What Exactly is Telephone Marketing?
Telephone marketing or 'Telemarketing' is marketing conducted over the telephone. Most telemarketing calls are 'cold' calls or unsolicited calls. This means that the recipient of the call has not requested to be contacted by telemarketers. Telemarketing is a 'Direct Marketing' approach to generating business. The salesperson involved uses the telephone to directly convince the customer to purchasing some kind of product or service he or she is offering. Some companies use 'Automatic Dialing' technology where phone numbers are entered into a system and called using a per-recorded message. This message can become a direct sales pitch or an invitation to contact their head office to discuss their product, service or opportunity.
Telemarketing is basically categorized into two different areas: Business-to-consumer and business to-business. There are many subcategories within these two areas that cater to different types of marketing and the two most popular are Outbound and Inbound telemarketing.
Outbound Telemarketing - Making That Initial Contact
Outbound telemarketing representatives, initiate calls to the customer or prospect, sometimes making use of predictive dialers to make the process more efficient. Outbound telemarketing efforts use lists of numbers, with varying degrees of qualification, to reach as many prospects as possible in a given time frame. The lists can come from a variety of sources, whether specifically generated through a direct response campaign such as publishers, bingo cards or a range of Internet marketing endeavors. With an outbound telemarketing effort, the call center initiates the contact.
Inbound Telemarketing - Receiving Initial & Secondary Contact
Inbound telemarketing representatives answer questions, collect information and process orders from incoming calls. The inbound calls may be generated as a result of any one of a number of methods, including: print media advertisements (newspapers and magazines), broadcast media (radio and television), direct mail advertising, and Internet ads that feature a toll-free number. With inbound telemarketing, the representatives wait for the call in the call center.
Many businesses fail to recognize the power of the telephone. Have you ever walked into a place of business and observed employees ignoring the phone and viewing it as a distraction? This occurs millions of times per day both in the professional and retail world. There are many truths about telephone marketing we need to keep in mind if indeed we want to use it to make our businesses very profitable.
Here are some things that you can do to make your telephone a powerful marketing weapon:
1. Just How Valuable Are Those Calls?
Every business has advertising costs. A great way to figure out how much your advertising is working for you is to measure it terms of incoming calls. Calculate the total cost of your advertising and divide that by the number of calls you receive about your business. Don't be fooled, every time the phone rings, it's costing you money so answer each call no matter what!
2. Get That Information No Matter What
Every time your phone rings take as much information as possible from the caller. Always have a note pad and pen beside the phone. You are looking for names, contact email addresses, phone numbers and physically addresses. In the network marketing/affiliate industry, one person can make a huge difference to your business. Be professional always when you are on the phone. You want to give the impression that you are intent on listening and want to provide them what they are looking for.
If the caller is not a customer but a prospect the call will be handled slightly differently. You can give the prospect a free report or a value added gift or discount to further entice them try your product or service.
3. Be Creative - Seize Every Opportunity to Give Your Customers Value
They say that 'cold-calling' doesn't work but 'warm-calling' does. When you have already had an experience, or contact with a prospect, make sure you have a valid interesting reason for calling them back. You can contact a prospect back and inquire if they have any questions regarding your free report or special offer. Depending on their reaction to your call you may be able to contact them again in the near future about other developments in your business. The more times you have permission to talk to somebody about your business the more likely it is that you will gain a customer.
4. Don’t Be Afraid to Reveal Yourself to Your Prospects
When calling customers or prospects always use your name. Stating that you are from XYZ company alone does not come across endearing enough to make the person on the other end of the line comfortable and alert. Introduce yourself using your full name. Your call will then come across like you were ringing to see if your business can be of service to them in some way. This is a real caring approach and people respond favorably to it.
5. Not Listening Costs Your Business
People call you because they want something. They may want a price, an explanation, an order form, email or website address. It could be a number of things but you need to be attentive and alert when they are speaking. The key to any form of selling is to give people what they want. If you listen, know what they want and you can provide it, you have a potential repeat customer.
6. Ask & You Shall Receive
By asking the right questions when on the phone you can open up a series of 'freewheeling' responses that may contain valuable information for your business. Open ended questions like 'Why...,' 'What are your thoughts on this...' and 'Tell me about that...' can allow the caller to relax and be themselves with you. Instead of you being in control of the call they feel valued and very much at an equal level.
7. Listen More Than You Should Speak - Pareto's Rule
Telemarketers sometimes feel the need to talk a lot when they are speaking with a prospect inbound or outbound. If you aren't learning about the customer then how are you expected to meet their need? It is suggested that marketers should speak for 20% of the time and listen for the remaining 80%. This means the prospect gets more air time and you get to know more about what they need and want.
8. Turn Price Checkers Into Value Seekers
What is the best way to handle people that call your business up just to check you and your prices out? It's important that you highlight the value that you provide along with your product and service. Once you are able to showcase the value, then the price becomes relative to that value. Some prospects just think that price alone will separate the good from the bad. However, if the customer service and other additions are not present, the product could end up costing you more in the long run. This is how we tackle this type of query: Introduce the value and the price becomes relative.
9. Never End a Phone Call Without an Appointment
A phone call without an appointment is like building a website and not getting visitors. On every call you are on you should ask for the appointment. To get the appointment, offer to show them something that could save them money, time and frustration for their business. This will more than likely get you the appointment every time. Be sensitive and flexible to the prospect’s time constraints as people are very busy.
10. Turn Your Voicemail Machine Into a Cash Magnet
If you are busy on the phone or simply not available you can record a powerful voice message onto your telephone system. This informs whoever is calling you that you are not available right now. Messages often open with a 'Thank you' and detail the name of your business and your business hours and/or your website. A good message will ask for specific information about them so that you can contact them back at a specific time. An apology is always welcomed and an offer to download your 'Free' business related report will always work well. Imagine offering something for free as a means of an apology for missing their call! Now that's great telemarketing.
Your telephone can be a powerful marketing tool if you use it correctly. With some know-how and correct training, you will be able to see results for your business immediately. This report is an introductory overview of how you can apply telephone marketing to your business successfully.
Phone script samples have been written for you to use or take ideas from - see them on this site!
Only Logged-In ACX Members can Make a Comment.