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Sales Are Just a Phone Call Away
For the past 15 years, I have made a successful living as a telemarketing and sales professional — and you can, too! There are countless products and services you can sell over the telephone. There is also a wide range of telesales techniques you can use to successfully convey your sales message. Once you have acquired the knowledge and have developed the skills necessary to sell products/services using the telephone, your potential as a telesales professional is truly limitless.
Over the years, I have worked within large call centers; developed telemarketing campaigns for large, medium, and small businesses; and I have done consulting for a wide range of companies. Using the telephone as my primary sales tool, I have discovered strategies and secrets that have allowed me to sell more than $10 million worth of products and services to individuals and businesses, almost always without leaving my own office.
One of the great things about telemarketing is that it can be done from anywhere. In fact, millions of the dollars I have generated in sales thus far in my career have been from my home office, which gives me the ability to earn the income I desire yet have the flexible daily schedule I enjoy. Telemarketing is more than a job for me. It's become my passion! I can only begin to describe the excitement and sense of accomplishment I feel as I constantly make contact with new prospects using the telephone and ultimately close sale after sale. There is great satisfaction in knowing that I have sold a product or service that will benefit the customer, while, at the same time, I have generated revenues for my company (or my client) and have earned a sales commission for myself.
For me, telemarketing is fun! It's also challenging and highly rewarding. Whether you're planning to become a full-time telesales professional or you hope to develop telemarketing skills that can be incorporated into your current, more traditional in-person sales efforts, Top Telemarketing Techniques shares much of the knowledge I have painstakingly acquired over the years and offers you the information you need to begin achieving success almost immediately. In addition to learning from my experiences, by reading this book, you'll also learn from the experiences of other highly successful telesales professionals. Thus, you can learn from our mistakes without making them yourself and begin to master the techniques that work best in a wide range of situations.
Whether you're new to telemarketing or a seasoned professional looking to improve your skills, this book will take you step by step through many of the common obstacles and challenges faced by all telemarketers, including:
* Developing your customized prospect list.
* Creating effective telemarketing scripts.
* Developing the right attitude.
* Overcoming objections.
* Coping with rejection.
* Getting through to the right decision-makers.
* Dramatically improving your closing techniques.
* Utilizing software and tools to maximize your sales.
Although nothing can replace the need for you to acquire firsthand experience, if you begin your telemarketing efforts equipped with the right knowledge and strategies, your chances for success increase exponentially. Sure, telemarketing can be challenging and time-consuming, but, with practice, you'll learn to enjoy acquiring the skills and experience you need to close sale after sale using the telephone!
I invite you to read this book in its entirety, then to go back and review each section of the book as you begin to plan and ultimately to implement your own telemarketing efforts. Virtually all of the information you'll need will be found within this book, however, additional resources are also available from my Website (www.EllenBendremer.com). No matter what you sell, you'll soon discover that the telephone is an extremely powerful tool for finding and qualifying leads and closing sales.
My greatest hope is that you, too, will soon learn to appreciate the power of telemarketing and discover how to reap the incredible benefits of using the telephone as your primary sales tool.
Let's Get Started!
Depending on your perspective, the word telemarketing can conjure up very different images. As a business owner selling to consumers or other businesses, telemarketing may be a solution for vastly improving sales, generating greater success, and greatly expanding the reach of your business without ever leaving the comfort of your office. If you're a consumer sitting at home trying to relax when the phone rings at the most inopportune time, that same word can conjure up feelings of annoyance, frustration, or fear of being caught up in some type of scam.
The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines telemarketing as the marketing of goods or services by telephone. It's a word that was added to the dictionary back in 1980, when it became obvious that the telephone was changing the way companies did business.
In general, people are busy. They don't want to be bothered by others trying to sell them products or services that aren't needed. A successful telemarketer can quickly capture the attention of the person he or she is calling and prove to that person that what you're offering could be beneficial. With the right knowledge and skills, as a telesales professional, you can quickly break down the psychological barriers many people have developed against telemarketers and close sales.
The Telemarketing Industry
The ongoing growth in the telemarketing field is staggering. Finding timely and accurate statistics relating to this field and the use of the telephone to make sales is difficult, but the following are some statistics that will give you an idea of how many people are involved in this industry and how many sales are done over the telephone on an annual basis:
* "More than 70% of business transactions take place over the telephone." (Source: GeoTel, citing Gartner Group, September 1998.)
* "Outbound telemarketing reached a record $482.2 billion in sales in 1998, including $209.5 billion in sales to consumers." (Source: Direct Marketing Association, January 1999, U.S. Direct Marketing Today: Economic Impact, 1998.)
* "Nearly 265,000 U.S. companies will be using telemarketing in the near future." (Source: CallOmni Telemarketing.)
