A set of practical tips from Nick Bramley, Director of Impact (CEO) at IMPACTUS Group
The following represent top tips for telephone success. They are tried, tested and proven to deliver significant results and confidence improvement at all levels and in all sorts of business environments…..
Which ones would improve your performance?
Plan your call activity in “sessions”……
Spur of the moment calls will always be less productive as you are less
Prepared and have no momentum. Even confident and experienced callers start slowly, so if you only ever conduct a few calls at a time, you will never make any calls when in top form…..
Planning activity also means it will happen!
Create a “do not disturb” mentality…..
Get your colleagues to take inbound calls, ignore the emails and switch off your mobile. 2 hours is all you need to generate 25 – 30 outbound calls and a number of real opportunities.
Letting your colleagues know not to disturb will really help to generate results!
Remove the temptation to stop…..
Have your drink to hand, have your snack ready, be prepared with pen, notepaper, data, PC etc and go to the loo….. If you have a bad start to your session, it is easy to look for reasons to leave the desk and the session is effectively over.
Don’t leave the desk on a low!
Separate your call types…..
Success comes from momentum and confidence. Splitting your call types into first calls, follow up calls, existing customer calls, new research calls, etc and doing them in blocks get you in the right “zone” for each call type and generates better results.
Don’t blow your cover…..
If ringing for research (finding a name, checking an email etc), never engage the prospect in a sales conversation at this time even if put directly through.
You are ill-prepared with your key messages, mentally not ready, likely to mumble and bumble and you will not be as successful as in a first call session. You will also burn the data for future use.
If you have sent a pre-approach, never mention it!
Never lead with “I recently sent you some information”……
In the game that is telemarketing, they can easily get you off the phone with the response “I did not receive it – can you please send it again”? This creates work for you, delays the conversation and gives them the upper hand. If they mention the pre-approach, okay, but you should never do so first…..
Know your strike rate…..
If you know how many calls you need to make to get a result (appointment, sale, piece of information etc), you can work on improving all the time, but also not panic if the session is not going your way.
Confidence comes from how good you know you are or can be and accepting the fact that sometimes a session is just not going well, but that it is not down to your lack of skill!
Lead with a short list of hooks and benefits….
You have 15 seconds or less to grab the attention. It is what you can do for them, not what you actually do that is important.
Name dropping of like minded customers or references to cost saving, making a job easier, performance improvement etc always work well.
Listen and “drive” the conversation…..
Two ears, one mouth – that is the right proportion. When needing to drive a conversation, use plenty of open questions and simply listen.
People talk more if you let them….
Welcome objections but cluster them….
It is not a game of tennis. Ask “what are the reasons why we may not be doing business or having that appointment” and once you have checked that you have them all, agree to tackle them all together and knock them over as a group.
Much more powerful and successful and they cannot come back with any further ones if you have already asked for them all and handled them…..
Leaving a message expecting a return call is naïve….
98% of voicemail messages are of no use to you but you must listen all the way through just in case.
Never leave a message (they will not ring you back and they have the upper hand). Ring back and ask a colleague to confirm the whereabouts of the prospect or that they are the one you need. Never leave a message with the colleague either…..
Good call notes equal business today, tomorrow and in the future
Never write “not in” if you know why. Never write “asked me to call back in January” without a reason why today was no good.
A strong call note today proves in January that you had the earlier call and you can always exaggerate when they realise this with “you promised me an appointment if I rang back in January”.
You cannot do this if they don’t believe you called initially…..
There are only 4 reasons for the call…….
To speak to the person you have as a target
To find out where that target is (on holiday, in a meeting, away from desk etc).
To establish a time when the target will be available if they are not?
To re-confirm that the target is the one responsible for decisions on your area of interest (even if a research call confirmed this earlier in the process). You only need to re-confirm once…..
Good Luck & Remain Positive!