Telesales in complementary health

Whilst not specifically designed to gain more one to one clients, telesales can be very effective when selling complementary health packages, seminars or training to companies. It is however very important that you know how to approach a prospect on the telephone as there specific techniques which, if applied correctly, may change your outcomes radically.

Here below I have included an article about telesales and, although it may appear to be addressed  to a corporate environment, the very same techniques can be used to contact companies which may be interested in a complementary health package for their employees.

Telesales does not work for 90% of people who pick up the phone and the truth is that this happens because often we pick up the phone but we forget to pick up ourselves from whatever state we were in. If done correctly, telesales can not only greatly increase our revenue and profits, but also increase productivity and produce extra free time.

There is so much to say about telesales that I could easily write a book about it and add it to the many already written. If applied correctly however, the following techniques will be more than enough to help you immensely to optimise your efforts on the telephone.

In order to carry out a successful telesales campaign here is what you must do:

Preparation

1. Prepare a document which allows you to make telephone calls systematically – a spreadsheet on which you can insert all the details of the companies you will be contacting including the notes that you will make after the call.

2. Group the calls into categories: “Appointment making”, “Seeking the name of the decision maker” (usually for larger companies), “Confirmations”, “Second visits” etcetera. This means that you will be making calls to companies belonging to the same category for long enough time to get into the momentum and consequently be more productive. This will allow you to pick up the jargon and generally be more familiar with the industry.

3. Have the purpose (goal) of the call clear in mind – know your outcome. Do you want to make a sale, find out the name of the buyer, get an appointment? Be sure as to what you want from that call and ask for it.

4. If you have appointments out of the town where you are based, arrange other visits to maximise the efforts

On the telephone

There are several things you can do to accelerate the process of building rapport both in person and on the telephone. Like attracts like remember; so if you look or sound more like your prospect you have more chances to build rapport quickly – this is called mirroring and/or matching. It is however very important that you do not sound/look obvious or you will not only lose the sale but also look ridiculous. I have seen this happen to many people and it really does not look pretty!

If done subtly, mirroring can be very helpful and by making slight changes to your paralanguage (tone, speed, pitch and sometimes accent) when talking on the telephone, you can see miraculous progress in your rapport building skills. If you think about it for a moment, it is absolutely normal that a person who speaks very slowly might find it easier to talk to people who also speak slowly. People who speak very quietly might find it disturbing to talk to people who shout. For this reason, if the person that picks up the telephone has a soft voice and  with a deep, low voice says “H-e-l-l-o, C-a-m-b-r-i-d-g-e C-e-n-t-r-a-l H-o-t-e-l; H-o-w- c-a-n- I h-e-l-p- y-o-u?” very s-l-o-w-l-y, you ought to slow down as well and perhaps lower your pitch to a deeper level (this is deep for you, do not try and match that of your prospect as matching the voice of an 60 year old Sicilian man would make you look rather ridiculous).

Use your client’s vocabulary; if they tell you that they want something elegant, say that you will give them something elegant – not smart! If they say that they want to see how your pictures willlook on the site, do not tell them that they will fit in well or that it will feel good to have them on there. Tell them that they will look good!

If they talk about colleagues when referring to their competition, call them colleagues, not competitors. You get the point.

Use your body as if you were there in person. People might not see you when you talk to them over the telephone but with your voice you also send other messages. If you smile, they feel it. If you feel insecure they feel it. They might not be able to pin point what it is but they will feel something is not right. So, behave on the telephone as if you were there in person.

Oh yes, I almost forgot… Do NOT make calls in your pajama! You are working and so dress accordingly. I am not even going to get into the reason why this is important, simply follow my advice.

Get used to “talking in questions”

This means that you need to learn to talk to your prospects by asking questions. Look at the examples below and see how you can use questions to lead the conversation you where you need it to go:

Prospect: “I do not have money”
You: “Alright, so if  you can see that this is going to put money into your account,  would you be happy to buy now?” Or “That’s exactly why you need to increase the conversion rate of your website which is what this product will do for you. So, if  you can see that this is going to put money into your account,  would you be happy to buy now?”.

P: “I am not interested”
Y: “What is it that you are not interested in?”

P: “I need to think about it”
Y: “What is that question that I need to answer now which will enable you to see how you can benefit from this right now?”

P: “Our business does not need that”
Y: “I am sure that your business does excellently already and I wonder whether a professional set of photos, which make your website even more elegant than it already is, could help your prospects understand how much you care for your business and thus for your guests?”

P: “I need to see some numbers, some stats”
Y: “Sure, what would seeing the numbers and stats give you?”

These are only a few examples; you need to consider the specific circumstances before you choose what to say. As you know, some of the above might be relevant and appropriate in certain circumstances but not in others.

