Happy New Year!!! I hope your festive season was full of joy and merriment!
Now, if I asked you how much telemarketing you plan on doing for your business in 2015, experience tells me that many of you would groan (apart from the ones that out-source this function)! It seems to be one of those marketing jobs that gets pushed further and further down the pending file until hopefully, it falls off the edge of the desk.
In light of this seemingly universal reticence to get on the blower, it’s high time we had a look at what makes for a successful marketing call, so that you can approach this task with confidence and say tara to those telephone jitters (and ensuring 2015 is your most productive marketing year to date!)
The Dread of the Dog & Bone
For some, the thought of ringing a stranger and talking about what they do is enough to send them into a decline. And this dread is far more widespread than you’d think. For many, it would be a lot easier to telemarket on behalf of another business than it would for their own. The reason for this? For a small business, spending time on the phone is both slightly tedious and hugely personal.
The Importance of Blowing your own Trumpet
Steve’s favourite subject is this – he’s a big fan! But however uncomfortable you find it, you will really do your business a lot of good if you incorporate some telemarketing into the marketing mix. One of our recent blogs outlined recent DMA research that indicates telemarketing still has an important part to play in business growth. So, if you don’t do it, you could be missing a trick!
Whether you are B2B or B2C, whether you are trying to make a sale or implementing a brand awareness or relationship building strategy, these top tips will help you pick up that phone and dial those numbers with positivity!
1 Clean Data
Before you do anything else you need to make sure that all your contacts are up-to-date and clean. I can’t stress this enough – having a poor quality data list is going to squander so much of your time (and the people you are calling). Added to which, nothing puts you off jumping on the phone like repeated dud calls.
Not only does the data need to be clean but it needs to be relevant – it pays dividends to research your target market and tailor your data accordingly – this will save you tonnes of time and money in the long run and give you the best possible ROI.
It makes telemarketing campaigns so much easier and more interesting if you have confidence that the person you are ringing is the right one.
2 Ring-fence Time
It’s so much easier to ignore uncomfortable tasks if you don’t diarise them! You know you should do it, but while it’s loosely in the back of your mind, you’d be surprised how cleaning the inside of your pencil sharpener suddenly becomes a priority (you know it’s true – we’ve all been there)!
Setting aside sometimes when getting on the phone is all that you will do – also don’t overrun on this time – if you have set aside an hour keep going for that hour but don’t do more – keeping it contained makes it more manageable. You’ll soon build up a rhythm for it and giving it a regular time slot keeps it from being an overwhelming burden of a task.
3 It’s All in the Approach
If you are nervous about making calls then the biggest favour you can do yourself is to know in advance what you are going to say. Have notes at the ready and bear the following in mind:
- Have a call structure in mind, even a script (visit our website for a free template to get you started) – but don’t make it sound like you are reading out loud – it will not inspire interest.
- Present your information in the form of how what you do benefits the person you are calling – it helps to open up a dialogue rather than rattling off a list of what you do (but don’t rabbit on too much, as some telemarketers these days tend to!).
- Ask for what you want – to make a sale, send info, secure an appointment. Be upfront about this – it builds trust.
- Prepare what possible objections there may be and if you can overcome them (for example, if they say no, is it a no never, or a no not now? If the latter, ask if you can call them again in 2 weeks, 2 months…whenever they’re next likely to be looking for what you offer)
- Listen carefully to the person on the end of the phone (and take notes)
4 It’s a Marathon, Not a Sprint
How you sound on the phone is very important. Bear the following in mind:
- Take a breath before you call.
- Take your time – don’t rush, your message may be lost.
- Be confident (no really, it’s possible!). You know your business better than anyone – have faith in this.
- Smile and be motivated – your positive attitude will transmit – even if you are slightly nervous.
5 Follow-up. Always.
Unless you receive an emphatic NO (and if you do, try not to take it personally, it’s all part of the learning curve), the most important thing you need to do is take action and follow up on the call. That follow up will depend on what the reason for the call was, plus create other opportunities by linking into other areas of your marketing strategy, such as email newsletters etc. Someone might say no but go on to agree to subscribe to your blog!
Telemarketing Tips – In Summary
Taking account of all these should help you be more confident when faced with telemarketing. Maybe it should have been a top 6 list because actually, this next bit might just turn out to be the most important bit – Essentially what you are doing is entering into a conversation with someone; having a chat; building rapport; finding out if what you do is of interest to them and that’s pretty much it – and that’s not so scary a prospect is it?
Still, daunted? Give our website a visit and take a look at the free information and guidance offered there. Otherwise, pick up the phone and call us! We’d be happy to offer further tips that can help – some of them are a little more “left-field” than others!