Your marketing strategy may call for selling some or all of your products and services over the telephone.
Telephone sales, or telemarketing, is a widespread, efficient and effective method for making contact with prospects and closing sales. Telemarketing is also an effective method for selling new or additional products and services to existing customers.
Today's telemarketer, however, must break through more "communication clutter" than ever before. You're not only competing with messages from other telemarketers for prospects' attention, but also with advertising, news broadcasts and a myriad of other marketing communications tactics.
By its very nature, telemarketing creates a unique selling environment. You're solely dependent on the words you use and the tone in your voice.
It's important to realize that telemarketing is not an entire sales strategy. Instead, it's just one method of performing the sales process. And, as is true with other selling methods, success in closing sales over the telephone is dependent on finding qualified prospects to call.
Telemarketing Tips from Successful Telemarketers
Consider each of the following telemarketing tips to improve your sales and bottom-line profits.
You have just a few seconds to make a good initial impression on the phone. Your careful preparation for the call can increase your chances of having a conversation with a prospect rather than hearing that familiar dial tone.
Always be courteous and professional. Remember, you're a sales professional who just happens to use the phone to sell.
Be sincere at all times. People will sense insincerity on the phone even though they can't see your facial expressions or other non-verbal communication clues such as hand gestures, head nods and body posture.
Keep your work area neat-it'll keep you focused and organized.
Dress like a sales professional even if your prospects will never see you.
Keep a mirror handy so you can check to see if you're smiling during calls.
Don't practice on prospects with a few warm-up calls at the beginning of the day or week. Role play with someone if you need to, or just talk out loud in an imaginary conversation to warm up.
Meeting annual goals requires setting and meeting daily goals. Record you progress on a daily basis.
Keep records of the contacts you make for future reference. Note dates for follow-up.
Keep track of your success rate in getting through to the decision maker or closing a sale. This will help you identify and correct any weaknesses in your strategy or approach.
Use your prime selling time-the hours your prospects are most easily reached by phone and are the most receptive-for selling activities only. (Experience will quickly let you know when your prospects are most receptive!) Conduct homework, research, planning or other administrative activities at other times.
Use past experiences to help you prepare for and react to current situations. For example, if you continually meet the same objection to buying what you're offering, brainstorm all the different ways you might meet this objection so you'll be prepared the next time it pops up.
Develop a script for the call to keep you on track but never read directly from it. Write the script as you talk. That way, when you vary from the script, your words and phrases will be consistent. As you write your script remember all these great telemarketing tips.
Consider using introductory or follow-up letters, product fliers or other marketing materials.
Use other "communication" tools as necessary to support your telephone sales, including cellular phones, fax machines, hands-free headsets, email, etc. For example, part of your selling process may be to offer prospects a product information sheet by fax or email.
End calls quickly, but politely, when it becomes evident that a prospect is either not qualified for your product (you're selling a dating service and the prospect is married) or the prospect is not going to buy. Your time on the phone is precious. Spend it selling!
In addition to the preceding telemarketing tips, we encourage you to focus your discussion with your prospective client on what they need and what they want.
DO NOT try to convince them of what they need or want. Instead, ask probing questions and let them tell you. Once you know what they need, they you can suggest the perfect product match.