The Gold Call Blog

"Maybe" = "Maybe Not"

The other day I had a call with a sales prospect. The prospect seemed very interested in my client’s offering, and made several serious sounding inquiries about the specifics of the services my client offered. On a scale of 1-10, I gave this particular prospect an 8 or 9 in terms of measuring and qualifying their interest. He sounded so darn positive about the whole thing. Then we got to the end of our discussion about the purchase, and the prospect said they would “maybe” move forward with a purchase that day, or the next day at the latest. It all sounded good up until the prospect said that dreaded word, “maybe”. Here’s how it went down…

Me: “Given your interest and need for the service, what do you suggest we do next”?
Sales Prospect: “It all sound good to me, I’ll probably move forward and authorize a purchase order today, or tomorrow”.

When a prospect says "maybe", or “probably” it makes me cringe because I’m thinking more along the lines of what they really mean to say is “maybe not“.
Believe it, or not, prospects have great difficulty saying the word, “no“. Instead they use the word “probably“. Sometimes it’s “maybe“. Every time you are discussing doing business with someone and they say the word “maybe“, a silent alarm should go off in your head – Uh Oh!

Here’s the lesson – Don’t buy into the hope that your prospect will come through. Often times it’s wishful thinking.
When prospects include the word “maybe” when describing their commitment to something, prospects are hoping that you will leave it alone, and move on without asking for the specifics behind what they meant by “maybe“.
The next time your prospect says “maybe” you might want to ask (politely) whether they really want to say “maybe not“. Don’t be sarcastic, but try and make light of it. Try this…

Sales Prospect: “It all sound good to me, I’ll probably move forward and authorize a purchase order today, or tomorrow”.
You: “I appreciate that”. “It’s “probably” not the case with you, but you know how some people say “probably”, when they really mean to say “probably not”. Then continue and gently ask: “Is there any reason at all why you couldn’t say “definitely” to my offer”?
Sales Prospect: “Well I couldn’t possibly send you a purchase order if I can’t get budget approval for the purchase…”

Now that you know more about what “probably“, or better yet what “probably not” really means, you can now effectively uncover whatever obstacle(s) are standing in your way to closing the sale. Upon discovering whatever obstacles there are to doing business, you can then have a serious discussion with your prospect about the obstacles(s), right then and there.

Good negotiating dictates that it’s better to get things out on the table up front as opposed to letting it go, and running the risk of losing a sale that you could have had in the first place if you only had the gumption to ask your prospect about what they meant when they said “probably” instead of “definitely”.

Monetize Your Network!

You have no one else to blame if you feel that you’re making too many cold calls. While I am a strong advocate of cold calling for new business, I do recognize that there are other ways to find new customers. If you’ve been in business for awhile, then you’ve probably met dozens of people that you made contact with. What you may not realize is that everyone you’ve ever sold to, or made contact with in the past can be a source of new business for you. If you lose touch with your network of contacts it highly likely that you are missing out on some very big opportunities because you chose to remain silent. It goes without saying that keeping your business a secret is no way to achieve success.

The misconception about networking
Most salespeople look at networking as purely a lead exchange event to trade business cards etc.. Furthermore, if making contact with people to discuss your business doesn’t result in new customers right away, you’ll find many salespeople give up, and throw in the towel on business networking. That’s a bad move…
Although exchanging leads is part of the equation, it certainly isn’t the entire picture. Making contact is one thing, but staying in touch to make networking pay off is another story altogether. And I might add, this is where you need to be patient and work the process. This is where most salespeople fail. They stop networking themselves, and drop out because they lost sight of the value because they didn’t get an immediate return. There’s an old proverb I heard awhile back and it goes like this; “Work the process, and await the result in peace”. Getting an immediate return is NOT proper networking. Working a process for staying in touch with people is your best bet. Be assured that working a consistent process of networking yourself will eventually yield the results you are looking for.  Maybe not right away, but eventually.

Remember that you can’t shoot the moose from the lodge. You’ve got to get out there and find those that can help you get what you want. All you need to do is be willing to help others get what they want. Once again – work the process and the results will follow.
And one final word, do you have a LinkedIn profile, and contacts you are connected to? How often are you reaching out to people and dropping them a note to see how they’re doing? Not very often? Why not?

Remembering Dick Clark...

