Polite Telemarketing- Can it be done?

Loretta Collins

The phone rings, you’re nowhere near it, but do a remarkable impression of Flo Jo, reaching it just in time only to be greeted with “Hello, Francine, how are you today?”

What is it about this phrase that screams, “Hi, I’m a telemarketer and will be taking up your precious time long after you’ve told me NO!”

There are three necessities in getting a sale- timing, need, and money.
As salespeople we’re taught to get three “no’s” before hanging up.
The most important aspect of a successful sales call is timing.

In this day and age, we’re assaulted from every angle. Between email, conference calling, cell phones, PDA’s, FBI’s, CIA’s, and COD’s it’s hard to get any work done at all. The three no rule is obsolete today, as is the lengthy script.

I once had a script that was longer than War and Peace, and didn’t come with Cliff’s notes. A client broke into my spiel and I replied, “Please sir, if you interrupt me, I’ll have to start all over.”
Naturally, I was joking, but the client loved the fact that I made fun of myself. He bought.

Telemarketus Interruptus the Latin term for “Time is money and you’re wasting mine” is the business owner’s bane.

Here are some general tips to what seems like an oxymoron- courteous telemarketing.

1. Cut to the chase.
a) No- “How are you?” State who you are, what company you’re with, and why you’re calling.
2. Call people Mr. or Ms. This air of familiarity of calling someone you don’t know by a first name has no place in business, unless the client requests it.

3. If the person sounds busy- DON’T ignore it. Simply say, “You sound really busy, when is it a better time for me to call back? Mornings or afternoons?

4. Unless you have called 50 times, do not leave a message on a machine. You’ll rarely get a return call.

5. If you get a secretary a.k.a. The Gatekeeper, ask when it is a convenient time to call back.

6. DO get the gatekeeper’s name. Why?
a) So when he/she answers the phone again you can say, “Hi, Sue, it’s Loretta from the Widget Company, may I speak with Ms. Saunders?
b) This puts you on a friendly playing field
c) If Ms. Saunders is never available, ask Sue for suggestions.
Again, by engaging her advice, she’ll feel friendlier towards you, and she does hold the keys to the boss.

7. You finally get through to Ms. Saunders.
a) Put in a good word about her assistant Sue
b) Explain your product
c) Offer to send information

8. Lastly, ask if it would be okay to check back the next week to assure Ms. Saunders received the packet. This leads you easily into a follow up call and possible appointment.

You’ve been polite and did it telemarketing.
Who knew?

Loretta Collins has been in all forms of sales for over 20 years.
She now coaches.
Loretta Collins
The Sales Doctor
Main Phone Number: (301) 320-1181
Fax: (301) 320-7747
Email: Loretta@thesalesdoctor.biz
Website: www.thesalesdoctor.biz

Author's Bio: 

Loretta Collins has been in sales for 30 years. It started with an elementary school balloon launch, followed by Girl Scout cookies, and BOOM! a sales junkie was born. Originally, from Bethesda, MD, Loretta sold children’s wholesale hosiery in NYC. Upon returning to MD, her sales experience ran the gamut from health insurance, restroom & hygiene services, and marketing investments. Loretta has given speeches, and had several articles published.

Visit her website, www.thesalesdoctor.biz.