Three (easily made) mistakes of telemarketing

By: Julia Smith

Date: 6 October 2011

Red phone1. Not picking up the phone!

Yes, it sounds ridiculous, but this is the number one problem for small business owners. Even seasoned telemarketers will have days when they just don’t feel like doing it, and they are used to doing it day in, day out. Add this feeling to having a list as long as your arm of tasks that need doing urgently, or that are important to keeping business running smoothly and you can see why many businesses just aren’t making any sales calls at all. If this is your situation, try and set aside an amount of time each day to make a set number of calls – ideally the same time and same number of calls every day. Even if it is only five calls and ten minutes at 10am – make it a discipline and when you start to see results it may encourage you to do more — at the very least you will see some results.

2. Who are you going to call?

The next problem is having not identified who you want to call. If you are sitting there ready to go at 10am but without a clue who you want to speak to, you’re going to give up pretty quickly, or resort to hastily-made decisions that may see you making calls to companies who are unlikely to use your services. Sit down and think about the types of businesses who will use your service – the best way to move from here is to use LinkedIn – search for people who work for those companies and try to connect with them, asking if you can call them. If you don’t use LinkedIn or you want to call a larger list of businesses, there are many sources of business data that are reliable and can target industry sectors, size of company/turnover, length of time trading and so on. If you have your targets ready and planned it will make the process a lot easier.

3. I have no idea what I want to achieve on the phone call

Put the phone down! Don’t start making the calls until you have decided what you want. If you don’t know then you can’t communicate a desired outcome and the call, even if it starts well, could be wasted. When you pick up the phone you need two things at a minimum – some kind of hook that will get your prospect interested and listening, such as a special offer, or a key benefit of what you offer, and you need a compelling reason why they should … why they should what? If you don’t know what this last bit is you won’t achieve it! You need a compelling reason why they should buy your product, agree to an appointment, give you an email address and read an email you will send, subscribe to your newsletter, look at your comparisons and so on.

Whatever the outcome is, if you are clear then the prospect will be, and if you’ve got your hook and compelling reason, then you’re in with a shout!

Julia Smith is an expert contributor to Marketing Donut and founder of Cre8 Sales Solutions.