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Want to Fail at Telesales?


I can't stand most telesales reps. I cringe when I pick up the phone only to hear a teleprospecting rep jump into a 5-minute spiel on the benefits of whatever product/service they are providing.   I respect that they are trying to do their job, and I always give them a few seconds to catch my interest (mostly because of the industry I am in) but 9 times out of 10 I am itching to get off the phone after 10 seconds.

Here are some of the most common reasons why I end up cutting an unsolicited cold-call short (and what I train my team NOT to do)

1.  The sales person doesn't know who they are calling

First off, try and at least know the name of the person you are calling.  I have been called "Linda", "Wendy", and "Lisa".  I have also had B2C telemarketers ask to speak to my parents even though I haven't lived with my parents in over ten years.  A good telesales rep should know a bit about their prospect and why they might have a need for what they are selling.  When you are doing B2B cold calling, make sure you take a look at the company's website and confirm the name of the person you are calling into.

2.  A monotone and unenthusiastic telesales rep

When trying to create interest and excitement around a product or service you want that to come across on the phone.  It's the worst when your day is interrupted by a cold caller who makes their product/service sound as interesting as paint drying.  I want to feel that the sales person is excited to talk about what they are selling.
3.  The telesales rep doesn't know what value their product/service provides

During a cold call I am not interested in knowing every last technical detail about whatever product is being pitched to me.  I am interested in 3 things - What are you selling?  What value would it provide to my specific business?  How is it going to save me time/money?  Getting into specific technical details should be saved for a follow-up conversation.

4.  A telesales rep that doesn't respect my time or doesn't follow through on expectations that have been set

If I am talking to a telesales rep that has peaked my interest but I don't have the time to continue the conversation, I will ask them to follow-up at a later date.  It is a turn-off when the rep continues their spiel with complete disregard to the fact that I have told them it wasn't a good time.  Or, when they tell me they will follow-up with information and a call at an alternate time and they never send me anything and call me at a completely different time then what was decided.

5.  A telesales rep that leaves an irrelevant voicemail

I actually prefer a telesales rep to leave a voicemail as opposed to numerous "no contacts" where I can see that I have missed calls from the same number but have never been left a message.  In my opinion, a voicemail should clearly state the purpose of the rep's call, the specific value that their product/service would have on my unique business (a simple glance at a company's website can give you enough information for this) and a strong enough reason why I should call this person back (ex: "we have saved our customers in your industry an average of 25% on their printing costs").  It also should include the rep's contact information and what their next step is going to be ("I will follow-up with a brief email" or "I will try you again on Thursday").  For some great information on effective voicemails, check out expert sales trainer Jill Konrath's most recent entry on inbound marketing guru HubSpot's blog.

What other mistakes do you feel telesales reps make on the phone that decreases the chance that you will return a call?


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