Create Good BTB Telemarketing Scripts

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When conducting business-to-business telemarketing campaigns, what do you do after you say, "Hello"?


You grab the prospect's interest. You encourage the prospect to discuss his needs and "pains." You show him how you can help. You get him to agree. You confirm the details.


It is simple if you have a good technique for developing and delivering your sales message. Many telemarketers with "scriptphobia" feel it is better to wing it than to have a plan that "sounds like you're reading a script." A good call is like a play:


• It has a plot.


• It builds to a pinnacle.


• It has a script to control the story line.


• It has an actor who delivers the lines.


• It has a happy ending.


A good message is about the customer, not the company or product being presented. Compare these two approaches, and see how you would react best:


"Mr. Williams, I'm calling because I have an offer I know you won't want to miss. I know I can save you hundreds of dollars if you'll let me get you signed up today." Or, "Mr. Williams, you'll benefit from an opportunity you can take advantage of today to save your family hundreds of dollars."


An effective script generates interaction. If it's a one-way dump of information rather than a two-way dialogue, just send mail. Build opportunities for discussion into the calling message by asking open-ended questions that invite the prospect to talk. If you hang up the phone and think the customer was hard to talk with, it's most likely because your message had too many closed-ended questions that only allowed him to give one-word answers.


Get to the point. It's never a "convenient time to talk," so don't ask.


Don't acknowledge that the prospect is busy so "you'll be brief." Just be brief.


Don't ask, "How are you today?" when you both know you don't care. Ask direct and open questions that focus on relevant data and get the most information at one time. Present only the pertinent parts of your offer that meet the need. Don't throw your whole "benefit and feature" bucket at the customer and hope he finds something relevant in the contents. Saying too much can make things too complicated and you may talk your way out of a sale.


Lastly - no tricks. Trying to trick a gatekeeper into letting you through to a decision-maker will quickly backfire. Artificial joviality, asking questions they must answer with a "yes," getting them to say "yes" five times and posing as a close friend are such old tricks that people see through you. State your message in terms of what the customer will gain from reacting positively to your offer. Give him good reasons to become a satisfied customer. Show him how easy it would be to get rid of the "pain" and make life easier.


There are two approaches you can use in a script:


• The most popular method, in which you tell the customer about your product's features and benefits and ask if he would like it.


• The most successful method, in which you learn enough about the customer's environment to determine if there is a need for your product or an issue the customer would like to resolve. You always get better response if you have established that your customer needs your product and has felt pain without it. Your product has a long list of selling points, but you may only need one or two benefits that address the customer's "hot buttons" to convince him to buy.


Thus, a majority of your script should be devoted to guiding customers to talk about themselves so they will reveal the information you need to sell to them. Once you have generated the interest to keep a customer on the phone, lead him through a discussion that helps you understand the needs.


These aren't the exact questions, but they will help to get customers to reveal information:


• Where do you live as it relates to what my product does?


• How does it impact you?


• How badly? (Quantify the need or pain.)


• How would you feel if ...?


• How fast would you like to feel that way?


Here are tips for preparing and delivering an effective script:


• Create a complete script, written out in complete sentences, not just reference points. Even if your caller doesn't deliver the script verbatim, he can fall back on carefully crafted sentences if he gets in a tight spot.


• Write the way you talk so the caller can talk the way you write. Tongue twisters are not effective when delivering a business message.


• Use contractions. They're conversational.


• Forget words that are meant to impress. People don't use them in regular conversation.


• Write and deliver the message in short sentences.
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