Our last two blogs talked about the importance of staying in contact with your clients and why you should always keep the personal touch. This time, we’re focusing on telesales and how to get the most from those all-important follow-up calls. ‘But it’s easy – I just pick up the phone…’ I hear you cry! Well, there’s actually a bit more to it than that. So let’s take a look at our top 5 tips for telesales success.
- Prepare in advance
If you don’t plan your calls, you’re almost certainly doomed to failure. And I don’t just mean planning what you want to say! The first thing to consider is how ‘warm’ the call is likely to be, in other words, what’s your relationship like and when did you last speak to them?
A conversation with a client who buys from you every month will be completely different from calling someone out of the blue six months after meeting them. So do your research and really think about how welcome your call is likely to be. If you’re not sure a prospect will want to hear from you, you can always send them a quick email asking if they’d like to book a phone call at a convenient time.
- Know your goals
Following on from your initial preparation, the next step is to identify what you want to get out of the call. This will vary depending on who you’re calling, so take a moment to jot down a few thoughts before you dial out.
For example, you might want the client to place an order, to tell them about a new product they might be interested in, or invite them to an event. For people you know well, your aim could simply be to catch up with them and find out how things are going.
If you’re planning a larger-scale telesales drive, you also need to think about what you want from the campaign as a whole – whether that’s sales growth, stronger customer relationships, or increased knowledge about your client base.
- Choose your words carefully
The most crucial words you’ll say during the call will be your opening and closing ones. Your opening statement needs to include three key pieces of information: your name, your company name and why you’re calling. Be clear, concise and don’t rush your words.
When it comes to closing the call, it’s often a good idea to summarise what’s been discussed before thanking the client for taking the time to speak to you.
During the call itself, stick to the point and don’t ramble. You don’t necessarily need a script, but it might help to make a few notes beforehand to keep you on track.
- Avoid the hard sell
No one likes to receive over-salesy phone calls, especially from contacts they don’t know that well. So keep the tone positive, pleasant and ‘soft,’ rather than wading in on why the client ‘simply must’ buy from you.
A good approach is to explain the product or service you’re promoting from the customer’s viewpoint – in other words, focusing on the benefits. For example, if you’re selling extended warranty on an expensive electrical item, talk about the peace of mind this will provide if the product breaks down.
One word of warning though – be careful about the questions you ask. A common trick is to make people uneasy by asking people things like ‘What would you do if your car broke down and you didn’t have a courtesy car?’ or ‘How would you cope if a loved one died without leaving a will?’ This approach can work, but it can also alienate (and put people’s backs up!).
- Listen back and evaluate
If you’re able to record your calls, then do so (it’s mandatory for some industry sectors anyway). Just be sure to follow the correct procedures, which include informing the client at the start of the call that it will be recorded. Listening back and evaluating your calls will help you identify what went well and what you could have done differently.
If you can’t record your calls, or don’t want to, that’s fine. Just make a few notes about how each call went and analyse them in a similar way. Your learnings will help you develop and enhance your telesales skills in the future.
Short on telesales time or knowledge? No problem!
Here at Cureton Consulting, we’re proud to be telesales experts. We’ve spent years honing our craft so you don’t have to. Our telemarketing service will save you time, hassle and resource. Our trained and experienced agents can make up to 70 calls a day, focused on your individual goals and telesales agenda.
If you’d like to make your own calls but feel you lack the skills, why not book on our 3 hour telemarketing workshop? We can train you and your team to get the results you’re looking for, whilst giving your clients the amazing experience they deserve.