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10 Tips for Effective Telesales

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''Telesales'' refers to the professional use of the telephone in a sales process. Often called ''telemarketing'' or ''cold calling,'' many companies utilize this technique to generate leads and sell products and services. Depending upon the organization's line of business, the telesales department may be engaged in lead generation, outbound sales, or inbound sales. Here are 10 tips for ensuring an effective telesales campaign.

  1. Make every call with a desired objective in mind. Each call should have a definite purpose aimed at yielding a
    specific positive outcome. Structure your call as a set of questions that will lead to a definite outcome, such as generating a lead for a later appointment or persuading the customer to make a decision to move on to the next step of the selling process.

  2. On many occasions, your call will lead to an answering machine. If this happens, leave a message that will prompt the client to call back to inquire further. If the call is answered by someone other than the decision maker, structure your questions appropriately so that you are able to reach the decision maker, or call back shortly to initiate the telesales process.

  3. Be confident and avoid hesitating while making your opening statements. At the same time, structure your call so that you do not sound too intrusive. Otherwise, the person on the other end will be resistant to continuing the conversation. Open your conversation in such a manner that it creates curiosity and enthusiasm about the nature of your call. If you sound naïve, your prospect will try to end the call as soon as possible.

  4. Make the purpose of the call as unique as possible. People like to feel unique, so structure your opening statements so that your prospects feel you called just for them. If the sales call is to an existing customer, simply offering something, such as a new catalog or advice about a new product, is a good idea, too.

  5. Structure your questions so that they yield useful information about customers. Furthermore, instead of simply listing the benefits of your product or service, pose questions that will determine whether customers perceive these benefits as valuable to them.

  6. Ask questions confidently and wait for answers. Do not interrupt your prospects’ replies. Always wait for them to finish. You will sound more confident if you have carefully prepared your questions ahead of time. Do not fumble while presenting your questions to clients. Make your list of questions flexible so that each question you pose naturally follows the last answer your prospect provided.

  7. Decision makers may seem interested, but numerous issues can influence their decisions. It is a good idea to inquire if there are others they know of who use the product or service in question so that you can consider their opinions, too.

  8. After presenting your product or service, obtain the prospect’s feedback. At this point, you will discover whether your prospect is genuinely interested in your product or is just waiting for the call to end. This is the time to close the conversation.

  9. An important aspect of telesales is obtaining commitments to moving the sales process forward. This does not mean you must make a sale by the end of each call. Obtaining a commitment from a prospect moves the process to the next step, which might be a follow-up call or a fax containing product- or service-specific information.

  10. You may face resistance from the prospect immediately. The person on the other end of the line may hang up abruptly, resist purchasing, or refuse to accept the price you have quoted. Often such resistance betrays the presence of a concealed problem that you can tackle. Go a step backward in your conversation and inquire about the cause of the resistance. Offer a convincing solution to the prospect’s objection and move your conversation forward. Sometimes you may have to work with an indecisive prospect. Mention the apparent advantages and benefits of your product or service, and attempt to convince the prospect that indecision could be more costly compared with making a positive decision right away.

On the net:42 Telesales Tips You Can Use Right Now to Get More Business and Avoid Rejection

Telesales: Making It Work for You

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