Below, we have detailed our Top 10 Telemarketing Tips for Success. Want to know more? Check out our telemarketing training courses or call us and we can chat through how we can help you to increase telemarketing results. And, before you go, don’t forget to check out our Ten 90 secs videos for more Top Telemarketing Tips.
Telemarketing Tips 1 – Telemarketing Planning is everything
It’s an old cliché but you need to do your research. There’s no point banging out lots of calls without preparation. So prepare the following before getting on the phone:
- Decide which sector or market you will target
- Why is that a good sector to aim at? Is there limited competition? Do you have a competitive advantage or differentiator? Is there a need for your service? Is time an issue? Have you got industry-leading knowledge or technology?
- What’s happening in the target market? Is there new legislation? Is source of supply an issue? Are there new market entrants?
- Have a look what’s going on via LinkedIn groups or Twitter. Maybe, use LinkedIn for research and to build targeted lists at the outset.
- What are the hooks or triggers will buyers respond to most?
- Plan your call structure including an attention grabbing intro, good open questions, a powerful hook and practise!
Perhaps kick the above off with some customer research of your own to identify the reasons why your current customers purchase from you
Telemarketing Tips 2 – Identify a good Target List
If you’re firing in the wrong direction, you won’t hit your target.
What sectors are you focusing on? Perhaps use SIC (Standard Industry Classification) codes as selection criteria. Is it construction or retail, Financial Services or FMCG?
What is the job role of your buyer? MD, FD, Marketing Director, Facilities Manager?
Do you want Head office or do branches make decisions? What size? 50 employees + or £100m turnover and above?
The tighter you define your target market and the cleaner the data, the more likely you are to reach the decision maker in the shortest possible time. It also means you can define a clear message and hook for a defined decision maker role!
Telemarketing Tips 3 – Understand your Target Market
As we discussed earlier, find out what’s going on in the marketplace. What’s keeping the buyers up at night? What are the gaps in service that current suppliers struggle to close? What changes are going on? What are the hot topics and buzz words? For example, for one of our past clients, the term Phygital was very current i.e. the desire to move from the physical world (offline) to digital (online).
The more you can understand what is going on, the quicker you can engage with prospects and build rapport and the more relevant any telemarketing conversation will be. And you will sound less like a cold caller!!
Telemarketing Tips 4 – Focus on Buyer Pains
If you have a bad toothache you will go to the dentist. If you have backache, you go to an osteopath. But if it’s a twinge, maybe you might wait and see if it passes. It’s the same in business. If a current supplier is doing an okay job, maybe the desire to change may be low. But if you use good open questioning techniques around issues in the marketplace or known differentiators in your service offering (that your competitors don’t have) you can help magnify or create a perceived pain and encourage buyers to get off the fence.
So, find out what keeps your buyers up at night and focus your calling around that.
Telemarketing Tips 5 – Learn Effective Gatekeeper Techniques
Let’s face it, gatekeepers are a pain so far as cold calling blocks are concerned. They have a job to do and that’s to protect the decision-maker. So you have to learn to deal with gatekeepers and use gatekeeper techniques to get round or go through them to achieve your goal.
There are a few key things to consider. Sound authoritative. Keep control of the conversation. Don’t give any information unless you absolutely have to. Only engage if you sense the other techniques have failed or you know the decision maker is constantly out of the office.
Recognise that the gatekeeper has the power to block you but not to hire you. They also don’t know that their boss is about to go out to tender in the next few weeks for your service if the boss hasn’t yet told her. So, play your cards close to your chest and work out the best telemarketing techniques to overcome gatekeeper blocks.
Telemarketing Tips 6 – Build Rapport with Decision-Makers
Building rapport with decision makers is part confidence, part communication and part training. An innate ability to engage with people helps but that’s not the whole story. Understand what issues face the decision-maker (see point 4). Know your marketplace (point 3). Make sure the start of the call isn’t nervy, stiff and stilted and sounds like a typical cold caller. Those factors are crucial. But there are a few telemarketing tips that you can use to enhance the likelihood of good rapport.
- Ask good questions (see later)
- Mirror tone (try to sound like the decision-maker). Listen carefully to how they speak and adapt your tone to suit
- Mirror the pace to be more akin to theirs
- Mirror language (using the words that they use without being like a parrot is a good thing)
- Don’t be boring. There’s nothing worse. Try to be upbeat but interesting and engaging rather than over-excited and pushy
Telemarketing Tips 7 – Learn Good Questioning Techniques
Good questioning techniques are one of the most fundamental factors in enhanced cold calling success. Once you’ve established initial rapport, asking good open questions for more info and closed questions for qualification is key to telemarketing success. Build questions around market issues, supply issues, market trends and so on. This helps the conversation flow and stimulates discussion. Plan your questions in advance but also probe with good ‘curiosity’ (out of interest John, how do you handle…..) questions during the call.
Telemarketing Tips 8 – Work on your Objection Handling Techniques
Ultimately, most prospects already use a similar service, have limited funds or just want to do what you do themselves. These are typical cold calling objections. You need to learn to deal with them and others confidently. The key is not to jump in too quickly and answer every objection. Use good questioning to probe. People still buy people and if you build rapport at this point, you stand a good chance. Relax and accept that not every objection is a block or a negative. It is a request for clarification that, if you answer satisfactorily, could lead to an opportunity.
Good objection handling techniques and questions will help you on your road to telemarketing success.There are different types of technique that you can use that suits the call, your personality and type of objection. Unfortunately, there are far too many to detail here. Look out for further blogs on this subject or contact us to discuss some objection handling training.
Telemarketing Tips 9 – Follow up
Sound obvious doesn’t it? But the best telemarketing and appointment setting results come from following up. It’s great when our first call results in a sale or appointment but that is generally not the case. Stats show that it may take 5, 6 or more calls to reach a conclusion. So, make sure you diarise call-backs ideally using a good CRM system. Make sure any info goes out on time if requested. Ensure that meeting confirmations are timely too.
Keep the prospect posted on stuff you’re doing (if relevant and without spamming) in the interim. Hook up on LinkedIn if appropriate.
But, above all, make sure you call back when you say you will whether that be one week or six months.
Telemarketing Tips 10 – Telemarketer Training and Performance Monitoring
As mentioned earlier, some telemarketers have innate confidence and are natural on the phone. But that isn’t always the case. And it isn’t always about the gift of the gab. It’s also about listening, good questioning and so on. Therefore, investing in telemarketer training is a wise move. Combined with good information on performance through a CRM system, the results will flow. Good techniques and continuous improvement through monitoring KPI’s will make a difference. Make sure you track call rates and other stats like calls per hour, calls and hours per appointment, decision maker ratios voicemail and so on.
Whatever your metrics, make sure you monitor them frequently. For example, if you see a high number of gatekeeper conversations and very few decision-makers, maybe your caller needs gatekeeper technique training. If you have lots of decision-maker conversations but no appointments, maybe it’s objection handling techniques that are needed or a rethink of the pitch. Hence, combining performance evaluation with training will enhance your chances of telemarketing success.
We hope that you enjoyed reading these Telemarketing Tips. If you did, there are more here. Also, take a look at our blog and knowledge bank for lots of other useful telemarketing tips and marketing advice.
If you’d like more detailed information on these tips, take a look at our telemarketing guide. This is based on many years successful outbound B2B telemarketing and on research into what enhances successful cold calling.