* "The overall consumer penetration of business-to-consumer telemarketing adds up to more than 47.5 million households." (Source: CallOmni Telemarketing.)
* "$700 billion in products and services were sold through call centers in 1997 and this figure is expanding by 20% annually." (Source: GeoTel citing Telemarketing Magazine, September 1998.)
* "There are approximately 7,000,000 agents now working in 70,000 call centers in the [United States], with an annual growth rate of up to 20% in agent positions." (Source: Davox, citing F.A.C./Equities, 1998.)
* "The worldwide call center services market totaled $23 billion in revenues in 1998, and is projected to double to $58.6 billion by 2003. (This is based on dividing the overall call center service marketing into these segments: consulting, systems integration, and outsourcing.) Outsourcing is the largest segment, with $17 billion in 1998, or 74% of the total market, headed for $42 billion in 2003." (Source: IDC, June 1999.)
Should You Be Reading This Book?
Telemarketing is a vast field used in many ways by companies of all sizes and in all industries. Thus, anyone with an interest in better utilizing the telephone within his or her business, or who wants to learn the skills needed to be a (more successful) telemarketer, will greatly benefit from this book.
This book was written for the following types of people:
* People interested in breaking into the telemarketing field.
* Current telemarketers and telesales professionals looking to improve their telephone sales skills and generate even greater results from their efforts.
* Traditional salespeople looking to use the telephone as a powerful sales tool capable of saving them time, resources, and money.
* Sales managers or call center supervisors who work with or manage teams of telemarketers.
* Business owners looking to expand their business and reach a larger customer base.
What You'll Learn From This Book
Top Telemarketing Techniques is all about using the telephone to enhance sales, fostering better relationships with customers, and how to make it easier to target prospects. Much of what you'll be reading within this book focuses on building the skills you need to become a top-notch telemarketer or telesales professional, whether you're engaged in inbound or outbound telemarketing. Depending on what type of business you're in and what your job responsibilities entail, how you use the telephone will vary. However, if you are or will be using the telephone in any part of your sales, marketing, or customer service efforts, many of the skills needed to do this successfully are the same.
As you're about to learn, many skills need to be combined in order to be a successful telemarketer. In addition to being able to sell a product/service, you need to be able to:
* Communicate effectively using your voice.
* Interact extremely well with total strangers and foster relationships and trust quickly.
* Overcome objections; have the ability to negotiate and/or resolve conflict.
* Be highly organized and be able to manage your time.
* Stay motivated and be able to motivate your prospects.
* Understand and utilize a knowledge about your prospects in terms of their needs and desires.
* Follow the guidelines or procedures dictated by your employer.
To achieve success as a telemarketer, you'll need to invest the necessary time and effort to learn and master a variety of different skills. Only then will you be able to truly tap your potential for generating the sales results you and your employer want. This book divides up the skills you need, explains them in detail, and then offers strategies for developing and utilizing them. Once you develop a basic understanding of each skill involved in the telemarketing process, however, it's up to you to practice and hone those skills and discover how to properly incorporate them into the telesales work you are or will be doing. If you're already engaged in telemarketing, Top Telemarketing Techniques will offer you proven strategies for enhancing your skills in order to generate even greater results.
Your Voice + Telephone = Sales
As a salesperson, you could take your product/service on the road, visit one prospect at a time, and engage in an in-person meeting with each prospect. Although this sales method is highly effective, it's also time-consuming and costly. Another alternative is to advertise or engage in traditional marketing activities so your prospects and potential customers come to you. This, too, can be a highly effective, but costly, endeavor, although, it's always nice to run a targeted ad and have prequalified prospects knocking at your door or calling you on the phone.
In the time it takes you to make just one in-person sales call, you could stay at your office, pick up the telephone, and potentially reach dozens, if not hundreds, of potential prospects, using basic outbound telemarketing efforts. Likewise, for far less than the cost of running a print, radio, or television ad (that reaches a general audience as opposed to a targeted audience made up of people or companies that need or want your product/service), you could call hundreds of prequalified prospects and personally introduce them to your company's products or services using the telephone.
Using your voice as a sales tool, the telephone, and perhaps some related technology, you can cost effectively launch a telemarketing effort that will allow your company to increase its sales, reach more qualified prospects faster, and more easily reach its sales goals. At the same time you're working to expand your customer base, the telephone can be used to enhance and strengthen the relationships you have with existing customers and help you generate more repeat business.
By learning how to "dial for dollars," you can transform the telephone that's already sitting on your desk into a virtual money-making machine with unlimited potential.
Throughout this book, the terms telemarketing and telesales are used interchangeably. However, some people define telemarketing as the use of the telephone to make contact with prospects, whereas telesales involves actually moving the prospect further down the sales cycle or sales pipeline. The skills required of a telemarketer and/or telesales professional, as you'll soon see, are identical.
