Are Facebook, LinkedIn and Google Social Media Marketers, Telemarketers, or both?
Post published 26th April, 2014
Would it surprise you to know that one of the key ways the top online companies use to close sales is not digital?
What can we learn from how these companies have grown their businesses on a vast scale and brought in enviable sales figures?
How to apply the technique to your business
Whist I’m all for using social media, after all we use it ourselves in Virtual Head Office, I’m starting to get a sense that the results it produces are starting to decline slightly, unless of course you are prepared to use one of the paid for options to increase your reach. It seems every time I log in to Facebook at the moment I read more posts from business owners bemoaning the shrinking reach of their pages, which they have invested considerable time in building. Facebook of course, have every right to do this, after all, they are a business themselves and can’t be expected to provide an entirely free service.
The annoying thing about this for business owners is that you have no control over what Facebook or indeed any other social media platform decides to do. So whilst I will happily use social media a bit for my business, I actually bring in most of my revenue through some of the other marketing methods that Facebook, LinkedIn, Google and eBay all use, but choose not to advertise as they obviously want to sell their own products, which in their case is their own advertising. My attitude is, why should I pay money to these huge corporations when I can use some of their own methods myself, which I will be more in control of and which I have found will result in a higher level of conversions.
So what is the answer? You might not like to hear it, but picking up the phone to a prospect is one of the best ways to convert a sale. What does this have to do with social media? Every single one of the sites I have mentioned have picked up the phone to me to try to help me with my account (read as encourage me to increase my spend). Why do they use telemarketing when they have the ability to advertise massively on their own websites, they have huge budgets, and within their marketing teams, arguably some of the best marketing knowhow in the world? Because it works.
How to prepare an effective telemarketing script
Most of the work for making telemarketing calls actually comes before you make the call. The key to it is good preparation. You need to decide who you want to call and why you want to call them. If you haven’t read my earlier blog post Using Targeted Data To Maximise Your Telemarketing Results this sets out in more detail how to go about selecting your data. What I am going to talk about here is the call itself, what to say to your prospect.
The first thing you need to do it work out what you are going to say and write it down. In other words, prepare a telemarketing script. Think carefully about what you want to say. Look at it from your prospect’s perspective and concentrate on the benefits to them. For example, if you are a window cleaning company calling a retailer you want to emphasise to them the benefit to their own sales of having a sparkly clean windows to set off their window display and give a great first impression of their business, also that having a regular window clean from a reliable company not only ensures their merchandise is always showcased to its best, but that the business owner doesn’t need to spend time phoning around to book in a clean.
When you write down what you are going to say try and write it as you would speak. The best way to check this is to practise your telemarketing script is by reading it aloud, if it doesn’t sound natural to you then change it into words that you feel comfortable using.
Know what your desired outcome of the call is, have a list of secondary objectives also, so that even if you are unable to achieve you ideal goal (and always remember that not everyone will buy from you) you are at least a step or two closer to achieving it. Examples of a primary objective may be an appointment or a request for a quote, examples of a secondary objective may be for example finding out when their existing contract comes to an end and what the process is to get your business considered, it may be finding out details of a future project that you could tender for, finding out if there is an alternative contact, or even simply if they will receive your company information.
Keep it short. You will have a couple of short seconds to grab your prospects attention and make them listen. Your purpose is not to keep them talking for a long time but rather to secure an appointment or a sale.
Your telemarketing script should follow a similar format to this.
Good afternoon can I speak to XXX please? If a receptionist asks who is calling simply say your name and no more.
When you get through to your prospect.
Good Afternoon, I’m calling from ABC Cleaning Company. We’re a local window cleaning company working with a number of retailers such as XXX, XXX, XXX. (Citing examples of other companies you work with provides credibility and helps give confidence.)
Next, you need to demonstrate how you understand their business needs. “Working with retailers we do have a good understanding of the importance to your business of having a good quality, good value for money, reliable window cleaning service.”
Now, before asking them for a meeting you need to engage with them a bit. Ask a question. For example “Who cleans your windows at the moment?” Every single response can be handled in the same way. Empathise first, then try to close the appointment as the following examples show.
Possible answers “We use XYZ Cleaning Company.” Don’t be put off with this kind of response. If they use a competitor then they clearly see the value in using a business like yours. Don’t be afraid to ask how a competitor is doing, sometimes this can open a door for you.
“How is that working out for you?” Either “Great”. “OK, well that’s good, glad to hear it’s working well for you. Sometimes it can be useful to get an alternative quote to just check that you are still getting the best value for money and to see if we can offer anything extra that you can’t get from them. I’m around on Thursday afternoon, would that suit you for me to call in to give you a quick quote?”
Or, “well we have had a few problems with them not always turning up when they’re supposed to”. (Golden opportunity) “How frustrating for you. That’s something that is so important and it’s amazing how many companies don’t do it right. We actually pick up a lot of business from companies who’ve had a bad experience previously. We do have a very good track record there and I have quite a lot of testimonials to back this up. I could come and see you to give you a quote and find out a bit more about what you need. I’m around on Thursday or Friday, which is best for you?”
“We don’t really have a regular cleaner, I just phone up as and when I need one”. “OK, well if I was to call in one afternoon this week to give you a quick quote then you will know exactly how much we charge and how to get in contact with us when you next need a clean” Don’t at this point try to sell a regular clean, just concentrate on securing the appointment.
“We don’t use a window cleaner, I do it myself or get one of my staff to do it.” “I’m surprised you find the time. I do work with a few clients who used to clean themselves, but actually they’ve found that actually using a window cleaner was more cost effective than they thought and actually freed up a lot more time to focus on more sales activity in the shop. I’m in the area on Thursday, shall I call in at 1pm to give you a quick quote and you can see what you think?”
Think of some possible objectives and how you would overcome them, remembering also to empathise first with the prospect, this is important as it shows you listen to their needs and take them on board.
Once you start making calls you’ll find it’s a lot easier than you first thought. The more times you recite your telemarketing script, the more confident you will become in it. Try comparing the results you get from telemarketing to the same amount of time spent on social media.
Feel free to use this to comment below to get some feedback on your script. What objections might someone throw at you? How are you going to first empathise and then handle the objection before securing an appointment? Good luck.