Telesales agent must be able to answer myriad questions and deal with stress and objections. To do this skillfully and successfully, they are required to follow certain steps and gain special skills and knowledge.
Steps for How to be a good telesales representative
To be successful in telesales the following 3 steps should be taken into account:
- Pre-call planning. You should never make the first call without a plan. First of all, to be able to sell a product to a customer, you need to know everything about it: how it works, what the main benefits are, what makes it different from other competitors’ products. Make sure you also understand the whole sales process, i.e. billing, shipping, refund policies, customer support, closing paperwork, etc. Secondly, you have to create a target list of potential prospects, be it an individual or a company that can be interested in your product/service and, what is more important, have benefit from it. Prepare a list and do research on your clients at different websites as LinkedIn, Prospects, etc. The more information you gather, the better selling position you have as you will be able to present a coherent argument to your prospect. Afterwards, plan your call structure by writing a script which you can refer to during your talk. It’s better to use the script written by more experienced specialists and tailored it to the needs of your business. Practice your script until you are confident and comfortable in delivering it without any prompts. Lastly, the most important part of making effective telesales call is to set yourself realistic goals.
- Selling process. Presenting an interest-creating opening sentence is of utmost importance in the first minutes of a call, because you have only a few seconds to engage a potential prospect. Therefore, after introducing yourself, focus on your prospect directly by personizing your call and using your research. Start a dialogue and question prospect about their needs and problems (so-called customer's pain). Concentrate on the exact benefits of what your product/service does and ensure that the core problem is understood by prospects and you have the answer to how it can be solved. Besides, one should remember that, typically, making a presentation of product/service and selling can’t be done in a single call. Stay focused on building a friendly and trustful relationship. Try to arrange a meeting for further gathering information and more detailed presentation.
- Post-sales period. A good telesales representative always asks whether their customers are happy after the sale and if they have some additional questions and requests. After following up with a customer and seeing them satisfied, a sales representative asks them for referrals (recommendation to another prospect). In fact, signing a contract is only the beginning of the relationship with the customers. You have to work hard to get more acquainted with their business and you must work even harder to maintain by meeting their needs. Always welcome prospects to leave a feedback as it helps to improve your customer service. One more essential detail every telesales rep should remember is using CRM (management of customer relationship) for managing and further dealing with a client. Enter data after each successful conversation and track buyers trends after some period of time. Besides, CRM can remind you about important calls or events which you have planned before. Keep using it for staying organized.
Professional telesales skills
Following these steps are essential but not enough. Besides this, a successful telesales person should master below-mentioned skills:
- Confidence. A telesales rep must talk with confidence for making a prospect believe that they talk to a professional and, thus, building a trustful relationship.
- Excellent communication skills. Speak slowly and clearly enough for a customer to understand you. Don’t forget to give some time space for them to follow your idea. Find the ideal balance between talking too much and not talking enough. Mind your language and avoid distracting conversation spaces such as «um», «ah» etc.
- Good tonality of voice. Work on your tonality. You should practice your voice in order not to sound tired, anxious or arrogant. Always be enthusiastic, positive, helpful and straight to the point because it is not only the information you deliver but also the tone of your voice that build trust. The more confident your voice sounds, the greater success you will have in a call. Remember, it’s not what you ask, it’s how you deliver.
- Positive mental attitude. Let rejection always motivate you. Never be defeated. Always keep a positive attitude and continue learning from your mistakes. Keep in mind that every mistake you make is an opportunity to learn and do a better job in the future.
- Honesty. Avoid giving any false information in order to obtain a customer. You may close the sale, but you will disgrace your name and that of your company, which will undoubtedly work against you.
- Motivation. Be positive about what you offer. This will make prospects be more interested in your product/service.
- Patience. Telesales can take time and perseverance. No matter how many difficulties and obstacles you have to overcome, never give up, do your best and follow your goal.
- Attention to detail. The position of telesales representative requires being careful about detail in completing work tasks. Moreover, while talking with a prospect, it is easy to lose attention. Ask questions, stay engaged but, at the same time, keep to the topic, do not forget to listen carefully. Remember that you have two ears and one mouth.
- Enthusiasm. Believe in the product/service you sell and let your enthusiasm help you to be excellent.
- Organization. Telesales is a number game and it takes time. Try to stay organized and commit to making certain numbers of calls each day and see those calls through.
- Leadership. This skill is very important for telesales. It’s about knowing what you want and knowing how to get it. Thus, you have to be willing to lead, take charge, and offer options and directions for future development.
- Creativity. You have to be creative and possess alternative thinking for developing new ideas and answers to work-related problems.
- Independence. A successful telesales representative should guide oneself with little or no supervision, develop one’s own ways of doing things and depend on oneself to get things done.
- Stress resistance. Accepting criticism, self-controlling and dealing calmly and effectively with the highly stressful situation.
- Cooperation. It is highly important for the agent to cooperate with the manager and co-workers for achieving better results. You need to discuss calls with your colleagues and supervisor for marking mistakes and their further improvement.
Knowledge every telesales representative should have
Having analyzed a number of steps and skills required to be successful in the selling process and those to make the most out of calling, a telesales representative should gain profound knowledge of the following areas:
- Knowledge of your product. As we have mentioned before, it is crucial for sales representative to know that their product/service and system inside-out so as to be able to explain its value and benefits for customers. Take pains to study product literature, specification sheets, etc. Don’t forget to consult with your sales manager and other representatives. In addition, watch videos, ask questions at sales meetings and make sure that your knowledge and confidence will go up bringing in higher revenue.
- Knowledge of industry. Awareness of what is going on in the industry is vital for every telesales person. You should know not only who your competitors are but also what product/service they offer and what their promotions and systems are. Furthermore, you need to pay attention to the publically available information in order to get, for example, next information: 1. whether a prospect has won recently a large contract or received funding. Your prospect is more likely to buy your product/service if he/ she has gotten the opportunity where he/ she can afford to make some changes; 2. extension of the company. Which means that your prospect's business has or is going to have a new location and this can serve to be one of the reasons for upselling or a great opportunity for an introduction. Therefore, you will have an opportunity to mention all this during your opening stage and thanks to this your prospective client will feel more interested.
- Knowledge of sales and marketing. A telesales agent should be acquainted with the methods and principles of promoting, showing and selling product/service. This includes marketing tactics and strategies, demonstration of the product and sales techniques.
- Knowledge of customer and personal service. This includes evaluation of customer satisfaction, customer needs assessment and meeting quality standards for services.
Nowadays more and more companies are relying on telesales representatives and their role is decisive to the success of a company. Therefore, agents should not only know how to be good at telesales but also keep up with today’s customers who are becoming more and more informed and connected than ever before. Following the above-mentioned steps, developing special skills and gaining knowledge of this sphere may seem time-consuming but, in the end, it will give you a competitive advantage in the selling process.