Why You Need To Read This Book
Whether you're a seasoned salesperson or someone first entering the field, there are many different strategies you can use to achieve success using the telephone as your primary sales tool. You could spend months or years discovering and developing the strategies that work best for your product/service, or you could learn from seasoned experts and utilize the knowledge and secrets they've already discovered, starting immediately — and that's what Top Telemarketing Techniques has to offer.
Due to a variety of factors, more and more companies are being forced to continuously cut costs, boost productivity, and struggle for success. Although their mandate might be to improve sales, the resources available to do this are being cut. For companies in this situation, the telephone can become a useful tool.
For individuals, a career as a telemarketer can be long-lasting and highly lucrative, especially once you perfect your skills, gain experience, and develop a track record. After that, as long as you truly believe in the product/service you're selling, you will be able to sell almost anything over the telephone. It's important to understand, however, that not everyone is cut out to be a successful telemarketer or even a salesperson. If you wind up in a job that you're not suited for, within a year you could get burned out and see a drastic reduction in your productivity because you're unhappy. The employee turnover rate relating to telemarketing jobs (particularly in entry-level positions) is extremely high. Back in 1999, Purdue University Center for Customer Driven Quality issued a report stating, "Inbound centers have an average annual turnover of 26% for full-time reps, and 33% for part-timers. Nearly half of centers said that part-timers handle 5% or less of their total calls." To avoid landing in a job you won't succeed in, the first step is to insure that in addition to having the skills necessary to be a successful telemarketer, you also have the personality, internal drive, and mindset needed.
Chapter 3 focuses on various types of telemarketing and telesales jobs and how to pursue a career in this field. From this chapter, you'll discover what skills and personality traits a typical telemarketing or telesales job requires, what the job responsibilities include, and what types of people typically excel in this type of career. Even after reading this book, if you're not sure you have what it takes to enter into this field, you might consider participating in a behavior, attitude, and soft-skill assessment to help make your career decision. A test such as this is a great tool that could help you determine if you're suitable for this type of job.
Obviously, no assessment test will offer 100-percent conclusive results, but many individuals use this type of test to help them determine a suitable career path. Employers use it to hire the applicants most suited for a job by taking into account more than actual skills.
Defining Your Needs and Goals
Before continuing on, it's important to define your needs and goals. For an individual looking to get into the telemarketing field or enhance your skills, your goals might be:
* To learn the skills required to become a successful telemarketer or telesales professional.
* To perfect or hone your sales skills and discover strategies for using the telephone to reach more prospects, make more sales, and improve your relationships with existing customers.
* To discover and incorporate new strategies for improving your closing ratio.
* To expand your client base and tap new markets.
* To determine how to deal with all of your prospects' objections and transform rejection into sales.
There are many reasons why a company of any size and in almost any industry would want to explore how telemarketing could be used to benefit their business. Before a company incorporates an in-house sales team and kicks off a telemarketing effort, it must develop a thorough understanding of who its target customer is and how the telephone can be used to better communicate with that customer.
According to Tom Morrill, president and CEO of North Andover, Massachusetts–based Actegy, a sales consulting company, "It's critical that any company, no matter what its size, first clearly understands their value proposition in the marketplace. Who are you selling to? What problems are you solving and how? With these answers in mind, you need to clearly understand the client's buying behavior. Once you understand their buying behavior, you can comfortably determine whether or not you should be using inside sales, outside sales, or some form of channel model. The companies that have been most successful determine when and how to properly allocate their telemarketing and telesales resources into the customer's buying cycle."(Continues…)
Excerpted from "Top Telemarketing Techniques"
Copyright © 2003 Ellen Bendremer.
Excerpted by permission of Red Wheel/Weiser, LLC.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1 Sales Are Just a Phone Call Away,
Chapter 2 The Power of Telesales,
Chapter 3 Making Money as a Telemarketer,
Chapter 4 The Right Sales Message Is Critical,
Chapter 5 Your Attitude Is Everything,
Chapter 6 Speak Up! Using Your Voice as a Sales Tool,
Chapter 7 The Telemarketer's Agenda,
Chapter 8 Closing the Sale,
Chapter 9 Perfecting Your Skills,
Chapter 10 Telemarketing Scripts,
Chapter 11 Sales Techniques the Pros Use,
Chapter 12 Common Telemarketing Mistakes to Avoid,
Chapter 13 Telemarketing Tools You Can Use,
Chapter 14 The Experts Speak Out,
Conclusion Prepare to Kick Off Your Telemarketing Efforts,
Appendix A Know the Laws — Before You Pick Up the Telephone,
Appendix B Don't Get Caught Up In Telemarketing Fraud,
Appendix C Make Sure Your Legitimate Pitch Doesn't Sound Like a Scam,
About the Author,