Enhancing Teleservices Campaigns with
By Mary Conway, Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, DialAmerica
At some point, almost everyone has received a telemarketing call that felt mechanical, impersonal and scripted. It's a turn-off that irritates consumers and, just as importantly, poorly serves businesses that expect their marketing campaigns to provide a solid return on investment.
Years of experience have produced a set of best practices that define the optimal way to utilize teleservices as an effective sales discipline. These practices make an
enormous difference – between a campaign that generates a high success rate at a low cost-per-sale, and one that burns through hundreds of agent hours with a poor
close-rate and a high cost-per-sale.
The Ultimate Challenge
Telesales calls present the ultimate selling challenge. Within just a few seconds, agents must build rapport, communicate product benefits, answer objections, ask for the order and confirm details verbatim – all within a federal- and state-regulated environment that requires detailed compliance.
Success under these circumstances requires agents that are confident, responsible, quick-thinking, articulate and coachable. They must deliver a planned presentation in a
fluid, interactive but controlled manner. We call this approach ‘conscious conversation,' and it has proven to be highly effective in overcoming the many barriers telesales
agents encounter almost every time they place a call.
Planned Presentation – a Must
A tightly outlined presentation – one designed to disarm the consumer, gain attention and sell specific benefits – is critical. Built on a foundation of deep product knowledge,
a planned presentation ensures that all bases are covered. With strong training and preparation, the agent learns the message track inside-out and gains the confidence to
engage in a natural dialogue with a prospect. That entails speaking in a conversational voice, acknowledging responses, answering questions and objections, returning
to the planned presentation to stay on track and, ultimately, closing the sale. Unlike routine, highly scripted telemarketing calls, a conscious conversation puts prospects at ease
because it feels like a natural human interaction, even though it is carefully planned and controlled to avoid awkward pauses or tiresome overtalking.
Importance of Attitude
A positive attitude, polite demeanor, persuasive style and assumptive tone of voice greatly enhance telesales success. Agents should exude excitement, convey urgency
and address the prospect by name throughout the call. These techniques personalize the interaction and ensure that the consumer feels good about the experience – and
the client's product – even if he or she declines to make a purchase.
Changing on the Fly
Perhaps more than any other marketing discipline, teleservices has the ability to change messaging on the fly. Feedback from agents about their conscious conversations
coupled with real-time performance metrics can quickly illuminate what's working and what isn't, enabling on-the-fly improvements to the planned presentation. These include
altering introductory remarks, sharpening explanation of product benefits and adjusting ways to address objections.
In today's challenging marketing environment, teleservices programs can help businesses communicate brand benefits in a highly compelling way. But to be effective, they need to connect with consumers at a personal level. That's what conscious conversation achieves and why it's so effective in closing sales in a timely, cost-efficient manner.