This page will provide you with some of the tips I have learned and reinvented over the years. Some of these methodologies are not new but there are some that I have perfected in my 15 years of being a Multi-national Cold Calling Expert.
Below I have covered some Basic Principles you will face when you are on the phone.
For more detailed training, please refer to Training Material.
Principle 1. The “Decision Maker is not available. Can I take a message” Objection – Okay. You have all heard this one. The Decision Maker (DM) is not available, (is in a meeting, is out of town, is on vacation, is on a call, etc) when you call, and Ms Gatekeeper will want to take a message, ask for your number or offer to send you to the DM’s Voicemail.
Fact: The Gatekeeper is the DM’s first line of defense to keep you from talking to them, the Voicemail is the DM’s last line of defense. These two factors will try and distract you from your goal and generating the sale.
Tip: Believe it or not, the Gatekeeper can be a powerful tool in your weapon to catch the DM. Now when Ms Gatekeeper tries to throw you off-guard by wanting to transfer you to voicemail, what I say is, “Voicemail is fine. But one quick question. Would you know when DM is available? Is he/she in the office now or are they on the road?” More often than not gatekeeper will tell me exactly what I want to know, and when the best time to reach the DM. If the DM is on the road, then I ask to be transferred to the cell number. Sometimes I go one step further with the gatekeeper by asking for the DM’s direct line or their personal email.
Principle 2. You will never get the Decision Maker on the first call. – Yes this is true. In most circumstances, especially if you are dealing with a medium to large company, reaching the DM can be as frustrating as staring at a test pattern on TV all day. However, is need not be difficult or pointless. In my experience I can normally get through to the prospect by the 3rd or 5th call. It is a matter of timing, and by also applying Principle One mentioned above.
Principle 3. “Not Interested“. When a Prospect says no, don’t get down about it. In the past 15 years I have seen people quit telemarketing because they could not handle a simple “Not Interested” from a prospect.
Tip: Get over it and move onto the next call. In simple terms. DON’T TAKE NO PERSONALLY. The Prospect is not saying NO to YOU. They are saying NO to the product or service being offered. (And in my experience, NO is NEVER final). Fact is, while you may have the best product or service available, it may not fit into the company’s model right now. Budget is one factor, skeleton staff, little knowledge about the product/service, etc. Whatever they tell you to get you off the phone, simply Get over it, and move on. Yes, you will hear NO a lot. But that is life so deal with it. Whining or being upset about it just because the prospect said NO is not going to make you feel better for the next call. And as I said, in my experience NO NEVER means a final NO.
Hint: When a prospect tells me NO, I rebuttal them. Not once in every dozen NO’s but every time. I ask, “Okay you are not interested now but what I will do is touch base with you in say, 3 months to see how business is going and see if we can help you at that point.” When I say that, do you know what the Decision Maker says to me? ….. Go on… Take a guess… Give up?
9 times out of 10, the Decision Maker will say to me “Sure that’s no problem. Call me in 3 months and we will see how the situation is then“. See. No drama, no bad ending, but the start of a good rapport with the Prospect. And that is what you want. Building that rapport is vital for ongoing business with the client.
Principle 4. If you are trying to set an Appointment, never ever use the word appointment when you are talking to the Decision Maker. Instead, use the word meeting. If you want to use the word appointment, save that for when you call your local doctor or dentist 🙂 In the business world, the word meeting is more professional and it will get your sales person in the door. EG: Mr DM, Steve would like to get together with you for a meeting to discuss XYZ…. How does 10am for coffee at your office sound? (Coffee, you say? Yes. What Decision Maker does not like coffee? Besides, while remaining to the point that you are setting the meeting, it also adds the “no pressure” tactic to the sale. And that, in essence, does work).
Principle 5. I have the number one Golden Rule that should be applied in every call center. DON’T SOUND LIKE A TELEMARKETER! Nothing is more annoying than a person who sounds like they are reading from a script, even though they may not be. BE YOURSELF. Sure, you have a script you have to follow, but personalize it to fit what is best for you. Don’t sound scripted and don’t sound like you don’t know what you’re talking about.
Reading a script is a lot like acting. What movie have you seen recently where the actor/actress sounds like they are reading the script verbatim while performing? Answer is none. You will never see an actor or performer holding their script in hand while delivering their performance, and neither should you. Being a telemarketer is like acting. Like an actor, get to know your lines, and deliver your performance (just don’t get all Shakespeare on the pitch though) 🙂
Any actor/actress who has done/ had to do telemarketing will tell you that the same principle will apply. Know your lines.
Principle 6. Believe in the product/service being offered. Honestly, how can you expect the prospect to believe in the product or service if you don’t believe in it? Put yourself in the shoes of the buyer for a moment and think to yourself, would you buy the product or service? If you said NO, then how can you expect your prospects to buy from YOU if YOU don’t believe in it yourself.
Fact: If you want to sell the product/service, you need to SELL OUT or BELIEVE in it enough to make it convincing to the buyer.
Principle 7. Listen actively. Focus on the conversation you are having with your prospect and only on that conversation. Don’t focus on what your co-worker is doing; Don’t focus on reading your email; Don’t clean your nails when you are on the phone. You Listen and have a CONVERSATION. Put it like this: When you with friends/family, when you talk, do you expect them to listen, or would you like them to focus their attention on cleaning their nails or better yet, ignore you completely? You are HUMAN, and so is your Prospect. Treat the prospect the way YOU expect to be treated.