Last week I was especially sorry to hear of Dick Clark's passing. Back in 1994, I had the distinct pleasure of doing some business with Dick Clark. At the time I worked for a company called Xpedite Systems, and we provided a fax broadcast message delivery service to companies in the entertainment industry. I remember making a cold call to a company called United Stations. After explaining a bit about our service offering, the syndication manager at United Stations thought it would be easier to have me fax the 'on-air' copy to station affiliates than do it themselves.
One day I stopped by the offices of United Stations to pick up a fax delivery list when I ran into Dick Clark standing in the reception area, and we got around to talking. (I was surprised by his reddish hair!)
Long story short, I found out later that Dick Clark owned United Stations. He must have found out about the service I was providing to United Stations, and a few weeks later this autographed photo arrived in the mail. Dick Clark was a regular guy, and he will missed...

No Money in Being 'Ordinary'

I was on the phone this afternoon with a new student of mine. We got down to talking about what it takes to get ahead in this world. Of course I cited the usual answers as to what it takes; like being motivated, having a dream, and making a commitment to the effort required, and so on. But when I gave further thought about what it takes to get ahead from my own personal perspective, I thought that my answers sounded too cliche. So I explained to my student that what it really takes to get ahead in today's business world is that you've got to be EXTRAORDINARY. There's simply no money to be made being 'ordinary'.
Being 'ordinary' today has become quite a commodity. Seems like the 'ordinary' is everywhere. Anytime you see people waiting in line for anything, you might describe them as being 'ordinary'. On the other hand, those that get to the head of the line, or avoid the line altogether, are the 'extraordinary' ones. They found a way to get past the obstacles that typically stand in the way of 'ordinary' people, and they became 'extraordinary' by doing so. They got what they wanted, while the 'competition' (other job hunters, or salespeople) are still waiting on line, or waiting by the phone for opportunity to call.
With 'ordinary' being so commonplace, it's simply not something hiring managers, or prospective customers are paying much attention to these days. The 'ordinary' are easily brushed aside, and disregarded as the same old - same old. To get ahead in terms of career development, or doing more business, one must realize the benefit in becoming 'extraordinary' in that being 'extraordinary' will get you noticed more often, and by more people that can do good for you. If you strive to be 'extraordinary', and want to leave the 'ordinary' behind, you might ask yourself what is it that is holding you back. What is keeping you from becoming 'EXTRAORDINARY' in everything you do?

You Can't Shoot The Moose From The Lodge!

Despite my success with cold calling for new business, I have to admit that the best customers I've ever found have come by way of referral, or through someone I met at a networking, or speaking event. When I first took to the 'networking circuit', I faced the challenges of networking like most people do. The prevailing question being, "How do I get started"?
One of the greatest challenges for people attending networking events is their nervousness about approaching complete strangers in conversation. How do you introduce yourself? What do you say?
Believe it, or not, most everyone has difficulty talking about themselves, and what they do for a living. Instead, they talk about their product's value, and keep conversation about themselves at a distance. What I found was that after a few introductions like this, I was bored of myself having said the same thing over and over! That led to my being quiet, and worse yet, becoming shy about approaching anyone else after having spoken to only a few people. That led to my abandoning networking meetings altogether, and I can only guess how much new business that cost me.
You can't shoot the moose from the lodge! Get out there and meet somebody!
Having realized my shortcomings as a 'networker', I decided that I was going to introduce myself in as few words as possible in terms of my product & service, and turn over the scope of conversation to finding out what other people do. In other words, I decided to be more interested in OTHER people. I let them do most of the talking, and that made things easier for me. As for starting the conversation, here's a script that's worked for me.
Example:
"Hello Pat (seeing their name on their name tag), I'm Pete Ekstrom w/ Dealbuilders". "What brings you to this event"? "How did you hear about it"?

Even if the person you're speaking with cracks a cheap joke and says that a car brought them to this event, you still have a conversation going, and a bit of a laugh too. That's what called getting things off to a good start.
Following this brief introduction, now you can delve into the formalities of each other's business, products, and whatever. But I would suggest that you spend more time talking about the people you do business with, or the types of companies you sell to. The product chatter just doesn't make for good conversation. And for God's sake, let the other person do most of the talking. And here's a final tip for successful networking - Get there early. If you're nervous about talking to strangers in a crowd, avoid the crowd, and get there early.
More to come about networking etiquette in future posts, so stay tuned...

