The top 10 disastrous mistakes that telemarketers make

The top 10 disastrous mistakes that telemarketers make

June 23, 2009 by Andy Dickens

The phone rings. Your prospect is busy, but they lift the receiver, secretly hoping for an interesting opportunity to distract themselves from another daily task. As they answer, they hear a brief silence while the auto dialling system finds an available telemarketer to take the call. IF, and only IF you STILL have the prospect on the phone at this point - you must capture their attention, or risk wasting the chance to convert the captive listener.

At this point, 9 out 10 telemarketers make a mistake that lets the potential sale slip through their fingers. By making any one of the following TEN disastrous mistakes, you can squander important sales opportunities.

ONE: Failure to Introduce - You know the old adage ‘People Buy From People’. It’s vital to connect with the human being at the other end of the telephone, to communicate with them. If you begin your telemarketing call without properly introducing yourself, you will experience a long pause, followed by:

“Sorry! Who are you again?”

Having proven yourself incompetent of even the civilities of a basic conversation and being embarrassed by your mistake, you’re unlikely to turn the conversation around and sell the prospect anything at all.

TWO: Failure to Improvise – They say in the Military, that no battle plan outlives first encounter with the enemy. In other words, if you follow your pre-planned strategy, without being prepared to shift and adapt your tactics to your opponent’s manoeuvres, you’re dead meat.

The same goes for Telemarketing. You need the capacity to go with the flow of the conversation, rather than be restricted by a fixed script. The prospect may challenge you, they may attempt to distract and hinder you, you must be prepared to adjust your strategy and adapt your response likewise.

THREE: Pretending – One of the stupidest mistakes that a telemarketer can possibly make is to pretend to be someone they are not. They sometimes elevate their status or plainly lie about who they are and why they are calling. It may well work initially, you may get past the gatekeeper and you may even connect with the prospect. However, the moment that your prospect finds out the truth, your credibility will crumble and your chances of converting them into a sale will disappear.

FOUR: All Talk – Everyone has experienced the telemarketer that doesn’t even wait to hear if you are ‘Mr Jones’ before they begin force-feeding you their scripted rant. Does that technique EVER work? Telemarketing is not just talking, it’s also listening, and it’s communicating and connecting with a person. If the first time you give the prospect a chance to speak is after you’ve spent 30 seconds talking at them, consider the following words as the appropriate response from the prospect:

“No Thanks”

People like to believe that someone actually wants to hear their thoughts and find out how they feel. If you do all the talking, you’re simply cutting them out of a conversation that ends with the prospect making the desired decision.

FIVE: Getting Stumped – If you do not know all the possible objections to the prospect taking the desired action, you are not properly prepared to do your job.

Poor Telemarketers learn the top objections, but occasionally, a witty and observant prospect throws an objection or question at you that you’ve not covered in your weekly sales meetings. The weak telemarketer stumbles; they fumble the call, mumbling a feeble excuse. Another lead wasted. Preparation is everything; you can never do too much homework on the product or service that you are selling.

SIX: Cost Too Soon– A common mistake of the telemarketer is to start discussing price long before the prospect is ready to hear it. The greatest and most insurmountable objection is the cost.

If this topic is proposed too early, without the value being felt by the prospect, without the objections being fully and thoroughly dealt with, then you will scare away your potential sale talking about the cost too soon. It’s a matter of timing and it’s easy to make a mistake.

SEVEN: Missing the ‘Yes’ – Another common mistake of the incompetent telemarketer is a failure to engage the prospect in a positive chain of responses, in other words, having them say ‘Yes’.

The primary aim of the call is to set up that Yes Chain and make a sale. If you allow the prospect to set up a Chain of No, or you fail to stimulate the prospect to say Yes, you’ll struggle when the moment of decision arrives.

EIGHT: Fear of Asking The Big Question – If you’ve done your job well, if you know your business, you will not fear to ask for the sale. Professional telemarketers reach this point with the confidence of a job done well.

But inexperienced or incompetent telemarketers are often afraid of this moment. That’s patently ridiculous, if you’ve engaged the prospect in a Yes chain, if you’ve dissolved any objections, if you’ve helped them to imagine, consider and feel the value, all you need do now is ask.

The weak mistakenly make this part of the telemarketing conversation the most tense, uncomfortable moment for all concerned, seriously diminishing their chances of making the sale with yet another disastrous telemarketing mistake.

NINE: Eating ­– A telephone mouthpiece amplifies any sound that it picks up. This means if the telemarketer is chewing gum or eating, the prospect is treated to an audible irritation, projected straight into the brain through their ear. Not only is this a sign of gross professional incompetence, it’s rude. Plus, it’s very hard to make a sale with someone you’ve just irritated.

TEN: Time Wasters – This mistake refers to both the telemarketer and their prospect. Do not waste time on people who cannot buy. If you called a house and a ten-year-old child answered the phone, would you try to sell them something? Of course not! Don’t waste your time. Only connect with the decision makers. Otherwise, you’ll just be wasting your breath, and making another big mistake.

At Virtual Sales Limited, we ensure that all our staff are highly trained, so that they avoid any of the above mistakes, and represent your company on the telephone in a professional and credible way.

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