Principle 8. The 10 Second Rule. This one should be higher up on the list, as it is very important. On any Cold Call you make, you have 10 seconds at best to get your point across to the Decision Maker. Gone are the days when you could read through a 2 page script to get to the point of what you were calling about to begin with. Yes, I know some call centers will have a looooong script that reads like a novella, but the most important key you need to understand is this:
- Decision Makers are busy. They do not have the time to listen to you ramble on about the company you work for. The prospect is not interested in knowing about how your company may have been “business of the year”, or “Sold x amount of products this quarter”. They can read all that in the company profile without your help 🙂
There are Four Key Elements a Prospect wants to know
- Who are you?
- What company do you represent?
- What are you pitching? – Keep your pitch short. Get to the point of WHY you are calling
- What’s in it for them? – Decision Makers will primarily want to know what you can do for them. Why should they choose you over your competitor down the street?
Stuck on how to pitch a prospect from Cold Calling in ten seconds or less? Use my technique.
Hi Mr DM, My name’s Chris. I’m calling from XYZ Company. Maybe you have heard of us. We specialize in ‘this and that’ products/services. You may have seen our profile on LinkedIn. Let me ask, have you heard of us?
(Pause for a second as the DM is forced to think and recall if they have heard of your company. Also More and more businesses and Decision Makers are using LinkedIn for referrals, so if the prospect has 50 or more connections, they may try and look up your company later on).
Then go on with the rest of your pitch. But keep it short, and be polite.
Principle 9. Always end the call on good terms. Never ever leave the call with “Thanks for your time have a nice day.” That is so cliché. Use this instead; “Mr Jones, what I will do is give you a follow up call in x weeks to see how you like to product/service and see if you have anything I can help you with.”
Principle 10. ALWAYS use their name. Listen to what their name is, and use it often. Do not overuse it, but use it. You do that and the prospect will call you by your name also. It also builds rapport.
These Principles are the things I have learned in the Telemarketing Game. And if you want to strive to become an effective caller, apply these Key Principles to your Cold Calling skills and test the difference for yourself.
Principle 11. Leave your problems outside of work. This is one of the most important principles in any work place, regardless if you work in an office or you are a freelancer working from home. Whatever issues you have in your personal life, leave them outside of the workplace. It only creates negative atmosphere for yourself and those around you. I hear this a lot, especially from those who are employed to “work from home”. Sometimes an individual is hired on freelance, and before they start a situation arises and they can not start for a day or a week. For such people I will say that although there are times when a situation will arise for a delay, think about this: Would you do the same if you were in a workplace environment? Would you tell the Employer that you cannot start because of personal reasons, or would you actually respect the job enough to turn up to work regardless of what was going on?
Principle 12. Working From Home is not for everyone. While many are called, very few have the tenacity and ethic to actually work from home. In the past ten years I have seen it countless times where an individual will be hired for a project, then not even start because of one reason or another. Believe me, Employers who hire “Work At Home” staff have heard every excuse you can think of giving them. Some excuses will be genuine, such as illness in the family, but also a vast majority of the excuses will be just that – excuses. Working from Home does not give an individual the right to not work. Nor is a person hired based on “you were the only person who replied to the posting.” Some Freelancers will not agree with me here, but the facts are evident. A lot of Home Telereps will not do the work because they don’t feel like it or they changed their mind or the job was actually to much like REAL WORK. Sadly, such people should not consider working from home as they lack real work ethic to do the job. One has to ask themselves WHY they wanted to work from home to begin with? Was it because you wanted more time with the family? More time with friends? Or was it because you didn’t want to be stuck in a 9 to 5 loop, facing the same thing day-in day-out? The thing with Working from Home means exactly that, WORKING from HOME. Working from Home is not an excuse to be lazy or sit on Facebook all day. With the vast ease of the internet, it is very easy for an Employer to see what you are doing, especially if you tell the Employer you were away all day but your Facebook status has been updated 3 times during the time you were meant to be working. If you choose to work from home, my advise is this: Show the Employer respect and do the tasks required. Be diligent and have the Ethic to do what you stated when you were hired. Working from Home takes Discipline, and Time Management. If you cannot Discipline yourself or Manage your Time effectively, then to be honest, Working From Home is not for you.
These things are a simple requirement for ANYONE who is considering being a Work From Home Telemarketer:
- Ethics – Have right Work Ethic.
- Discipline – You need to understand what Self-Discipline is.
- Time Management – Working from Home successfully means understanding how to effectively Manage your Time. If you have young children, ask someone to watch them for a while or have them in play group so you can focus on getting your work done.
- Reporting – Be Diligent in sending your daily report to your Employer. Nothing is more annoying when an Employer needs to call or email you for your daily report, only to find out you did not do the work or have not sent it yet.
- Cancellation – If you have a situation arise, inform your Employer so they know what is going on. It takes 2 minutes of your time to let them know what is going on. Inform them by Email or Phone. It is common courtesy so that your Employer knows what is going on. Put it like this: If you worked in an office, you wouldn’t just up and leave without telling your Employer. No, you would tell them the situation and then leave. This is no different.
For more detailed information you can check out the Books and other Training Material.
Remember, you are only as effective as you want to be.