Probing is the art of asking the right questions. When we probe it is to generally solicit information from a prospect. Telemarketing is not just about giving information but also knowing which questions will get you the desired result… a sale or appointment. As simple as this concept sounds it is not always easy to accomplish. Most people who telemarket their services have a tendency to give too much information about who they are and what they want. We as sales people are so focused on getting our presentation out for all to hear, that we sometimes forget to listen. Without developing our listening skills, we can miss not only the big picture, but all the little ones as well. In other words if you’re spending all of your time talking, then when do you find the time to listen? When do you find out exactly what the prospect wants and needs from your firm? Probing gives you the opportunity to not only ask questions and find key buying signs, but also to take a moment and hear what level of interest the prospect has in your product or service. I always recommend to my clients that before they even pick up the phone, they make a list of questions to ask the prospect.(Planning your strategy is imperative to your success). This practice will get you focused enough to know where you want to take the conversation and how you want to approach the prospect. In that way, you maintain control of the conversation. It’s (probing) also one of the best ways to solicit a positive response when all else fails with the presentation. Remember that people always enjoy answering questions because it makes them feel important and in control. When probing, remember to ask open ended questions which will engage the prospect in an interactive conversation rather than garnering a “yes or no”. Here is a sample of some probing questions.
v Who are you currently using?
v When will you be accepting quotes for this year?
v What are you currently paying for that product/service?
What kind of services does your current vendor provide?
The probe is your one opportunity to have the prospect tell you exactly what you need to know to sell them. If you aren’t asking the right questions, simply go back and rethink the objective of the phone call. In time, with a little practice, it will become second nature to know which questions to ask to get the answers you want. Always look to the prospect to give buying signs, not your script. Asking the right probing questions will more than accomplish this goal.
This is an except from my book “Telemarketing Success for Small and Mid-sized Firms” available at http://stores.ebay.com/telemarketing-success or via e: mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 415-267-4872
Tony Wilkins is the owner of Telemarketing Consulting Services and author of "Telemarketing Success for Small and Mid-sized Firms´ available in most bookstores and online at www.amazon.com and www.xlibris.com you may also find out about his workshops and services at http://stores.ebay.com/telemarketing-success or via e: mail at email@example.com or phone 415-267-4872 .If you´d like to be notified of a new posting for this column, please contact Tony Wilkins at firstname.lastname@example.org