Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Best Practices in Appointment Setting: Mentally Preparing for an Outbound Telemarketing Call

Just like in any sport or competition, one must gear up for the battle. Indeed, in a craft such as outbound telemarketing and appointment setting, which requires determination, perseverance and the skill to converse intelligently, one’s mental preparations are as important as – if not more than - the physical. Organizing the mind prior to a call helps professional telemarketers in expertly handling both the expected and the unexpected.

It’s basically a battle of will and words; whoever can dominate during a call can dictate the outcome. Prospect clients do not have the luxury of seeing and feeling the product or service being pitched to them, rather, they rely on mere words in order for them to succumb to an appointment with genuine interest.

And words are more pleasant to the ear when it’s logical and well-thought of.

Common Responses
 During a call, the exchange of statements and questions between the telemarketer and the prospect would determine the flow of the conversation. The ultimate test for the telemarketer is to be able to respond appropriately to anything thrown at him - one wrong response can ruin everything. The odds of getting dominated by the prospect can be reduced if one would “pre-determine” the possible questions beforehand. Through time, one’s experience in countless similar calls can help him recognize a pattern on what objections usually arise during a pitch, therefore leading him into constructing effective responses.

Transition to Setting the Appointment
One major difficulty in appointment setting is timing. The call flow usually dictates a certain order: introduce, discuss, overcome objections, and then set the appointment. This sequence is standard - one cannot simply skip the introduction and proceed to discussion, or skip the discussion and set the appointment right away, and so on. Therefore, one needs patience and a smooth shift from one phase to another. Rushing to set the appointment may sound pushy for the prospect; on the other hand, over-discussing the product/service may become dragging and may dissipate the prospect’s interest. In order to maintain the flow, there must be a good balance of information and transitioning to setting up the appointment.

Handling hard and soft NOs
When the moment of truth comes, telemarketers must also be mentally prepared to handle it. While positive responses are always easier to deal with, it’s the NOs that usually require skill to overcome. A hard “no” is the most common comeback from prospects, and it is sometimes followed by the termination of the call. But if the opportunity to end the call properly is still given, a telemarketer must be ready to close the conversation in a way that is still professional and courteous. Alternatively, a soft “no” is the silver lining and requires a more delicate touch. These are potential opportunities in the future, and when a soft “no” is given, a telemarketer must respond in such a way that the prospect would still have pleasure in getting in touch in the future. It must not be resistant to the objection but rather it must be done in an understanding, appreciative manner. Preparedness is a basic human instinct but sometimes, because of the evil of familiarity and self-assurance, people forget the value of being ready. As they say, luck favors those who are prepared.

1 comment:

  1. Wow! Job well done. You really did it dude. You shared a very informative blog articles of some Best Practices in Appointment Setting especially in Mentally Preparing for an Outbound Telemarketing Call. And it's really worth reading for.
    And you can really learn and get ideas from here. Since I have a business, it can really help me.
    I know that I'm not the only one who can benefit this great information of yours, but also to everyone especially to those who are in business industry and planning to have a telemarketing in their business. Kudos for this dude! Keep it up. Keep posting! :)