I mentioned last week in the introduction to this section that a pleasant voice and a good telephone manner will help enormously in your successful telesales career, but there are telephone skills that can be learned and put into practise to improve your telephone closing percentages.
As this section unfolds and begins to grow we will look at the art of closing over the phone step by step.
This week in the first part of our Tips for Telesales series I want to look at Pre-Call Planning.
Some of us have been born with a natural ability to ad-lib or think on our feet and some of the best closers in the world are really just actors playing out their role. But I guarantee you one thing. Actors or closers, they all started with a script that was pre-planned and they rehearsed it over and over again until they didn’t need it written down any more and could go from the opening scene to the final curtain with their eyes closed.
In face to face sales you can get away without knowing your script word for word by also using your visual props to keep you clients interested.
In telesales you don’t have any visual props unless you have used a brochure mail shot before your call. That is why it is so important to have a pre-call plan and know exactly what the reaction of your clients will be when they answer the phone and you introduce yourself.
You have to first decide what your objective is. What do you want your client to do as a direct result of your call? What are you trying to achieve from your call? Will it take one call, two calls or maybe more?
Are you going to need a second call to talk to the decision maker or get the final answer?
If that’s the case you need to build into your first call plan, some sort of urgency or special offer that will make sure that they talk to their partner that night, and give you a definite answer the following night when you call them back.
Once you have worked out what you want the end result to be, you can start to work out how you are going to get there and you’ll be able to prepare your questions accordingly.
Remember telesales isn’t all about you doing the talking. Just as in all sales situations your questions should be designed to get the client to do the talking. People will always believe their own statements and ideas more than yours
Your primary objective should be to get the person on the other end of the phone not to hang up in the first five minutes, so your opening line should be based around an open ended question that will make your client think about something before they respond. You have to get their attention straight away and gently continue down the path you have already planned to finally get your client to take action.
So to re-cap on your pre-call plan:
Work out what you want to achieve with your call and prepare a plan to achieve it.
Open with a question that causes your client to think before they answer and gets them involved straight away.
And if you’re new to telesales, set your self mini objectives like for example: “I’ll get everyone to at least agree to a second call”. That way you won’t become too disillusioned in the early stages. Telesales is not easy. If it was everybody would do it wouldn’t they? It takes a special type of person to be able to get someone to take action over the phone by only using your voice and some carefully planned words. So feel good about yourself and be proud to be special. Many people before you have tried and failed.
See you next week.