Some people are naturally skilled salespeople, while others must practice for hours and hours to become good sellers. And some will never acquire the skills. If you get off to a good start, the chance of success is significantly higher.
It is your first day at work in a call center, and you are preparing yourself for your first calls. If you are new in business, you will probably have butterflies in your stomach.
Perhaps you are uncertain about presenting yourself to the potential customers who will pick up the phone. How do you approach the prospects in the best way possible to become a top salesperson? And what if the prospect says “no”? Are you ready to answer all questions that could potentially come up?
How do you overcome butterflies and reach the sale you are longing for?
The short answer is: Firstly, be well prepared before you make your first call. Secondly, practice!
It can be quite a struggle to handle objections, and it’s also demotivating to continually receive ”no’s”. Therefore, it will help you a lot to have the right approach right from the start.
If you're new to the call center business, you can benefit from reading our guide with all you need to know about call center software and how it can help your business.
Continue reading, and you will figure out how to tackle telemarketing step by step.
Prepare Yourself Before Making Your First Call
So how do you prepare yourself the best way possible?
Before you start calling, a good script to follow during the conversation will come in handy. The script must contain at least:
- The most basic information on the product you are about to sell
- A checklist containing all critical points you need to go through, such as pricing, legal matters, e.g., consent, and opt-out.
- FAQ; based on the experience of other agents.
- A step-by-step conversation guide containing: 1) a solid introduction of yourself and the company you're representing, 2) an appetizer, and 3) a list of beneficial key points on dealing with objections.
It is a good idea to memorize the script to be more self-confident during the call and have a more fluent conversation.
#1 - The Magic Begins With a Simple Introduction
First impressions matter. The introduction is a relatively critical step in the sales process. It is where the prospect gets their firsthand impression of you, and therefore the apparent opportunity to make them feel comfortable and build trust.
It might not sound easy, but an introduction is far more straightforward than you would expect. All you need to do is mention your name and the company you work for:
"My name is X, and I am calling from Y."
The next piece of advice is not to say hello, good morning, or similar phrases. You want to stay inside the customer's comfort zone during the introduction, and therefore you need to let the customer be the first to say this.
For example, if the customer says hello, you respond with a hello back. Let them come to you, so you do not scare them by being too forward in the conversation.
Additionally, your tone of voice is vital in your introduction, and it is solely your responsibility that the customer understands and hears you loud and clear.
There is nothing worse than customers who, far into a conversation, ask where you are calling from. It creates confusion and may as well cost you the sale.
It is advisable to have a relaxed approach until you get to know the customer. Some salespeople tend to try too hard and put their customers under pressure. Again, please stay within the customer's comfort zone and take it from there.
#2 - An Appetizer Sets the Scene for Dialogue
The second step is to approach your customer with a reliable and intriguing appetizer. It is the perfect opportunity to grab your customer’s attention and get them interested in talking to you.
Don't try to sell your product just yet but try to make the prospect curious. No one can sell a product in 30 seconds, and those who try usually fall short.
Instead, it would help if you met them where they are. Once the prospect is relaxed and comfortable, you can start talking, following their dynamic.
An excellent way to start an appetizer is:
"I am calling you because ..." or "I am calling regarding ..."
After your appealing appetizer, you should go straight to step 3.
#3 - Time for Questions
The third step is to ask questions to get the customer to interact with you and include them in the conversation.
No one finds a monologue remarkably interesting – but by turning the conversation into a dialogue, you get the opportunity to tune into the person you are talking with and build a relationship. It also becomes much easier to uncover the prospect’s needs, and as a result, you open up for the opportunity to move the prospect closer to a sale.
Therefore: A good telemarketer asks questions and listens! Let the prospect do the talking, and when it's appropriate, you should swoop in.
#4 - Be Prepared for Objections
In telemarketing, you are often met with objections and excuses all the time. As a consequence of that, you need to learn how to handle thousands of customers saying ”no”.
One way to do this is to make a list of examples of how to handle objections. By doing this, you'll make sure to have a counter-response in the event of a potential objection. And always remember that objections are a part of the telemarketing business and are not just happening to you!
For example, if the customer says, “I don't have time to talk to you”, you respond with “it doesn't take long”, and then you keep talking to try and keep the conversation going.
You can handle objections before, during, and after they occur, but the most natural approach is to handle them during the conversation as a newbie. The more experience you get, the better you become at handling them before or after.
Learn more on how to handle objections in sales efficiently.
#5 - Be Aware of How You Close Your Sale
There are numerous variations of closing techniques when selling over the phone. Sooner or later, you will learn that some are just working better than others – at least for you.
Choosing the right closing technique depends on the product and the offer, especially which kind of person you are talking to.
Make sure to acquire the knowledge of several different closing techniques before you start calling. That will serve you well in the long run.
Closing might be the most critical point in any sales situation, and that’s perhaps why it’s also the most challenging part of any sales conversation. Even experienced salespeople can find it transgressive to close, so don’t be in despair when you fail to close.
It’s okay not knowing the answer to everything. If you stumble upon something you don’t know the answer to, there's no shame in saying:
"I'll figure it out and get back to you."
Instead of saying something untrue to the customer, take a few more minutes and find the correct answer. Being honest not only solves any legal issues you might face when misinforming the prospect, but the chances of them churning later in the sales process also get higher the more incorrect information they are given.
Practice is Key
Most callers are anxious when they start making calls. Don’t worry if you are one of them – it’s perfectly natural to feel that way. By accepting this, you will get a more relaxed kickoff to telemarketing.
Usually, it takes some time before you start to sell, and when you
succeed, remember that what you are doing still comes with a lot of rejections – but also remember to celebrate your successes. Focus on your task, and keep the course - sales are key to your success.
You are probably still wondering how to pick up the phone and call your first customer. If I'm honest, you only learn by practicing, and you can only do that by starting to make calls.
Telemarketing is about being well prepared, and then you can move on to learning by doing.