Top 7 Opening Statement Mistakes in Telemarketing

Telemarketing can be a rewarding, fast paced and exciting career. It can also be stressful and difficult. Cold calls specifically are a source of a lot of stress. Avoiding these common mistakes can help you increase your sales:

1. “Hey Bob, how are you today?  This is Suzy Johnson calling for Enterprise Express. Have you heard of us?

“How are you?” doesn’t work. It’s dull and transparent. They know you don’t really care so skip it. At best their going to waste 10 minutes telling you. At worst you just wasted 10 of their seconds and they are that much closer to hanging up. Next, “have you heard of us?” is an invitation to hang up. The idea is they’ll play along, “no I haven’t but I sure would like to.” Really? No one is that naïve so don’t ask if they’ve heard of you.

2. “Mary? David Smith calling from First Transportation in Paris.  Mary, the reason for my call is to follow up on an e-mail I sent you on how we can reduce your long halls shipping costs.  Did you get it?”

Never ask if they got something. They’ll say “no” and tell you to resend it, than avoid you like the plague.

3. “Oh hi. Is this the safety manager? Good. I’m Bob Smith calling from Top Safety. We specialize in safety communications programs. Did I catch you at a good time?”

If you know you’re calling the safety manager, you should also know their name. Next, don’t ask if it is a good time, it’s never a good time and that’s just an invitation to hang up.

4. “Ms. Jones, my name is Tabitha Stevens and I’m a financial adviser working with single moms who struggle to plan their financial future.  Let me ask you, what are some of the personal challenges you’re experiencing when it comes to planning for your kids’ education?

This actually starts good. Where it goes wrong is the second question. No one wants to get that intimate that fast.

5. “Hi, this is Mark Major from Super Medical. We specialize in a variety of hospital supplies.  I was wondering: what would it take to earn your business.”

Um, in the 1950’s this might have shown moxy or whatever. Today it comes off as used-car salesman, cheesy, disinterested and generic. You are making them do the work of telling you what they need. Instead, discover what they need, and you provide how you are going to earn their business.

6. “John? My name is Ed Morrison calling from Ultimate Software.  We work with Human Resource professionals helping them improve their personnel review processes. Antonio, if I could show you a way to reduce the time it takes to write, conduct and complete a personnel review by 50%, would you take a moment to listen?”

Okay, this is actually okay minus one point, it’s overused. 7 out of 10 telemarketers are going to use nearly this exact script. You need to be more original.

7. “Dr. Newton, this is Betty Harding calling from Universal Dental. We’re the dental specialists. Dr. Newton, we offer a wide range of  (then it goes on for about a minute)”

Length will kill you. Get them involved in the conversation as quickly as possible.

Top 5 Myths About Cold Calls

If there is one universal truth about cold calls, it is that people don’t like them. People don’t like to receive them, and frankly telemarketers absolutely dread making them. They shouldn’t though. If there is another universal truth about cold calls it is that, when done the right way, they really do work and being a cold caller can be a lucrative and exciting job once you get the hang of it.

Here are the top 5 myths when it comes to cold calls:

  1. It’s all about the numbers – Well, yes and no. You might catch more fish in a bigger pool sure, but simply dialing number after number isn’t going to give you “better” results… what it might mean though is you are missing more opportunity. In the world of cold calling one sale is worth a whole lot of hang-ups of course, but quality is where the money is at. Making a few quality calls will give you better results than hundreds of quick, it’s-all-about-the-numbers phone calls.
  1. You need to learn to love rejection – Okay, there are a couple of problems with this. First it’s impossible for the human species. If someone tells you they like rejection they are either psychotic, or more likely lying. Next, if that were the case, why ever make a successful call? Why not sabotage it on your own. You need to accept rejection as a natural part of your job true, you also need to keep a healthy disdain for it though. This will inspire you to succeed.
  1. You’re just making an appointment – At best that is your secondary goal, but even if this specific call is only an introduction, what if you can sell right now? Your business and you should be prepared for the possibility they are willing to buy now and might not want later on. Next, even making an appointment is selling. If the script is designed to set-up an appointment okay, but they should be pre-soled on the product or service even in this initial call.
  1. Every time they say no you are closer to a yes – This mentality is similar to the “learn to love rejection” mentality, and equally false. There is no pre-determined number of “no” you need to hear before “yes.” If you are getting too many knows there might be something wrong with the presentation.
  1. Never give the gatekeeper any information – Are you a scam artist? Is your company a front for a credit card fraud business? No? Than what are you hiding? Guess what, the secretary or assistant you need to talk to before you talk to the decision maker is the decision maker. They decide if you get to talk to the decision maker. Here’s another common misconception about the gatekeeper, that they are universally disliked. In reality the person you are trying to reach likes them a lot. They are their closest business associate and even a trusted friend in many instances, so treat them with just as much respect as the one you are trying to reach.

