a positive response from the prospect regarding
the features of your product. And lead the prospect to the close.
Ask Who, What, Why,
When, Where, and How questions.
Present the benefits
of your product or service and your OFFER.
All marketable products
have been designed with specific benefits to make them stand out and sell
in the marketplace. Use a benefit as the opening hook.
The strongest benefit
should lead, should give the prospect a reason for listening to your presentation.
Then, follow-up with more and more benefits, getting the prospect to agree
with you along the way. Go through all of the benefits until you sense
the one that's the clincher, and then close the sale.
Attempt to close the
sale early on. Try to get a commitment after the features and benefits
have been thoroughly explained. And understood.
Begin to lead the
prospect through filling out the form or coupons. Make sure he or she
understands the option and get a commitment from the prospect to bring
the form to your branch or store, or mail it. Or whatever must happen
to close the sale.
If you cannot get
this early commitment, then you must begin to overcome any objections,
answer questions, re-explain the product. Make sure the prospect understands
the options of the offer.
You need to be aware
of all options open to the customer to cross-sell or upgrade. The
specials The year-ends. The close-outs. All opportunities!
Be ready to make a
- WIN the prospect's
- HOLD the prospect's
- CONVINCE the prospect
of the value of yaw presentation and proposition.
- PROVE the next
logical step is to make a buying decision.
You don't have as
much time on the telephone as you would in a face-to-face selling situation,
so you cant list and demonstrate all the features and all the benefits
of all the products and services you may offer.
Stick to the key benefits
and a back up or two. And present them. Remember, always AFTO
ask for the order!
Listen to your prospect.
Learn to listen. It's
not what you have to sell it's what the customer wants to buy. Your
prospect may have needs other than what you've discussed. You know only
if you listen.
Remember, the telephone
is a two-way medium. Only by giving your full attention to what the prospect's
saying will you know what you must say to complete the sale.
Do not hesitate to
have the prospect repeat something so that you understand it better. Asking
questions is the best way to get your prospect involved with you and the
Feedback the prospect's
key words and phrases. This indicates youre paying attention and
that that you understand that you heard what the prospect said
and that you can respond to the prospect's needs.
This kind of paraphrasing
leads a prospect closer and closer to a sale. It encourages involvement.
And while doing this,
you can listen for buying signals, feed them back, and close the sale.
The end of the call.
Above all, know when
to end the call. Take the time to give the conversation a good ending.
Thank the person for their time, regardless of the outcome. Do your best
to close the conversation in a way that leaves the party feeling satisfied.
End it once you have achieved your objectives, whether or not the prospect
If it becomes clear
there is no interest at this time, politely get off the line. This will
leave a favorable impression, allowing you to call back again some time
in the future.
After saying goodbye,
let the customer hang up first. This avoids the impression of rudeness
or abruptness from you.
As soon as you've
hung up, write down all the pertinent information about the call. Make
note of everything that came up in the conversation that will help you
when you make a follow-up call. Keeping up to date information is critical
to building better relationships with your customers.
Now that you've got
the guidelines for success, you're ready to organize your presentation
and make your calls. As with any one-to-one contact, you should also follow
these five key points throughout your presentation:
- Exhibit enthusiasm
- Express confidence
- Be sincere
- Be courteous
It's your presentation
control it! Be prepared for a prospect who may lead you away from
your main target, which is a sale. Be alert to ways to keep them on track.
Stick to your plan, your organized script.