The startup of a telemarketing program, no matter how large or small, represents a major milestone in the life of any organization. It signals the company's decision to leap into the future. But be sure to institute telesales training courses or seminars, so that your staff acquires telephone skills is prepared and you know what to say and what not to say during a typical phone sale call.

What To Expect
A well thought-out telemarketing plan incorporating phone sales training classes or workshops will result in a very successful program and improved sales. BUT an impulsive leap into the great unknown of telephone sales will bring disaster.

The First Step Is To Know Yourself
The startup of a telemarketing training program, no matter how large or small, represents a major milestone in the life of any organization. It signals the company's decision to leap into the future. To be successful you must be willing to work hard and be ready, willing and able to devote plenty of effort, patience, and thorough planning.

The first step in telephone sales training, and most basic concept is to make sure that you fully understand what telemarketing is and what its limitations are in respect to your organization. An accepted definition of telemarketing is "the planned use of the telephone to assist in the sales of your companies products or services." Another definition is "using the telephone for marketing purposes, especially to obtain appointments with prospective clients to discuss potential new business situations." It should be viewed as an important part of your over-all marketing and sales strategies.

This intricate marketing process cannot and will not operate in a vacuum, and it's necessary to make a very important decision at this point. There's a difference between telephone sales and telemarketing. Telephone sales can be summed up as only one part of telephone training having as a sole purpose to sell over the telephone.

Telemarketing is a process. It is distinguished by three key characteristics.
It Is Planned
It Is Integral To An Overall Marketing Program
It Is Continuous
Which program is best for your company?

Next, Know Your Plan
In thinking about your telemarketing plan and providing phone sale workshops and seminars you will have to recognize two important elements which are necessary for the program to be successful.

1st The Market To Whom You Want To Sell
The toughest to sell is the New Product/New Market. The second is Current Product/New Market. New Product/Current market is easier, and Current Product/Current Market is, by far and away, the easiest to sell. It is important to understand these levels of sales difficulty when you are weighing the potential costs and estimated results of your telemarketing program.

2nd The Offer Or What You Want To Sell
You can have the best product or service on the market, but unless you get the attention of the prospective buyer with an outstanding offer, you will never be able to sell to him.

There's More Than One Use For The Telephone
The telephone can be used for more than selling. It can be used to:
provide information
gather information
sell a product
sell a service
provide customer service
generate and qualify leads

Some of these can be considered as sales support functions. Remember this as you identify your target markets and plan your telemarketing strategy.

The Script and Phone Sale Techniques
Experienced telemarketing companies agree that the best guarantee of consistent quality in any telemarketing training workshop is using a well-engineered script. There is some trepidation on the part of many newcomers in the telemarketing field in using a script. However, the advantages are more control in presenting the message and avoiding the trap of forgetting key points.

For any phone sales script to be successful, you must first establish what your goal will be. If the goal is to get an appointment with the prospect, then your script must be written in such a way that you will have a reasonable chance of getting an appointment. If the goal is to sell a product or a service, then the script must be written in that context, remembering that it is extremely difficult to sell over the telephone to a prospect who has never heard of you or your company.

In order to be successful in phone sales skills, you have to get a response to what you have to offer. This depends on four elements. The Product Or Service, The Price, How The Customer Receives The Product Or Service And How You Receive Payment For Your Offer. You must reduce the buyer's fears as much as possible by offering attractive sales terms. This can be done with guarantees, easy return considerations, credit options, quick and reliable delivery in addition to an attractive product or service and a reasonable price.

There Are Three Basic Types Of Telemarketing Training Scripts

The Verbatim Script is one that is followed word-for-word. This is best used for the business-to-consumer phone sales audience. In this market it is recommended that the message last no longer than three to four minutes and contain up to 350 to 450 words. These scripts require little or no response from the prospect and will include closed-ended as well as probing questions. The following scripts feature fictitious companies.

The Guided Script is the second level of scripting. It is less restrictive and allows the telemarketer to adjust the conversation according to the responses received from the prospect. This method of scripting is recommended for business-to-business situations. This scripting method can work with the business-to-consumer situation if more probing is needed to determine the interest level of the prospect. Guided scripts can last up to six minutes and can require up to 750 words. This type of script is best used by experienced telemarketers.

The trick to a successful telephone sales effort is reaching the decision-maker. You can waste a lot of time by not speaking to the right person. This can be avoided by simply asking the person to whom you are speaking if he or she is the decision-maker in this situation. If he isn't, then you must determine who is and pursue that person.

The Outline Script is considered to be the most difficult level of scripting. This method is used in business-to-business calling. The outline script is made up of words and ideas in outline form. These scripts require five to ten minutes.

Telemarketing Program
You are now ready to begin your telemarketing training class. Remember that telemarketing is a people business. You are depending on you or your staff to convince the person on the other end of the telephone to purchase a product or service, set up an appointment or supply you with information.

The recognized, most important quality that a telemarketer must possess is a good telephone voice defined as one that is enthusiastic, confident, mature and controlled. You should look for a voice with a high degree of speech refinement, but it does not have to be the voice of an announcer. Personal traits to look for are previous sales experience and a desire to do a good job. If the candidate has had experience influencing others in the past, consider that a plus.

If you are hiring a staff to telemarket for you, finding the right people for your team will take some effort on your part. Once you have determined the type person you need and what you are willing to pay, the next step is to recruit them. The easiest way to find people is to use classified advertising. Carefully word your ad and do something special to make it stand out on the page. Selected typefaces for the headline, borders around the ad or even a second color will work for you.

In the ad, you must tell the reader who you are. Let them know that you are a leader in the industry, have longevity, are growing, and state what the rewards will be.

When you have had a chance to review the resumes, it would be a good idea to telephone your top choices and see how they handle themselves on the telephone. You will get a good idea about their abilities, voice quality and interest. It's better to invest a few minutes of your time on the telephone rather than a lot of time face-to-face if they are not going to work out.

Whether you are the person doing the telemarketing or will hire others to do it, some telemarketing training classes are required before anyone gets on the phone. You must teach or learn basic phone sales techniques such as tone of voice, rate of speech, volume and how to listen. In addition to these items, telemarketers must learn the "big three" of telemarketing calls Beginning, Body, and Ending.

After the telemarketers have received telesales training classes in phone sales techniques and their work begins, telephone monitoring by a supervisor is very important. It is through monitoring that management can suggest changes in the telemarketer's delivery, or identify parts of the process that must be reviewed. The better trained the staff is in telephone skills , the greater the results.

Develop A Reporting System
Depending on the type of electronic automation your company presently has, a phone sales reporting system can be as simple or elaborate to fit your needs. Only you can decide which reporting method or system will be the best for your needs.

You are now ready to take that next step and develop your own telemarketing program and phone sales training class content. In planning your organization it is a good idea to draw a flow chart which details the entire telemarketing operation and your telesales training course or workshop requirements and how each part of it impinges upon other parts of your organization. This will give you a clear picture of how the program will work in your current environment and what will be expected from others in your company.

Source: Edward Lowe Foundation link

Related: Telephone Sales Training