The Basics of Telemarketing

Chances are since you are reading this you are either passively aware of what telemarketing is or you are in the business and looking for a few tips. Either way there are a number of basics you might want to review again, or that could be helpful to your business or job.

Two different types of telemarketing

Like all ads and marketing, there are two main categories, B2B and B2C, which stand for business to business sales and business to consumer sales respectively. These take on entirely different approaches. Here’s a quick breakdown.

B2B telemarketing

Marketing to businesses through any medium requires a separate approach. The trick to effective sales in this area are how you are going to help that businesses bottom line, and how you are going to make the job of the one you are talking to easier. Always remain professional in this setting, and keep in mind that the individuals you are talking to are going to be busier in this setting than when you are speaking to a consumer. The next difference is the length of the partnership. When you are selling to a business you are looking for a partnership, not a one time sale. You want to develop a relationship.

B2C telemarketing

Selling directly to the consumer is a horse of a different color entirely. First you are going to be less-business oriented and more personable. In both instances you want to remain friendly and professional, but when selling to the consumer it is a different tone entirely, and you want a different tone. Next, usually when selling to the consumer it is going to be a one time sale, this can often mean a harder sell but not always.

Cold call vs. follow-ups

The cold call is often a dreaded thing, and it is from where most of telemarketing’s negative perception comes from. This is when you are basically calling a prospect out of the blue, with no pre-marketing, and often the one you are talking to will have no idea what you are calling about. The cold call is more common in B2C simply because contacting all of the potential customers via mailers and other means is more costly while the product or service being sold is usually profitable, hence the need to sell more.

The follow-up is usually considered easier for the telemarketer because the one you are speaking to will already have an idea about the product or service, they may have even spoken to a representative already. Often this person will already be on a list of interested individuals or businesses so the chances of a sale are higher from the beginning. The down side is that follow-ups are usually in the B2B field, which means the product or service is a bigger investment. You need to be more detailed, more knowledgeable, and more convincing in most instances.

Soft sell vs. hard sell

The soft sell more and more is becoming the preferred route, but the hard sell is still more common in B2C telemarketing. A soft sell takes a more personable approach, involves more listening, more time and is essential for follow-ups and creating a relationship with a customer. The hard sell is used when you want them to sign now. It’s for one-time buys and closing the deal.

The 4 Skills That Will Improve Telemarketing

Do you want to know the new, amazing, one-of-a-kind get rich quick secret to telemarketing!!!!

Did that intro turn you off? Of course it did. It sounds like a scam, a con, and something we’re subjected to a hundred times a day by amateurs in the sales field, whether it is that annoying commercial, billboard or even a telephone call, it doesn’t work.

We all know it doesn’t work. We’re all annoyed by it. Why do so many businesses use it then? The answers are varied as to why so many make this huge and otherwise obvious mistake. A couple of the common reasons are 1. It’s easy for the decision makers of a company, who are consumed nearly 24/7 by their business, product or service, to forget the rest of the world doesn’t function in their bubble. For these, remember, it doesn’t matter if you product is as original as the internet when first invented (it’s not) or as important as water (again, it’s not) your potential customer only passively cares anyway. 2. Some people just get lazy, and when you’re lazy you do what’s familiar, which in sales is the hard sales tactic.

Welcome to the first skill that will improve telemarketing.

 

  1. Consider the customer’s point of view – This is always going to be different depending on the product and service, and whether it is consumer or business based. Take serious time considering what the benefits to them are going to be. Listen to what they say, then frame the benefits to fit their specific needs while understanding your product or service is not the center of their universe, but it could help improve their life/business/whatever through X, Y, and Z.
  1. Get their attention – Okay, this is actually the first step, but the best way to get their attention is through the spectrum of the first step. Don’t start off boring. “Hi, my name is…” is fine and then thank them for taking the call of course. After that though, take a new angle. One example that is often successful is to ask them a question based on the benefit of your product. This engages them. Now you’re in a conversation instead of simply talking at them. There are a number of innovative ways to get their attention, so don’t go with boring.
  1. Create trust – Sometimes this is a company’s reputation, but let’s be honest, every scam company on earth can recite how trusted they are. Instead create trust on a personal level. You’re on the phone after all; personal is one of the advantages of the phone.
  1. State the bottom line early ­– Okay, you want to listen to them and you want to solve their problem, at least you want to frame it that way. You also don’t want to waste your time, so get to the bottom line of what your product or service is early, and learn when to hang up if you know you’re not going to make a sale.

