SALES - Telemarketing

The telephone can be your friend!

Telephone cold calling is one of the most hardest forms of selling out there today. It is also remains one of the most effective.

Rather than waiting for a customer to come to you, go to them, so to speak. It increases the pool of potential customers dramatically, compared to those walking into a retail store.

While that may sound great, don't even think that it is easy. It is like the game of chess, the basics are easily learned, but you could spend the rest of your life attaining mastery.

When I first learned cold calling, I was taught the rule of three. I have cold called in many different industries, but the rule of three is still valid in all of them.

Rule ONE. Be prepared. Have a list of names and numbers ready. With the introduction of the Do Not Call Registry, any list you have must be scrubbed against a recently updated list. The penalties for violating the list are harsh and you are better off not to risk it. If you have to clear your own list, do it prior to sitting down to cold call. Have a copy of your script in front of you. Even if you have it memorized, have it in front of you, it will help you maintain focus, pull you back to the present should you get off subject. Some folks you call are lonely shut ins and want to talk.

Rule TWO. Be organized. Be ready to answer tough questions about your product. Have brochures or fact sheets ready at hand. Have a method of counting your dials. A simple sheet to make tick marks on works fine. I used to track dials, answers, appointments made, sales, and rude hang ups. On my list of names and numbers, I circled the numbers that I got answering machines or no answer at all. Those were numbers that I called back at a different time. Since I also sent out information to those on the fence, I had ready stuffed envelopes that I wrote the customers name and address often times while I was still on the phone with the customer. It saved a lot of time. Put into place a system that allows you to track interested customers, customers that are slightly interested, and those with no interest. You want to spend the majority of your time on those with interest, some on those with a slight interest, and none at all with uninterested parties. Spend an hour calling a list of names you have already called and you will see what I mean.

Rule THREE. Be prepared to work. Set your block of time to cold call and then sit down and do nothing else for that period of time. Go to the bathroom before, have a smoke, eat, whatever, but, when it comes time to dial, elbows down, head up and dial. Hang up and dial is the best method. Hang up and dial means that the reciever never gets back on the cradel, it stays at your ear. Your finger hangs up for you, then dials the next number. It keeps you working. This is a hard thing to do. Cold calling can be nerve racking and your mind will find things to keep you from doing it. Doodling, looking thru files, reading info sheets, itching, you name it, I have seen it all and done most of it. The biggest thing to remember is to relax and have fun. Some customers will be happy to hear from you and some won't. Some will chew you out for having the gall to call them AT HOME. Expect it. Be polite, but take it with a grain of salt. It seriously takes 1-2 seconds to tell you that they are not interested, and then they can get on with their lives.

In closing, remember that the whole reason you are doing this is to make sales, which means to make money. You are not doing it out of love, you are doing it to make a living. As a professional, it is part of your job of do the legwork, learn you products, learn your presentation, all of it. Be the best you can at what you do, because you are the best there is at what you do.

Go forth and sell.

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