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The Sales Series: How to make a success of telemarketing

The Sales Series: How to make a success of telemarketing
Julia Smith
Julia SmithCre8 Sales Solutions Ltd

Posted: Thu 14th Mar 2019

Telemarketing can be a powerful way for business owners to increase their sales. Julia Smith, Enterprise Nation adviser member and managing director of Cre8 Sales Solutions, shares tips for how to use it effectively in a digital age.

This article is part of The Sales Series, content on the public blog and member only content section of Enterprise Nation to boost your selling skills.

With only so many hours in the day, how do you know which activity is going to bring your business the quickest or best wins?

Opinions vary wildly and new ideas are constantly being circulated, occasionally making it difficult to know what you can do to take your business to the next level.

We regularly read things like 'cold calling is dead' and 'digital is the new black', however, we also hear from companies who say that their digital marketing doesn't seem to produce any leads.

The truth, in our humble opinion, is that there is no one right answer, and that for each business, you will need a number of routes to market in order to get the best sales results.

And it's best to combine short term with longer term strategies; for example an email newsletter builds long term relationships where making direct contact with targets on LinkedIn to sell a specific offer is more immediate.

The marketing and sales activities should also combine elements of building relationships, brand building and direct sales.

Telephone calls are your direct sales, and certain types of services, particularly those that are B2B, will not be sold unless there has been a conversation.

Building relationships and your brand awareness on the other hand, can be managed with digital and social media marketing, and networking.

Combining some activities in all of these areas produces the best results and will give you the best return on your investment, be that time or money.

Telemarketing continues to produce results for many companies and there are some key areas to focus on if you decide to use this tool.

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Data

A sales campaign is like baking a cake, get the ingredients right and the rest is easy! Make sure you carefully buy or research your data.

Very often researching your list can be a really good option, as whilst it's more time consuming than buying a list, you know all the companies are relevant.

You can waste a lot of time calling companies that aren't right if you just buy a list and don't do any research.

The research is also important to stop your call being the dreaded cold call that is quite unnecessary and not effective these days.  If you call a big company without a name, you're not going to get through.

LinkedIn is invaluable for this work and for those decision makers who don't answer the phone, LinkedIn gives you another route. Ask them to connect, and when they do, wait a little before sending a message asking for a conversation.

Keep it simple, polite and direct.

Do not make sales calls

Sounds a bit like an oxymoron! But your call needs to be a conversation, not a sales call, and there's a very subtle difference.

Sales calls feel salesy and have a pitch that often goes on a while before any questions are asked.

A conversation requires you to give a very simple overview of the offer, and then ask questions and get the customer talking.

You're really looking for a problem you can solve, and if they haven't got one, you move on. It's called helping not selling in our world and is far more effective than persuasion.

Always ask if it's convenient

Another way of setting yourself apart from a sales call is to  check your recipient has time to speak. It shows you are respectful of their time, and if it's not convenient, let's face it, they're not really going to be listening!

Follow up and be consistent

For calling to work it must be regular and consistent and you must ensure you follow up. Research suggests it can take well over seven points of contact before someone will do business with you, which means that consistent campaigns generate the best results.

From the first contact, you'll need to then develop the relationship, and keep your business in the prospect's mind until they're ready to buy.

Above all, taking some time to invest in your business will pay dividends. Happy selling!

Want more resources to boost your sales skills?

Become an Enterprise Nation member to get access to online learning courses including sales plus the upcoming member only content in The Sales Series.

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Also in The Sales Series:

How business owners can fight their fear of selling
10 small business elevator pitches to inspire you

Julia Smith
Julia SmithCre8 Sales Solutions Ltd
Birmingham based marketing agency helping businesses generate more sales; lead generation, telemarketing, digital marketing, data research and creation, sales training.

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