Telemarketing for beginners can be quite daunting. There’s often an expectation that prospects will be rude and / or put the phone down at every opportunity. There’s a fear that you’ll get stuck, not knowing what to say at a crucial time in the conversation or become tongue tied at the key moment. And there’s also the threat that you won’t know how to handle tough questions when they come along.
Professional b2b telemarketing is a very effective way to generate sales opportunities and drive revenue. Good callers are therefore worth their weight in gold. But, they probably didn’t start out being high achievers. They had to make their very first call in the same way as novices have to start in any role. Almost certainly, they had a positive attitude and high energy levels (pre-requisites for success) but they had to start at the same point as every other cold-caller.
So, what’s the best way to do it and not make a real hash of calls? Below are our Telemarketing for Beginners – 10 quick tips. And, don’t forget to check out our 10 X 90 secs videos for more great tips and our infographic of 50 telemarketing behaviours before you leave.
- Don’t Sound Like a Telemarketer. Effective telemarketers sound comfortable and relaxed and use natural language. Prospects don’t respond to stiffness and scripted calls. The more you use stock intros like ‘How are you today?’ and over-rehearsed lines, the more the prospect will pick you out as a typical telemarketer from the outset. So, try to soften your initial approach to sound more genuinely interested and interesting and the conversation will have a much better flow.
- Play the Numbers Game. There’s no getting away from it. Assuming that prospects don’t simply walk up to your door and ring your bell, you’ll never do any business with someone you don’t call. So, make enough calls to make the ratios work in your favour. That means focus and not becoming distracted by other tasks. A good rule of thumb for b2b telemarketing is 100 calls per 7-hour day. However, it’s dangerous to assume that this is correct in every case. If you’re having really engaged conversations, the ratio can drop to 70 calls / day. If it’s voicemail city, then you should be up in the 140 calls/day bracket.
- Planning is Everything. Yes, it’s that simple. Preparation is everything especially where data is concerned. Bad data is the one thing that derails telemarketing more than anything else. Therefore, your pre-call planning should encompass identifying and refining your target market. This may mean buying or building a list of decision maker job roles in the right locations, with the right size of business and sector with which you can trade profitably and, ideally, where you can showcase examples of your previous successful work.
- Work out What Floats your Prospect’s Boat. Why should they bother to speak to you? What have you got that they need that they can’t do themselves? Why would they use you if they already have a supplier of what you offer? Answer those questions and you’ll generate better results. Don’t wing it and make it up on the spot. While scripts may sound stilted, you do need to be clear on why you’re calling and what’s in it for the prospect. Therefore, do some research on likely challenges or issues and weave those into your reason for the call in order to engage the customer from those important first few seconds of the call.
- Get Some Training. Okay. So, this is a little plug for our training courses. Unless you’re skilled in telemarketing and the various approaches, you’d probably benefit from some guidance on techniques to enhance results. Not everything just comes naturally. Sales people love to talk. But, the good ones know how to listen. There are so many components that go in to making effective cold calls and, the right training can significantly enhance the likelihood of success.
- Wear Some Armour. Telemarketing isn’t easy. You need to build some resilience to rejection. If you don’t, it will be a task that becomes increasingly daunting. It isn’t for the faint hearted. You need to be goal oriented if you want to hit the heights. The prize is significant for success but it won’t be plain sailing. So learn to deal with rejection and move on the next potential opportunity. After all, the next prospect has no idea what happened on your last call. So, brush yourself down and start afresh.
- Handle Objections. It’s inevitable that there will be road blocks. The best telemarketers probably received the most No’s. And they certainly learn to embrace objections. They get used to them and develop ways to overcome these spoilers. You’ll get blocked by gatekeepers and by decision makers that won’t want your services. Work out likely objections and prepare answers as far as possible. Objections shouldn’t be a surprise and, if you’re ready for them, they shouldn’t derail your long-term progress.
- Build Momentum. Good systems combined with good data enhance call efficiency. We advised that telemarketing is a numbers game and, to a large extent, that’s true. Equally, making sufficient calls enables you to build your warm call-backs and this becomes your sales pipeline. If you’ve been making enough calls over a reasonable period of time, a good percentage of your calls, every day, will be call-backs at times when the prospect is either expecting your call or when contracts are due for renewal. As a consequence, the momentum you build as you go along paves the way for future results.
- Motivate Yourself to Motivate Others. If you’re dull and uninteresting why would customers engage with you? It’s a tough job so you need to be positive and upbeat when on the phone with prospects. After all, they don’t know that the call before theirs was a disaster. Every call is a new chance to do business. So keep your chin up and start each call positively so that the customer feels compelled to begin a dialogue with you rather than hang up on you.
- Ask Good Questions. Good questions are central to good performance. This is such an underrated skill in sales but so vital. The top sales people diagnose rather than pitch. They utilise a blend of open and closed questions to demonstrated interest, to yield the information they need, to ensure that the prospect speaks more than them and in order to lead the prospect towards further discussion that will hopefully in turn lead to a sales opportunity.
Clearly, the above are not the only skills or tips needed to turn you from a beginner to a winner. It won’t transform your results overnight. However, if you apply the principles behind these tips, you will improve your chances. And, if you devote the time that these components require, you will see your results improve.
GSA helps businesses become more effective in their marketing and business development. We run outbound telemarketing campaigns and also, with our experience, guide SME’s through the maze of marketing choices. We help them make the best choice and spend their budget wisely. If you’d like to know more, give us a call.