The 12 Commandments of Telesales

I’ve been working recently with some telephone sellers who’re selling telecommunications to their business customers. They wanted a 10 Commandments kind of approach.  Here it is, actually it’s 12.  We need to:

  1. Follow our sales process.  If you don’t like it, change it, but have one and follow it.
  2. Focus on activity not sales.  Sales will result from activity, without activity you won’t get sales. Einstein would have put it like this: activity plus sales process plus skills plus attitude equals results.  Miss one and you fail. And low levels of calls are the biggest culprit to falling results. Believe that this is hard work sometimes.
  3. Stop thinking we’re selling a commodity.  If we think it, we believe it, and this doesn’t work. We ought to discover with our customers and present additional value, that way we have more than a commodity to sell.
  4. Uncover the reason customers use telecoms, not just how many handsets they have, whether they have a fax and when their contract is up. We then find problems they might be experiencing and solve these with our offering. It’s not a commodity. Learn to ask useful questions and really listen to them, don’t think about what you’re going to say next when listening.
  5. Get our mind set right. There are people out there that need our solution, of course there’s competition, and we need to act positively. We need a feast attitude to sales, not a famine one.
  6. Act differently to other salespeople, not sound like them, be different, be fresh, be interesting.  Don’t sound like a bot.
  7. Use elegant objection handling, fully role played and in the “muscle”.  Have answers to every objection, build these into your sales process up front.
  8. Really grab our customer’s attention straight up, to have a very strong reason for calling them, preferably tailored to them before you call.
  9. Believe in our service and act confidently.  Customers can smell nerves and someone who is edgy and self-doubting in their solution.
  10. Understand that B2B cold calling is not dead, but evolving instead. A minimum amount of preparation is needed before you B2B call – at least a name, direct number, a tailored reason to call them.  Employ a “dialer” if you have to or do “dialing” yourself during downtime. A dialer merely researches, phones and gets the name, direct number and tailored reason for you. You can employ someone to do this all day if you want, just providing you with people that are in. Remember 3 out of 4 cold calls don’t reach the right person, very frustrating.
  11. Stop being easily interrupted during our call sessions.  Coffee, a bathroom break, a joke with your colleague, a quick look on Facebook, can all wait. Take short breaks after each 45 minute call session for these things; otherwise you’ll burn out, take control of your diary and planning.
  12. Pump up the internal energy and make the calls.