Telesales Scripting to Improve DRTV Success

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As a direct response television marketer your first goal is to elicit a consumer response in the form of a phone call. Once you have the consumer on the line, you have won half the battle: The consumer has seen your ad, learned about your product or service and is interested in learning more.

Now it is time to seal the deal. A poorly written inbound telesales script may lose a potential sale, flushing both media and creative dollars down the drain. However, a well-executed telesales script serves as an extension of the initial DRTV sales pitch and can lead to customer acquisition and retention via continuity programs. The bottom line: Your telemarketing script should always complement your direct response vehicle.

Every successful telesales script has a three-step formula with the goal of closing a sale. The first step is to build value for the product by outlining its benefits and features. The caller already has seen the DRTV ad and understands what the product is and does. The responsibility of the sales consultant is to reinforce why the consumer called by briefly reiterating the product's benefits. The script should focus on the same benefits that the DRTV ad highlighted to serve as an extension of the ad.

Once the consumer thoroughly appreciates the value of the product or service, the sales consultant informs her of the price. If the telesales consultant opens the call with the price, a consumer who might have purchased may find that the cost is out of her range and the sale will be lost (especially with a lead-generating DRTV campaign). If outlining specific benefits that meet the consumer's need first reinforces the consumer's interest, cost should not be a determining factor in the purchase.

The final step is to close the sale. Once the consumer is told the price of the product and is still interested, gather the caller's credit card and mailing address information while the purchasing desire remains strong.

As an inbound telemarketer, you have two goals: maximize revenue and maintain an efficient cost per call. Controlling the presentation and overcoming objections effectively best achieve this. Though every customer differs and some may have more detailed questions than others, there are a few tips to maintain a flowing, efficient call:

· Ask close-ended questions.

· Avoid questions that will yield a "no" answer. This is best achieved by creating a focus group of sales consultants experienced with the campaign.

· Whatever the customer asks, answer briefly and continue with the script.

Though an effective telesales script should not be revised too much, it should be modified occasionally to maximize results. To do so, obtain feedback from the front lines, the sales consultants answering the calls. Feedback from the account executives reviewing the calls and the client is also essential in maintaining the script. What did the callers respond to positively, when did they ask for more information, why did they end the call?

To maintain the smooth flow of the script and to ensure that the sales consultant is familiar with it, script modifications should be minimal and done only to correct highly visible problems with the campaign. If changes are made too frequently, the consultant may be uncomfortable with the script and seem as if he is reading, rather than having a naturally flowing phone call. Before considering script changes, we suggest that the sales center have taken at least 1,000 calls or 10 calls per sales consultant.

Suppose you have a caller who is unsure, maybe simply calling for more information or to satisfy curiosity about your product. What do you do when you confront apprehension in a caller, or even the dreaded "no"? Always script a second attempt: With any call the first rule is to build value with your initial presentation. If the caller is unsure, rebuild value and reaffirm the caller's reason for calling today.

If your product has a low return rate, reinforce your money-back guarantee: "We are confident you will see results within the first 30 days, but if you don't we will refund the cost." This gives an unsure caller a safety net, and as your product history dictates, the sale most likely will be final.

An often-missed valuable sales strategy is a post close. Once the caller has paid you the ultimate compliment of ordering the product, it is important to leave the customer with an affirmation of that great decision. "Thank you for your order today, and congratulations on your decision. We are confident you will see some great benefits. ..."

This not only leaves customers with a positive impression, they experience the lift of having something done for them and not to them! This also has an effect on lowering return rates and increasing customer satisfaction. A good buying experience on the first purchase should lead to a valuable ongoing relationship with your customers for future back-end revenue opportunities.


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