Outbound telemarketing is not seamless like it was until a few years ago. Nowadays, most countries have a custom version of Do-Not-Call Registry with more users signing up to escape the clutches of marketers. Having seen the ups and downs of Call Center outsourcing business, we hear questions like these every now and then. "How can I do well in telemarketing?", "How can I improve my telemarketing skills?".
To become successful at outbound telemarketing one needs - effective, un-convoluted, and to-the-point scripts. Many call centers around the world are now waking up to the fact that properly designed scripts allow them to stay compliant with regulations while giving agents the room to process more enquiries based on the format and selection of answers. Scripts require careful planning; in fact, we would put our money on well-planned scripts that can bring 60% more leads and enquiries as compared to a generic, rote script. With this article, we will bust myths about telemarketing scripts and provide tips to deal with pestering telemarketers, while answering that all important question - "How to Be a Successful Telemarketer?".
18 Tips for Successful Telemarketing
Before we begin, please keep one thing in mind - Telemarketing is very different from Telesales. Telemarketing is all about creating new opportunities, and as a result can be used for market research, information dissemination, collect accurate information, etc. Therefore, telemarketing offers more scope for you to gain confidence and disregard failure rates in your pursuit to deliver better customer satisfaction. Here are the top 18 tips for effective telemarketing scripts -
Start with a Plan
The foremost thing to remember for an effective telemarketing script is to begin with a plan. Lay down your objectives on paper, as it would allow you to form a concise script without any meandering additions. If your objective is to collect e-mail addresses for a mailing list, then you should be able to obtain it from the first PoC itself (the person who answers the phone). However, occasionally, you might need to engage decision makers. In such cases, scripts prove to be efficient at helping you secure an appointment with the decision maker.
Decide on What Kind of Script you Want
Once the plan is set, you can create multiple scripts that will help you reach your objective. The beginning of the script is extremely important and defines how you conduct the initial part of the call. Over time and with more experience, you can slack grammatically from the script while keeping the underlying message unchanged. A good script always provide a way to deal with questions that are tougher-than-usual.
Don't Speak Like a Telemarketer
Yes, it sounds contradictory to what we have been talking about, but it's important to remember that the most effective telemarketers always sound relaxed and use natural language. Never adhere to a script word-for-word, else you will come across as robotic and rehearsed. Prospects just don't respond to stiffness and stock introductions such as 'How are you today"? Be affable and include the same in your script. Soften the initial approach with a tone that makes you sound genuinely interested in what the other person has to offer. If necessary, include script cues for the same.
Attitude is as Important as the Script
It always helps if you maintain a firm attitude which goes together with the script. Attitude is not only about maintaining confidence, but about the little details, such as making sure you know how to pronounce everyone's name on the list correctly. Use upbeat words in the script, and never hesitate to crack a small joke if it comes naturally to you.
Remember the 10-10-80 Rule
Outbound telemarketing agents encounter roughly 10 percent of the people who decline all marketing conversations. On the contrary, the same agents engage another 10 percent of the people who patiently hear what they have to say." The latter includes members who are usually looking for products similar to yours or hesitant about saying "no".
However, it's the remaining 80 percent whom you need as recipients to receive your skilful presentation. The more skill you possess in engaging with the niche audience, the more you stand apart from inept agents. Prepare your script for the 80%, and you will have mastered one of the most important techniques to successful telemarketing.
Most successful telemarketers practice their script by making mock telephone calls and testing their delivery. Practice allows you to relax and get comfortable while preparing for questions which might come out of the left field. Don't forget to take note of your conversational tone and delivery structure because they play a vital role in driving the engagement.
Work Out What Your Customers Want
When you prepare your script, begin by asking yourself a very simple question - "Why should people bother to speak to you?", "What have you got that they don't and why do they want it?"
Answering these questions will help you understand how to soften their stand against your marketing message. While scripts may usually sound boring and on-rails, making thoughtful changes to your existing script helps you engage your customers right from the first few seconds of the call.
