As I work from a home office, I have to tolerate at least 4 – 6 telemarketing cold calls a day. And when I say tolerate, I mean tolerate. Nine times out of ten these calls are irritating because they make all the mistakes that I teach not to do. They make prospects want to hang up on them immediately. Well, if they make me want to hang up on them, I am sure you would feel the same. Just make sure that you don’t do any of them.

Here they are in order:-

1. (Business to consumer call) I answer “Good morning/afternoon, Sales and Telesales Solutions, this is Jenny Cartwright”

Telemarketer: “Is that Mrs Cartwright?”

Feedback: Didn’t I just say who I was? These people are clearly not listening and are working on automatic. I immediately know this is a sales call and want to get rid of them.

Correct Answer: Good Morning Jenny or Good Morning Mrs Cartwright, my name is ______ from ______
The telemarketer must never start a conversation with a question that could possibly get a “no” answer either. Try to have the first name and the second name of the person you want to speak to in your head before you call, and then you know if you are talking to the right person in the household straight away.

2. Telemarketer: “Good Morning Mrs. Cartwright, how are you today?”

Feedback: I immediately know this is a telemarketing call and that someone wants to sell me something. If I am in the middle of doing something important, I want to get rid of them immediately. What goes through my mind is, “why would they be interested in how I am when they have never spoken to me before?”

Correct way: Good morning Mrs Cartwright, this is ___ from ___Then have an interest grabbing benefit for them like “we can offer you, (or) help you, (or) show you how to _______ or the reason for my call is ______.” No “how are you”, thank you, unless it is an existing customer you know already.

3. Telemarketer: “Good Morning Mrs. Cartwright, I’d like to tell you about our new house cleaning products. Do you have time to talk now?”

Correct Way: What a silly question! Of course no-one has time to talk in our busy world. Don’t even ask that question – it is likely to get a “no”. Go straight to the benefit of what you want to talk about (see point 3) and be professional.

4. Telemarketer: “Good Morning Mrs Cartwright, I’m just calling about our new carpet cleaning products.”

Correct way : “Just” belittles what you are about to say and if you are in sales, your first line has to sound important . Using the word “just” here makes you sound apologetic and unconfident. Just wipe it from your vocabulary at this point of the conversation.

5. Business to Business Telemarketer: “Can I speak to the Business owner (or the marketing manager) please?”

Any good gatekeeper protecting her boss from sales calls is never going to put you through on that request. Call the gatekeeper first and say “I wonder if you can help me, could you please tell me the name of the owner of the business (or the marketing manager)?” Ask to be put through and then if they won’t put you through, call back later in the day asking to speak to Jo Bloggs once you have his name.

You’ll have much more chance.

You would not want to be put through to the business owner without knowing his name anyway. There is nothing worse than not knowing the name of the person you are speaking to once you get through. You need to use his name in the conversation to build rapport.

Finally, here is how someone from a telecommunications company failed to get me to change my telephone accounts over to his company. Actually, I met this person at a tradeshow when promoting my Business Swap networking group. Being a good telemarketer following up hot leads met at the show, I called this person to invite him to come to our next breakfast. He said he would come if I faxed my telephone bill to him so he could see how much he could save me if I changed to his company.

I thought, “well, no harm done” and faxed him my account. I heard nothing more and thought I had better ring him as the networking breakfast was the next day. His comment was “well, we can save you money so I will send you the paperwork to sign over your account to us now.”

I said I wanted more time to discuss it with my husband and he said “I’mnot coming to your breakfast then”. Do you think I would ever want to do business with that person again for anything? I certainly would not want him as a member of my networking group. Moral of the story – If you promise a potential customer you are going to do something for them, keep to your word.

Jenny Cartwright – International Sales Trainer / Speaker / Coach
Author of “Don’t Get Hung up! – How to sell products and services by phone” and “Secrets of Top Sales Professionals.”

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