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B-to-B Telesales Tips You Can Use: Get More Business and Avoid Rejection

by: Admin on Date: Tue, 1 Dec 2009 Time: 3:31 PM

Telesales expert Art Sobczak has a whole lot of tricks up his sleeve when it comes to marketing success. Check out his best ideas for a successful phone campaign. 

Telemarketing, telesales, cold calling ... whatever you want to call it, the professional use of the phone in sales is a process, not a goofy technique or gimmick. 

We're going to travel through every part of the professional telesales-telemarketing call, in order, discussing proven tips that can help you right now. Let's go! 

PRE-CALL PLANNING
1. Have a primary objective for every telemarketing call: "What do I want them to DO as a result of this call, and what do I want to do?"

2. Prepare questions for your telesales call based on the following mission: "How can I persuade them to take this action as a result of asking questions, as opposed to talking?" 

3. Also create a secondary objective for each telephone sales call...something you'll strive to accomplish, at minimum, every time. Pick something you'll have a reasonably good chance to succeed with, such as, "Getting their agreement they will accept my literature and place it in their 'Backup Vendor' file." 

BEFORE REACHING THE DECISION MAKER 
4. Treat the screener as you would the customer — this person determines whether or not you'll even have a chance to speak with the buyer. 

5. Gather as much information as you can from whomever you are able, prior to speaking with your prospect; busy decision makers get bored when they have to answer your basic qualifying questions. Use the "Help" technique: "I hope you can help me. So I'm better prepared when I speak with Ms. Big, there's probably some information you could provide me..."

6. If leaving a message on voice mail, or with a screener, be certain it offers a hint of a benefit/result that sparks curiosity, but doesn't talk about products/services.

INTEREST-CREATING OPENING STATEMENTS
7. The objective of your telemarketing opening is to pique curiosity and interest so that they will willingly and enthusiastically move to the questioning. Tell them what’s in it for them immediately. 

8. Don't use goofy, resistance-inducing phrases on your telesales call. An example of a terrible opening line: "If I could show you a way to _____, you would, wouldn't you?" The only decision you're looking for in the opening is the one to continue speaking with you.

9. Have something of value to say on every telemarketing call, particularly those regular calls to existing customers. Avoid, "Just checking in with you to see if you needed anything," and, "Just calling to touch base." These are more nuisance than service. Be certain they're able to say they are better off after your call than they were before it, even if they didn't buy anything. Call with news they'll have an interest in or ideas you've heard from other customers they might be able to take advantage of.

EFFECTIVE QUESTIONING
10. Get information before you give it. How could you make an effective presentation otherwise? 

11. Don't use a "benefit list" to present from. Instead, use it to create questions to determine if those "benefits" truly are of value to your prospects and customers. Some "benefits" could actually be liabilities. 

12. Avoid asking go-nowhere questions like, "Is everything going OK?" or "How's service?". These all force the person to think too much. Instead, get them emotionally involved in seeing and feeling the solution you can offer. For example, "What do you do in situations when you need parts shipped overnight, but are unable to get them?"

13. Ask one question at a time. That's how many they'll answer at a time.

14. After asking, be quiet. Resist the urge to jump in if they don't answer immediately. Don't be intimidated by silence. They're likely thinking about what they're going to say.

15. After they've finished, count to two (silently, of course). This ensures they're done, plus they might continue with even better information.

16. Always know where you'll go with answers. Regardless of the answer. 

17. Learn more about the decision-making process. There could be many behind-the-scenes influences on the decision. Ask about actual users of your products/services and anyone else who could influence a purchase. 

SALES RECOMMENDATIONS 
18. You should only talk about your product/service after knowing specifically how it will solve the problem or meet their need. Then you can tailor your remarks specifically and personally for the listener. 

19. Avoid the question, "Anything else?" when attempting to upsell. Just like when a convenience store clerk asks the same question, the answer is usually, "No." Instead, give them a suggestion, and help them answer.

ADDRESSING RESISTANCE (Objections) 
20. Objections can be avoided by doing everything else correctly up to this point in the call. When they do occur, resist the tendency to attack in defense. You must back up and revisit the questioning stage of the call. The voiced objection is simply a symptom of the real problem. Start by saying, "Let's talk about that."

21. If you have an indecisive prospect, get their mind off the buying decision, and on the problem or pain. For example, "Jan, let's look at this another way. What would happen if you did nothing about the situation? Remember, we detailed the fact you're missing sales opportunities every day. What will that amount to over just the next six months?"

22. Avoid Common Objections Mistakes: Using slick, prepared, objection rebuttals that only tell people they're wrong and intensifies the resistance; giving up before attempting to understand the reason behind the problem.

WRAPPING UP AND SETTING THE NEXT ACTION 
23. When sending information, samples or demos, know precisely how they'll evaluate the material. How will they know if they like it? What criteria will they use? This way, you'll both be clear as to what would need to happen in order for them to buy. 

ATTITUDE AND SELF-MOTIVATION 
24. You never have to experience rejection again. After all, what is rejection? It's not an experience. It's your definition of the experience. So, ensure that you accomplish something on each call, and you can hold your head high with a sense of achievement. Remember, a decision of any type is better than shadow-chasing someone who will waste your time with wimpy or misleading statements that cause you to believe there's a chance, when, in fact, there's not. 

25. A good way to end a call where you don't accomplish your primary objective (and to never experience rejection) is to plant a seed for the future. Give them something to look for, based upon what you uncovered during the call ... something that might just cause them to call you back. For example, "Pat, it looks like we don't have a fit here today, but I suggest that if you ever find yourself needing an emergency job finished, and don't have the staff to handle it, give us a call. We specialize in those type of projects, and would love to talk to you." Everyone has been surprised by those written-off prospects who later called to order. This is a way to proactively make it happen more often.


About the Author

Art Sobczak specializes in helping people say and do the right things to get more business using the phone and avoid rejection through his books, tapes, and seminars. See free back issues of his weekly TelE-Sales Hot Tips of the Week newsletter at www.businessbyphone.com




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