How to Master Your Telephone Voice for Telemarketing

Have you ever heard your own voice on a recording? For most of us it is something of a disappointment. If you are one of the vast majority not 100% satisfied with the sound of your own voice on the phone, there are actually a few things you can do to improve the way you sound.

This is of course even more essential if you are a telemarketer, or if you do any work over the phone for that matter. As you likely know, you have about 10 seconds to convince the person you are calling to stay on the phone with you, or less. That’s just to stay on the phone with you long enough for you to begin the often even more daunting sales process. The last thing you should be worrying about is what your voice sounds like, and the last thing you want is for the sound of your voice to be the thing that ruins the deal for you, there are hundreds of other things you need to be worried about. So here are some of the things you can actively do to actually make your voice sound better on the phone, and hopefully improve your chances of making that sale.

  1. Remember their point of view – There are scores of reasons you want to always make a telemarketing call with your prospect’s point of view in mind, and your voice may be the least important among these, but it is still important. Most of the advice this tip is centered around has to do with the benefits to the customer, however what you physically sound like can be influenced by considering their point of view as well. Your general approach should be different depending on the specific product and whether it is business or consumer based. The way you are selling will change the way you sound, and the benefits and target will determine how you sell. For example, if you are calling a busy business person understand they are busy and your voice will follow suit, if you are calling a consumer and you sound like you are talking to someone at their job, well it won’t be as attractive to them.

     

  2. Have total confidence – We can’t hear dog whistles or bats, but the human ear is actually pretty amazing in other ways. For example without even seeing another person we can almost always, within a second, hear their mood. If you are selling something confidence should be the attitude immediately perceived over all others, and it is something that is hard to fake. So don’t just sound confident, take a moment to get your mind in that frame and your voice will naturally portray your attitude.
     
  3. Cadence and emphasis – When following a script over and over it is easy to fall into autopilot, and even if your auto pilot knows the pauses and areas of emphasis, your potential customer can still likely hear the difference between recitation and the genuine article. Even though you are saying the same thing over and over more or less, they are hearing it for the first time, so concentrate on saying it as if you are saying it for the first time as well.

"Come On In And Close The Door..."

Those are the last words you want to hear on a Friday afternoon, or at the close of the quarter. "Close the door" means you're about to be fired, and typically you're the last to know...
I was talking to a friend of mine the other day who had just heard those fateful words, and he told me how he felt the blood drain from his head, how his ear lobes went numb, and his knees started to shake. What was he going to do now? Was there a severance package? How was he going to pay the mortgage, the school tuition? Worse yet, how was he going to tell his wife?
My friend went on to tell me that he never saw it coming. His sales were off, but he had a few things in the pipeline that should've closed last quarter, but didn't. But he still felt confident that it would close this quarter. I'm thinking, how he did not know that he was going to be 'riffed' (reduction in force)? Weren't there obvious signs everywhere that something was amiss with the company he worked for? One look at the current state of business today may explain why my friend was the last to know.
Companies of all sizes are really struggling today to make their number, and new business has become increasingly more difficult to find. Given that difficulty, companies are secretly turning on the dime to cut costs, and that means some heads are gonna roll. There is virtually no patience for underperformance in 2012.
Having been in tech sales for over 25 years, I've been through 5 significant economic downturns, and in that span of time I've seen several salespeople get 'riffed' on a Friday afternoon, and their being 'riffed' often came as a complete surprise.
Someone told me many years ago, "If you don't have a plan of your own, you will become part of someone else's plan". In this market you've got to watch your back!
Right now, at this very moment, someone is secretly meeting behind closed doors, or speaking on the phone making decisions, and setting in motion a plan of their own that will impact your situation, often times in a very negative way. So, if you haven't already done so, it's time to start thinking about a backup plan for yourself. Do not delay. Do not be the last to know!!!
Have a plan of your own so you don't fall victim to the planning of others. Don't wait until it's too late to start a new job search, or think about starting your own business. Better yet, put yourself in the position to tell your boss, "Come on in and close the door...".

