The first 5 seconds of the encounter will make or break any outbound telesales introduction. How do you get started? What’s your introduction? You have to convince the prospect to give you some of his or her valuable time and eventually, maybe, their hard-earned money. Yet that prospect may not be expecting your call or may not be able to talk to you right now.
More outbound telesales calls fail in this first sentence than anywhere else, so it’s worth planning and preparing for any eventuality.
I use a simple formula to create an outbound telesales introduction:
C + B + E = GO!
That’s CONFIRMATION + BUY4TIME + ELEVATOR PITCH = GO!
So let’s look at each of these in sequence:
CONFIRMATION (of who you are)
The first thing to do in your outbound telesales introduction is to check that you’re talking to the person you intended to. Then confirm that they’re the right person for you; we all know that databases are never perfect, at this point just confirm job title. Finally your name and company, so the prospect knows who he/she is talking to.
Clearly if you’ve got the wrong person you need to think on your feet and either get put through to that person or find the best alternative.
At this stage you’re not divulging what the call is about; just confirming the conversation is worth having from your point of view.
BUY 4 TIME
Rather than launching straight into a telesales pitch, a more effective opening is ‘Am I calling at a good time?’
This opening shows that you are polite, sensitive to the prospect’s time and yes, you’re giving them the chance to say no! Actually it’s a win-win-win for you; think about the possible responses:
- “Yes” … i.e. you have permission to speak and an audience willing to listen. Time for your ‘elevator pitch’…
- “It depends (on the purpose of your call)” ….. more cagey, less positive than a straight ‘yes’ but nevertheless permission to give the elevator pitch ….
- “No, it’s not a good time” … this gives you the opportunity to make an appointment to call back at a more convenient time (when you open with the bridging line ‘You asked me to call…’)
Whatever the response, it will tell you a little more about the type of person you’re dealing with and open the way to your elevator pitch.
If you haven’t got one of these already, you can find out more detail about how to on another of my blogs but here’s a quick reminder. The elevator pitch needs to be slick, practised and crafted. Almost an automatic reflex for you.
Customers don’t buy features, they don’t even buy the advantages – what they buy is what the product’s features and advantages will do for them, in sales terms, the benefit.
In short, benefits usually distil down to time, money or risk. Customers want to save time, save money, reduce their risk. Try it out on your business. Happy to engage on Twitter (@CoyneS_M) if you’re having trouble with it, or give me a call on 07508 164333 and make an outbound telesales introduction yourself!
Once you’ve got to this point, you‘re ready to start the real business of the call.
GO! – THIS IS PRE-ENGAGEMENT so what you need to do now is to move swiftly towards engaging your prospect in a meaningful discussion. The best way from here is a carefully considered and pertinent open question. More of that another time.
Most importantly, you’ve got through that vital but tough first 5 seconds of an outbound telesales introduction– well done!