The purposes of asking questions are 1. To know what drives the prospect and what they are trying to achieve with their objection/statement/question.

For example, in this example

P: “I need to see some numbers, some stats”
Y: “Sure, what would seeing the numbers give you?”

The answer to your question will reveal the need that the person is trying to satisfy. This could be reassurance, analytical personality, something to show to the boss etcetera.

In this example

P: “I need to think about it”
Y: “What is that question that I need to answer now which will enable you to see how you can benefit from this right now?”

There is something that your prospect is not sure about and it is your job to find out what that something is and clear the insecurity. Or maybe, the person needs to speak with somebody else before making the decision because he or she does not have the authority to decide.

And 2. Lead the conversation to where you want it to be – i.e. “So, if I can show you how this can help you increase your sales, you are ready to buy?” moving from the problem to its solution and then to the closing of the deal.

Listen to the real needs

When people object it a good sign; it is a sign that they are interested but are not able to overcome insecurities about your proposition and are asking you to do so. For example, when people say things like “I have no money” there are two possible truths:

1. They have no money – it is unlikely for most business to be in such position when the investment required for your product or service is below £1,000.00. If however you find one of those, my advice is to walk away unless you truly feel that your product/service alone could really change they cash flow issues virtually instantly in which case you can persuade them further. This is however a subject on its own.

2. They feel that they have to pay money; they feel that your product/service is a cost. This means that you failed to illustrate that the value that your proposition would add to their business is way higher than the investment required. What the prospect is telling you here is “I do not believe that I can benefit from your proposition and so I feel that this would be a cost and not an investment. Please help me understand that it is indeed and investment that will bring results”.

Also, when people say things like “I need to think about it” or “Can you send me an email” after you have pitched to them, it usually indicates that there is something that stops them from buying now. This might be that they do not have the authority to buy, they are not “sold” or anything else that stops them from buying now. This is why questions like “What is that question that if I could answer would allow you to buy now?” could be powerful.

Remember however that you need to consider the specific situation as such questions might not be appropriate in certain situations. Experience and common sense will teach you that.

Mastering the techniques

1. Print this and read through it several times until you are totally familiar with the notions included.

2. Write down 5 false options every day – False options are propositions which give the impression that all the power of choice is in the hands of your prospect when it really is in yours. For example: “Would 3pm be suitable or would 4:30 be better?”. In this example, the prospect might feel as if they are deciding and, truthfully, they really are, only they are deciding between 2 options which both suit you. They are deciding between seeing you at 3pm or 4:30pm (or today and tomorrow, Wednesday or Friday etcetera) but they are not deciding between seeing you or not; that’s given for certain. This technique will not work all the time but it will work more often than not.

3. Read the false options twice after you wrote them

4. Write down 5 statements per day which include embedded commands “If I can show you that it is convenient for you to    buy from me now, would you be happy to go ahead?” Embedded commands are commands hiding in a sentence. “Buy from me now” is the embedded command in the sentence above. This will not make the client buy instantly like a puppet but it will enable the client to be more at ease with the idea of doing so. When you then verbalise the sentence, you will include a pause between the word preceeding the embedded command and the command. You may also slightly emphasize the command by changing the tone of voice slightly. Remember subtlety is key.

When I train sales people, I spend a great deal of time and advanced techniques to develop the ability of constructing and using embedded commands and so the above ought to only be a slight introduction to them.

5. Once you have written the 5 statements, read them twice (applying the slight pause necessary to make it effective).

6. Start practicing your mirroring (verbal – not body language for now) with friends/TV/radio.

7. Have that conviction when you talk about your product or service. This means believing firmly that it is beneficial for the client

8. Write down the list of the 5 most important benefits of your product/service and repeat them out loud 10 times each every morning – for at least 2 weeks

Do everything suggested above to the letter and I guarantee you that your telesales skills will improve immensely. If those improve, you will sell more, if you sell more you will have more time and more money – more success. And guess what, I am not even charging you for this!

Good luck.

Luca

Beatrix Fogler joins Salus Wellness

Beatrix Fogler, a Personal and Life coach based in Cambridge, is the first practitioner to join Salus Wellness, a complementary therapy clinic recently opened in Cambridge.

Beatrix, specialises in helping women in facing and overcoming challenging situations, usually related to maternity, family, work and coping with changes in life.

She commented:

“the value proposition offered by Salus Wellness is very compelling: great premises, central and practical location with easy parking. The main reason for me joining Salus Wellness is the extra help with my marketing and sales, ensuring that my business can grow even more”.

For more information about Beatrix please check her Coaching Her website.

How to get in touch with Beatrix:

Phone: 07869 109 337

Email: beatrix [at] coachingher.co.uk (replace [at] with the @ symbol)

Twitter: @beatrixfogler