Whilst there are many elements to a successful sales call, one in particular has a very strong bearing on the eventual outcome – the introduction. First impressions count as they say – especially in telemarketing/telesales so do all you can to ensure you make the best possible start to that call.
So here are a number of things to consider if you want to ensure you get off to a good start and end with, erm, a good end!
Firstly, develop a strong introduction, write it down if necessary – make sure you clarify that you’re speaking to the right person firstly then ensure it includes the company you work for, your name if you feel it’s neccessary (although personally I find the “Hi, I’m Dan and I’m calling from….. introduction a little tired these days so typically don’t give my name until later in the conversation), why you’re calling and what the benefit is to the prospect of continuing the conversation. In addition I always ask if it’s a good time to talk. Be aware that they’re probably very busy so by asking for permission to continue the conversation you’re showing firstly that you empathise with their situation but are also making it known that you’re not going to outstay your welcome.
If at this stage they say they’re too busy to talk you can always very briefly explain why you’re calling then agree on a time to call back. If they’re not interested, they’re not interested about it, forget about them and move on but if they’ve given you the opportunity to call back then all good!
If the company you’re calling from/on behalf of are well known then I’d advise using the company name in the introduction, if not I would usually substitute it a brief description of what the company does.
So, to briefly recap a successful introduction I frequently use would be
“Good morning/afternoon is that xxxx?” (wait for response)
Just a very quick call (again reassures them that you’re not going to take too long)
I work for a (insert industry) company called xxxx, have I called at a bad time?
(assuming they say no, continue. If it’s a bad time, arrange to call back – and stick to the agreed slot!)
We work with a number of organisations in helping them to (reduce costs, improve service in whatever industry you’re in) and I would like to find out if we might be able to assist you in this area as well
(and then go into your structured sales call)
I’d advise practicing your initial introduction to the point where it sounds completely natural – rehearse it over and over again, in the shower, in the car or any moment where you aren’t likely to get sectioned for talking to yourself. Nobody likes the sound of a scripted sales call, everybody likes speaking to warm, natural, confident people – Know why you’re calling, what’s in it for them and have a good, strong structure to continue the call.
This is by no means a comprehensive guide but having sold over the phone for nearly 20 years it’s an approach I find works the vast majority of the time.
Keep it short, keep it natural, match your tone of voice to theirs as much as you can and practice, practice, practice!