Opt-in for Training Programs
Training courses might sound redundant, but unless you have decades of experience and a huge skillset, there is always something to learn. Attending training sessions allow you to benefit from expert guidance on scripting techniques and achieve better results. There are many different aspects which go into making effective outbound telemarketing calls, and the right training can ensure you are always on the right track as far as scripting and delivery is concerned.
Learn to Handle Objections
The most successful telemarketing scripts allow you to transcend roadblocks in the form of objections. Most people would need convincing before they accept your offer and will throw up objections which can derail your script. By devoting an entire section to dealing with such objections, you will get used to them and develop techniques to overcome them. When objections stop being a surprise for you, then it means you are ready to take on new challenges.
This is pretty much an extension of the previous tip but learning how to handle rejection allows you to master your telemarketing script like no one else. Learn how to become goal-oriented and move on to other potential opportunities as soon as possible. Include cues in your script for such calls, and for times when you know the discussion is not going anywhere.
Stay on the Subject
A good way to make telemarketing more effective is by sticking to the script and only talking about the key discussion points. Often, you will meet customers who meander in their conversations, and a tight script will allow you to draw them back on track without losing too much time.
Focus on Call-backs
A good script will eventually help you enhance your call efficiency. Once you have perfected the script, you will make more calls, and with more calls, you will have more call-backs. These call-backs become your go-to pipeline, as these are the people who are either interested in your product or in what you have to offer. Prepare a script especially for these call-backs, dive deeper into the product so you can answer every question, and more importantly, consider these call-backs a way to the future results.
List out the Differentiating Factors and Benefits
Once you qualify the customer's needs, and understand what he or she really wants, create a demand for your product or service. This is a good time for you to work on a script which enlists product benefits, and questions that might be asked by the prospective buyer. An in-depth explanation shows that you are an expert on the subject, thereby giving more confidence to the person listening to you.
Learn how to Handle the Gatekeeper
Most companies hire front office receptionists to handle telemarketing calls, and they can easily set your best laid plans to rest. They also often refuse to disclose information over the phone. If you find yourself stuck with a receptionist, try one of these two strategies -
- Call before the opening hours or an hour after the business is closed. Many receptionists follow the official working hours, while most managers and senior executives start work earlier and finish later.
- Ask to speak to somebody who is not part of the helpdesk. Helpdesk staff aren't trained to handle telemarketers, and they will be happy to guide your call to the right place.
Take Action on Your Calls
If you tell the person on the other end that you are going to send some marketing brochures - make sure you send it. Follow the sundown rule, ensuring all your prospective people receive what they were promised from your end. If you can't deliver on your promises now, they will never have the confidence to buy your products or services down the line.
Don't Break the Law
Most countries have some laws around telemarketing, so make sure you have sat down with your legal representative to understand what you can and cannot do over a phone call.
You need to be particularly careful if you are calling small home-based businesses and family businesses. Always get legal advice and ensure that your script does not conflicting with the county and federal law before moving forward with your telemarketing efforts.
Don't Hesitate to Make Changes to your Telemarketing Scripts
Most telemarketers try to stick to a script they have perfected over time. One of the most elementary techniques to successful telemarketing is how you change your script to remove what is not working, and factor in what is. A versatile script can have a good backbone which works forever, but priorities change based on customers or on current market situations.
Learn the Art of Closing
A job well begun is not a job well done, not until you have closed it. Learn how to tighten the prospect's commitment and obtain all necessary information without wasting too much time. Remember that a prospect is always wondering if they are getting into the right thing or not at the back of their minds. If the prospect is happy with the transaction, close by saying "thanks" and return to business.
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So, there you have it, the above-mentioned skills, while not an exhaustive list, can definitely make your telemarketing scripts work. There are other skills to learn on the job, and if you apply these tips in principle, you can see drastic improvements in conversions down the line.
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