Small Business Should Use Their Telephones More
Telemarketing has a bad reputation, and that puts many Entrepreneurs off using it in their business.
This can mean you losing out on a fortune. Because, approached correctly – and that means intelligently and sensitively – it is possible to use the telephone for sophisticated telephone marketing, which nurtures and grows your relationships with your clients and customers.
There’s the key word: relationship. If only more business owners would understand how important relationships are in business, it would make their lives so much easier, especially in difficult economic times.
It’s not unusual for a business implementing successful telephone marketing to see profits double within one to three years. It’s that powerful.
But organizing Telemarketing is not always so simple – so here are some guiding principles you may want to follow:
1. Integrate Telemarketing as part of your total strategy.
Too many business owners see telemarketing as a separate activity from their other marketing.
And this is a big mistake, because experience has shown me time and time again, the whole is much greater than the sum of the parts when all the different strands to a marketing strategy are pulling together.
Your marketing strategy – if you pay attention to the marketing tips I’ve shared with you – calls for an integrated approach involving several media. Your marketing strategy has one purpose and one purpose alone: to make you money. To do that most effectively, it all has to be going the same way.
2. Follow up your mailing with a phone call.
One of the mainstays of effective marketing is Direct Mail. But what isn’t generally known is if you follow up a mailing with a telephone call, you can improve results by 50 – 1000% (yes, one thousand percent – that’s not a misprint).
If you then get the prospective customer on the phone – (and we’re not talking about the hard sell here) and remind them about the mailing you can often take the order right then and there. One way of looking at it is to say that your letter “softened them up” for the call.
3. If you’re unsure how your customers will react to being sold to on the phone – don’t sell to them.
Selling on the phone can be tricky. You can never be quite sure what your prospect is doing when you call, so even the lightest touch with the softest intent can come at exactly the wrong moment.
That’s why it’s important to make your approach as unobtrusive as you can. And if you really are not sure how your prospects, customers and clients will react to being given a sales pitch on the phone, no matter how gentle, don’t do it.
Instead, use the telephone call to ask questions, gather information and ensure their needs are being met. Everyone likes to feel important, and everyone likes to feel someone cares. And make no mistake: even if you call someone to just make sure they are OK, then they’ll appreciate it.
In fact, a very powerful way of upselling your customers and clients, and for getting referrals is to call after you’ve made a sale, just to make sure things are satisfactory and the customer is happy.
4. Use scripts, but also be flexible.
Telemarketing scripts are useful, especially at the beginning of a call, because they set the entire “frame” of the conversation.
But you must also allow some flexibility because your Telemarketers and the people they’re talking to are human beings, not machines, and no two calls are going to be identical.
5. Realise that Practice makes Perfect.
It sounds obvious, but don’t let whoever is making your calls loose on your customers cold.
Make sure they’re not only properly trained, but are also familiar with your marketing strategy, your business, the offers, and any scripts they’re expected to be using.
Practice might take some investment in time and energy, but it always pays off, allowing your team to become more confident and you to spot and rectify mistakes before you let them loose in anger on your valued customers.
The telephone is one of the most powerful marketing tools you have available to you because it taps in to our in-built and very human need to communicate.
What’s more, so very few businesses use it effectively (if at all), you’re going to put yourself way out in front of your competitors.
One other thought…I’ve used phrases like ‘Telemarketers’ here but don’t let that put you off. Ultimately we’re talking about the power of a human being picking up the phone and communicating to your customers. That could be you, could be a colleague, could be a temp working in your business a few hours a week. But however you do it – please test Telephone Marketing. It can be immensely profitable for virtually any business.
Original article by Chris Cardell