Telesales, although constant through time, have been evolving quite a bit since the COVID-19 situation. So as telesales agents and representatives, it is imperative that your telesales knowledge aligns with the current process and with consumers’ changing behaviour to carry out your role with precision.
As per research conducted by enthu.ai 41% of the reps responded saying that their phone is the most effective tool when it comes to selling. With 90% of the respondents believing that cold calling is the most effective practice in telesales; what converts that call into one that translates into a successful sale? The answer to this question may have multiple answers but ‘communication’ is key at backing up any sales strategy to make it effective.
If you are finding that you are not effectively able to conduct a telesales conversation that will eventually lead to a sales conversion; then there are a few tweaks and updates you need to incorporate into your cold-calling repertoire. These latest adaptive telesales tactics will not only enable you to do a swift dipstick of your telesales approach so that you can master conversions easily and still stay ahead of the game.
Telesales call strategy #1: Use ‘smart’ conversation starters and ditch the deviating ones
Although the inevitable ‘Hope you are doing well’, ‘How have you been’ or ‘How are you today’ phrases are great fillers to prep you for a conversation and gain thinking time; phrases like ‘is it a good time to talk’, ‘did I catch you at a bad time’ or ‘do you know why I called’ can sometimes backfire when it is done via the telephone as it allows the prospect to turn down the entire conversation. These phrases and conversation starters may work well on occasion in a face-to-face encounter but it rarely does in a telesales setup as it tends to consume time you don’t have, ultimately adding nothing meaningful to your conversation.
Conversation starters that deviate from the prospect and the sole purpose of the call don’t serve to benefit anybody. The purpose of the call is to offer a solution and being the problem-solver, you need to jump right in and get to the point. Incorporate lines that help in getting to know the prospect better without wasting time such as ‘How have you been’ or ‘Hope your day is going well so far’. These conversational starters are harmless and help in adding depth and authentcity to your conversation giving you control over the call while keeping the prospect the centre of the interaction.
Telesales call strategy #2: Adopt the ‘monologue’ approach
According to saleshacker.com successful cold calls involve longer ‘monologues’ from the telesales representative. Statistically speaking, the longest burst of talking on an average in a successful cold call is a good 37 seconds which is by contrast only 25 seconds in unsuccessful calls.
By being careful and aware of correlation and causation, average-sized monologues can lead to success. As a telesales agent, you need to be aware of the time that you have and the goal that you need to accomplish which involves warming up to the prospect, educating them about the solution, getting them interested in it and closing the call on a promised follow-up or sale.
Telesales call strategy #3: ‘Name-drop’ wherever you can but in moderation
It is the oldest trick in the book. If you want to get someone’s attention, mention a famous name. This has been a consistent communication philosophy in the world of business since ‘customer is king’ became the mantra of a successful sales strategy. It is done in email campaigns and face-to-face encounters so why not over the phone? In addition to getting your prospect’s attention, it also acknowledges their importance in a subtle yet noticeable way.
That said, overusing ‘name drops’ too much will make your side of the conversation seem forced and scripted. Therefore in an attempt to secure rapport, do not waste your efforts by coming across as contrived making the entire call seem orchestrated. When using a popular prospect’s name make sure it doesn’t override the importance of the prospect you are currently on the phone with as the goal is to sound conversational to catch their attention, not their chagrin.
Telesales call strategy #4: Connect with your prospect on a ‘real’ level
A combination of factors contributes to connecting with your prospect. Some of that includes; usage of the prospect’s name in moderation, positive language usage, eradicating mirroring and drawing your prospect’s attention towards your conversational rhythms such as pace of speech, pauses, volume etc. According to gong.io, all this will eventually help you to achieve conversational synchrony around the 2-3 minute mark.
Always consider the background of your prospect you’re connecting with or try being interested to know without talking over their head or trying to sound condescending. If you are trying to impress your prospects with forced enthusiasm, artificial inflexions and $2 worth of cheap tricks; then you will most likely come across as disingenuous or insincere. This crumbles the primary purpose of your call which is to ‘build trust’. By setting the tone of your conversation on a positive note, and by building credibility with the prospect on a real level will help in building a long-lasting rapport with the prospect resulting in a longer call or a promised follow-up or even better – a sure sale!
Telesales call strategy #5: Permission-based selling tactics for the win
Some prospects may feel like a call from you is an interference for them. Most of the communication tactics surrounding making a telesales call are interruption based which is why interrupting a prospect’s mindset is not the best way to go about gaining their time or their attention. The asking of permission makes the call less intrusive and the telesales agent is reaching out to the prospect for his/her consent. This could be asking their permission to receive promotional offers or more calls or even follow up calls. This can also help in your progression to customer support, should you feel like moving or trying out something different!
Asking for permission helps telesales agents become a part of the mental landscape of the prospects as opposed to interrupting it. By making communication efforts in the approach of it being consultative and strategic; it allows you to have their attention, lead the conversation with the appropriate solution, enables in moving the sale gently forward, eventually bringing them to commit to the solution. This helps in developing two-way communication with professionalism, politeness and assertiveness. In addition to this being an important part of a refined sales process, it also establishes a respectful relationship between the prospect and the company.