The Problem With Stalls & Objections

The waiting game for buying decisions can be very frustrating. One way to do away with the frustration of the 'waiting game' is to first discern the different between a valid objection, and a 'stall tactic'.  "I will get around to it eventually" is NOT an objection. It's a 'stall tactic'.
An objection is something along the lines of the following examples:  "Unless it comes in red I'm not interested". Your facility is too far away to guarantee on time delivery". "You're company doesn't have the experience our current supplier does". "Your warranty doesn't cover labor costs, just parts". Thinking it over, or waiting to get around to it are 'stalls', plain and simple.
If you are getting stalled by prospects that tell you that "They'll get around to it...", understand that something went wrong in the early part of your sales call. You probably told them, showed them, and proposed to them, but at the end of the call your prospect stalled by using some excuse not to buy today. Your problem is that you didn't bother to address these 'stalls' until it was too late to do anything about them.
My hypothesis when prospects stall is that either the prospect is not the final decision-maker, doesn't have any money to spend, or doesn't think what you showed them is worth the effort to take action now. I'm not a mind reader, and I don't carry truth serum on sales calls, so I'm at a loss to find out why prospects stall, and what's really behind the stall in the first place. What can we do to keep our prospects from stalling on making a decision?
I'm thinking why not start by asking prospects up front about the problem they have, how much the problem costs, what you might do to solve it. And in the event you can solve the problem for X dollars, what steps would you have to take to do business? Have an upfront agreement of sorts to do away with the 'stall tactics' prospects use to throw us off track' when they can't, or won't make a decision. By the way, a decision not to make a decision, is still a decision.
Getting everything out on the table up front, and negotiating the terms and conditions of doing business before showing and proving your solution/product will greatly reduce the possibility of your prospect using 'stall tactics' to avoid making a decision. It takes courage to do this, but well worth it when look at the personal cost of aggravation when you don't get the deal after having put so much work and effort into working a sale. My advice? Try getting a decision from prospects to buy from you sooner rather than later...

4 Tips For A Successful Cold Call

Cold calling isn’t easy, and there is no silver bullet which will lead to success every single time you make a phone call. There are simply too many factors from different personalities on the phone, to the needs of that particular individual or business you are talking to and even the timing is a concern. Cold calling will always be a numbers game. There are a few great tips for actually increasing the likelihood of a successful call though. We will go over a few of those now:

  1. Find your happy place – Not necessarily in a super Zen alternative spirituality sort of way, unless of course that’s something you are into, but the simple fact is you are going to get hung up on, cussed out, poked fun of, dragged along and much more far more often than you are going to actually make a sale. That’s just the nature of the business. Humans aren’t hardwired on our own for the amount of rejection a cold caller receives in any single day. You need to find a way to ensure this rejection truly does not get to you, and that is going to be different for everyone. Until you figure out what works for you your success is going to be negatively affected by the amount of rejection you experience.
  1. Always be nice no matter what – Believe it or not, some of the people who are mad at you for calling when they first answer on the phone, are the same ones who are going to buy something in about 5 to 20 minutes. Not if you yell back at them though. Naturally of course there is the matter of your boss as well. If they hear you cussing back at someone even the coolest of bosses is going to have to do something about it.
  1. Empathize – What? You’re the one getting yelled at 20 times a day right? All they did was answer the phone! Yeah, but they don’t see it that way. Understand them, even if they are upset at first. You have to be the bigger person and speak in a conciliatory manner, always with the ultimate goal of selling in mind, but you are on their side not matter what. It’s hard sure, but it also leads to more sales in the end. And when you clock out and all that rejection rolls off your back and you look at those sales figures you are going to be in a much better mood for the next day, then the next, then the next.
  1. It’s a marathon not a sprint – Pretty self-explanatory, but don’t burn yourself out too fast and always push for a faster pace. As you make more and more calls and more and more sales you are going to get really good at sensing when you have someone on the line and when they are just afraid to say no and are wasting your time. Until you get to that point though, keep in mind (as mentioned earlier) that it’s a numbers game and the more people you talk to the better your chances for success (and of course the better you are getting at it).

 

The Benefits Of Using a Telemarketing Campaign

No matter the size of your business or what you are selling, chances are that at some point you’ve considered using telephone sales. Is this a good idea? And is it better to do so in-house or to hire another company to make sales for you. These are important questions, and the answer isn’t the same for every company. Let’s go over some of the factors which will determine whether this is a good idea for your product or service.

