I’ve been inspired to put pen to paperby the number of clients I’ve been speaking to recently who have asked me to help with their approach to telemarketing. Now first things first – what do I mean by telemarketing? Well to be honest it can mean many different things. I mean using the telephone as an effective business tool to contact business customers and prospects, with an offer you believe they may be interested in. So, no I am not talking about the worst forms of cold calling or hard-sell double glazing stuff – I am talking about a carefully planned activity which, as well as increasing sales directly, can also achieve other objectives too – like raising the profile of your business with your target audience, giving you a better understanding of what the concerns or issues of your target market are, as well as developing a future sales prospect list. Telemarketing can be undertaken on a grand scale, using bureau services to make the calls on your behalf, or can be something you do within your business, or by yourself to achieve your business goals. And whether you are using the ‘professionals’ to help you out – or taking a DIY approach, following this step by step approach below will improve your chances of success.
Step 1 – Define your offer What is the reason for the call? What offer are you making and what do you want the call recipient to do? Being clear about your offer is absolutely critical before you even think about using the telephone. Firstly, can your offer be described without the need for images or diagrams? Some products will be almost impossible to sell directly by telephone – but the telephone may be used to secure an appointment to demonstrate the products, or as a follow up to an offer made in writing or a brochure mailed to the prospect. When I talk about a clear offer – and this is very important for service companies – can you describe what you offer in a sentence or two, without using jargon, with references that the call recipient will understand and with lots of benefits? If for example you are web developers and you are offering a fixed fee website audit, describe or list briefly the kind of things the audit might expose and how a company could use this intelligence to get more business from their site. Test out the words you will use. I tend to advise all clients to avoid scripts, at all costs, but it is useful to have a call guide, so that you know what questions you want to ask and the points you want to get across.
Step 2 – Decide who to call If you have a good offer which you know people will respond to the next step is to decide who you want to approach and to obtain their details. Your best prospects for any offer would normally be your existing customers, and one assumes you have thei...