Ok I am back from vacation fresh, revived and ready to help you with your cold calling issues. Miss me? I want to clear up a miscommunication before we get into the column. I recently wrote about getting rid of your telemarketing script. And while I still agree that it´s a good idea to wean your telemarketers off of it, I want to clear up a misconception. I offer tips on scriptwriting as with everything else as a guide, your presentation should be just that"?¦ a guide. These tips are a way of showing how the phone conversation should transpire. A script should never take the place of an actual conversation with a prospect, which is where most telemarketers go wrong. Keep in mind that if your telemarketer can´t tell you what the product or service is in their own words, they won´t be able to tell a potential customer either. So be sure to create a winning presentation to guide you through your conversation with the prospect without becoming dependant on it. I mentioned in an earlier column that writing a winning script is a lot like writing a letter. There are three components, the opening which discusses who you are and what you do in short detail. The body should offer probing questions allowing you to get the prospect interested in your services without giving too much information. It should also create a need by allowing the prospect the opportunity to tell you more about what services they are most interested in.
And finally the close"?¦
The close is as important as any other part of the presentation but is also the most misused. I listen to a lot of presentations and what I hear are great openings, credible explanations of services but lackluster or no closes. This is true both in sales and telemarketing. Most sales professionals will give a great presentation but forget to ask for the sale or the appointment which is a huge sales no-no. As with any other part of the presentation, one must find their own rhythm and style in closing a sale or getting an appointment. That said here are a few of my tips.
If you´ve been using the probing techniques I suggested earlier, then you have acquired quite a bit of information from the prospect. Enough information so that you can now make a judgment call whether it´s time to set or ask for an appointment or sale. Keep in mind that if you don´t ask enough or the right type of questions, you won´t set a good appointment. Think of your presentation as a prosecutor would a case. Without enough evidence the lawyer can´t get a conviction and without enough data on the prospect you can´t set a credible appointment. Incidentally, both make their case by"?¦..asking probing questions. What makes a credible appointment? Keep in mind the following"?¦
The prospect must have a need for your service/product-You can´t sell something to someone who has no interest.
The prospect must be looking to make a decision or get a quote within 1-3 months (typically it takes that long for a cold call to become a sale in most industries)
The prospect must have a budget and ready to spend it. A prospect may be interested but may not have the cash to spend.
They must be ready to meet and understand the purpose of the meeting. It does no one any good to show up to a meeting without a reason for being there. By the way if you ever find yourself in that situation ask the prospect this question. "Was there any particular reason you agreed to this meeting?" " What did you want to accomplish with this meeting?" Don´t be confrontational but you want to be clear that you only agreed to meet based on their level of interest. Nobody has that kind of time to meet with a salesperson just because they have nothing better to do. Therefore there must have been a reason they agreed to meet in the first place. I think that if someone is going to meet with me "just because" then I want to determine whether or not they understand the purpose of the meeting. Next column: The close Part Two