Do phone sales work?

In short, yes. There are a lot of ways to sell, and usually taking advantage of multiple tactics is a good idea. One thing that phone sales can do that other types of sales cannot is get that direct human contact which is so often essential. This is most important in business to business dealings, where getting a hold of decision makers is both difficult and essential, but any product or service benefits from this sort of sales, even consumer based products and services.

Another area where phone sales work better than other methods is when discovering benefits specific to different individuals is a big part of selling. Some products and services are more obvious than others, but one thing that is universal is that every potential customer is going to have a completely different set of needs. This is something that selling online, on television and by mail simply cannot cover.

What are the negatives?

Don’t trust any telemarketing firm that says there are no negatives because there are, and understanding them is part of the process of creating a successful campaign. Once you approach the potential problems they become simpler to overcome.

  1. Protect your brand – It doesn’t take a genius to understand that most people don’t like calls from strangers trying to sell them something. You need to come up with a method that does not reflect negatively on your brand when making these calls. It is possible with the right expertise and some research and thought
     
  2. Cost – It’s cheaper than a spot during the Super Bowl, but still costly. The key of course is to make sure it is bringing in more money than you are spending. The only way to do this is to start small and try a few different tactics until you find something that really works well and start expanding on that.
     
  3. Getting a call list – There are many ways to do this, from buying a call list from firms which compile this information, to embarking on a social media push or email campaign to get those phone numbers. The key is finding the right audience for your product or service. You need to look at which methods of finding a call list works best for your target. For example, an older crowd might be listed in specific area codes right in the phone book. Youngsters with no phone but a mobile phone are likely going to be more difficult to get a hold of this way; for them social media would work better. Once you have your list though, the sky is the limit.

Be sure to check out Peter Ekstroms Cold Call Training techniques.

Top 6 Avoidable Mistakes Telemarketers Make

Telemarketing can be a great way to increase sales when done the right way. Even if you already have a successful cold call campaign going though, there might be a number of ways you can improve it even further. Here are the top 6 mistakes made during a cold call. Often these mistakes are even written into the script so look out for them:

  1. Mentioning the company first – When you mention the company first you are basically saying “Hi, I’m selling you something and here are 10 reasons to hang up on me right now,” even if you are an awesome company. They’ve either never heard of you, or if they have inevitably already know they don’t want what you’re selling without saying another word… this is true even if they actually really do want what you are selling. Instead start with the problem that you solve for them. “Has your computer crashed, or if it did crash would that be a problem?” or “Are you losing money because of a few bad stocks?” etc.
  1. Asking personal questions as if you know them – “How are you?” You’d be surprised how many scripts say this somewhere at the beginning. It’s a nice thought sure, but unless you are selling a vitamin or exercise equipment, or something to make them feel better it is pretty inconsequential. Now, this is not to be cold or callous, if chitchat created a real repertoire than fine, the problem is the one you are talking to does not believe that you care. You sound insincere to them, even if you happen to be sincere. So skip the “how are you?” and anything similar… even if it’s in the script. Even worse, it gives them another opportunity to hang up. Maybe you just reminded them they are not in the mood to talk to you when you asked them how they felt.

 

  1. Asking if now is a good time – It’s never going to be a good time when it comes to listening to someone trying to sell them something. That’s just how it is. Asking them if it is a good time just gives them one more excuse to hang up or reschedule, so it is best to not bring it up at all.
  1. Talking about yourself, or your company, or whoever happens to be in the room – Unless it is absolutely essential, not a single sentence should contain the words “we” “I” or “us”. “We’re selling carpet cleaner.” The natural reaction is “what’s that have to do with me?” Everything should be about the person you have on the phone at all times.
  1. Have a reason handy as to why you are contacting them – This may or may not be in the script or part of your regular rap, but it might be a good idea. No one likes to feel like you called them because they were on a list. Instead have something like “Businesses in your area have had problems with computers crashing” if you sell something that fixes this for instance.
  1. Always give them something before you ask for something – It doesn’t matter so much what it is, as long is it is something. Never simply ask them to buy, or ask for an appointment unless you’ve given them 10% off, a free trial, something.

Don't make these mistakes on your cold calls, be sure to check out Peter Ekstroms Cold Calling Techniques.

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