In spite of the laws restricting calls by the telemarketing service providers, cold calling is still a popular means of generating sales leads and increasing revenue. It is impractical to assume your office will be mobbed by customers unless you take the initiative to sell to them. By using telemarketing calls effectively, you can attract additional customers and improve your business.
Here are a few suggestions that can raise the response rates of telemarketing calls:
1. Define the objective of the telemarketing call
The purpose of a cold call is not to sell but to simply pave the way for a sale. The first conversation is about getting an appointment or getting some sort of an encouraging response.
2. Be familiar with your target audience
Thorough market research should precede a telemarketing campaign. After defining the target audience, get details of the individual or company you will be calling. By doing your homework, you can align the service or product with the prospect’s requirements and increase the relevance of your call.
3. Select an opening line for the telemarketing call
Prepare an opening line to commence the conversation. This reduces any mistakes and gets the telemarketer focused. Don’t begin with “Can we talk now?” or “How are you this morning?” These statements give customers the option to excuse themselves and hang up. Start with a greeting and address the person by name (preferably with a Ms. or Mr.). Follow it with an introduction – just your name and the organization you represent . If you do this, it would be easier to take the conversation further. Use the information you collected on their business to introduce your service or product as a potential solution for their business needs.
Have the opening statement in your hand before before you dial the number. Don’t read it off a piece of paper. Just use it as a guideline.
4. Write out a script to refer to during the telemarketing call
A script prepares the telemarketing agent for any queries or objections that may be raised by the prospect. List out the benefits of using a product or service. Think of likely objections and their resolutions. For every question the prospect may ask, you’ll have a ready reply. This technique also projects confidence. The prospect feels she is communicating with a knowledgeable salesperson. Again, the script is for guidance only, and not for reading verbatim.
5. Be precise in scheduling an appointment
Be specific when setting up a meeting. Ask “Can I meet you at 10 am tomorrow?” If it’s not a good time, the prospect will suggest another specific time and day.
6. Be polite to every person you talk to
In telemarketing, callers often connect to gatekeepers of the people who make buying decisions. Treat them with respect and note down their names for future communication. Getting on their good books is a prerequisite to getting your message conveyed to the right people. Be polite in asking them for information or details of the person to contact.
7. Send promotional gift items – something small but memorable
Sending a unique promotional item to a prospect keeps your business in their mind. When they receive a call from you, they recognize you immediately by having a recollection of the gift.
8. Make cold calls early in the day
Decision makers have more time and energy in the mornings. Catch them early in the day rather than when they’re snowed under meetings or other work.
9. Follow up repeatedly
Majority of the telemarketing calls show successful results only after the fourth or fifth conversation. In spite of this statistic, many telemarketers throw in the towel after the second follow up. Be persistent if you want to see results.
10. It is definitely a numbers game
Probability of making a sale improves with each call. Let us face it. Every call will not convert into a sale or an appointment. But make enough calls and some percentage will bring you success. Secret is to continuously improve so that you can sell more with lesser number of calls. This can only happen if you keep calling the prospects and not get dejected by negative responses.
The art of telemarketing gets better with practice. Great telemarketers have the experience of thousands of calls and a experience of handling wide-ranging set of customer responses. Keep at it and soon you will become a successful salesperson.