Telephone Sales Basics for Start-ups

Everyone picks up the telephone to do business. Yet the word "telemarketing" has many negative connotations for people. However, telemarketing is merely a term for conducting business over the telephone. Whenever you pick up the phone at work to make or receive a call you are "a telemarketer". Over the years telemarketing has evolved into the following applications:

1. Business to Consumer

2. Business to Business

Within these classifications, there are two separate functions: inbound and outbound. Inbound is generally thought of as customer service, and outbound is used for sales or surveys. CSR is telemarketing shorthand for Customer Service Representative. TSR is telemarketing shorthand for Telemarketing Sales Representative.

In order to increase response rate, many firms use a combination of direct mail and telemarketing.

Generally the telemarketing call follows the mail piece. If the client or prospect requires additional information, a follow up first class mail piece, fax or email is sent.

A soft sell works best for long term buyer -seller relationships. Each prospect call begins by letting prospects know the organization might be able to solve problems/fill needs. We then ask a series of questions to determine what their situation is and how the products can best help them. The offer is made and we ask for agreement - also known as the close. Rep's are expected to overcome objections and show how close a match the products are to the prospect's needs.

The steps in a sales presentation:

1. Opening

2. Offer

3. Trial Close

4. Objections

5. Close

Most Telemarketing units use a "script", a written, planned presentation. Actually, all salespeople use planned presentations; but as no one can see the telemarketer, these can be written down. A good script is used as a guideline as opposed to a verbatim speech. The presentation should inject some of the rep's personality and be flexible enough to personalize each call.

During the course of an "average" day a Telephone Sales Rep will:

? Dial the telephone 200 times

? Reach voice mail 80 times (out of 200)

? Reach a decision maker to make a presentation 20 times (out of 200)

Telemarketing is no longer the stepchild of company's marketing efforts, in many cases telemarketing has become the focal point for dynamic expansion. As the cost of field sales endeavors continues to rise, more and more firms are using telemarketing to cost effectively increase their business. In 1988, US News and World Reports published a report citing 8 million telemarketing jobs by the year 2000. At a time when most telemarketing employment seemed to be part time (targeted for housewives, students and retirees)or hard sell boiler rooms, this number seemed tremendous.

Today when most telemarketing positions, particularly in the business to business arena, are being held by experienced full time professionals, perhaps 8 million just scratches the surface.

Jo Ann Kirby is president of KRG Communications Group. She has 20 years experience in sales, telephone sales and sales management and an extensive background in training and development. Her background also includes extensive b2b telesales management experience. Jo Ann has been published in The Toastmaster, NAPPS Network and Commerce magazines. More can be found at

In The News:

Predictive Dialers - Human Interaction Maximized

Predictive dialers are many steps removed from their predessors, the... Read More

No More Cold-Calling? Well, Almost...

We do not advocate cold calling in High Probability Selling.... Read More

3 Simple Rules For Your Next Sales Call

The other day I received a call from a telemarketer... Read More

Telsales Just Got Easier!

Your sales structure for outbound calls can be summarised using... Read More

4 1/2 Steps for Doubling Your B2B Appointments

Cold calling. Most people hate to do it and there... Read More

Proven Two Minutes Magic Exercise to Conquer the Fear of Phone

I got a confession to make! The little communication device... Read More

Phone Tips To Get Things Done: Professional Phone Skills

It happens all the time, you hear someone over the... Read More

Cold Calling Does Not Generate Sales Leads

It is a fact of life for most new sales... Read More

10 Tips for Telephone Success

The telephone is an often under-appreciated and much maligned piece... Read More

Conference Calling Evolved

Originally the conference call was limited to businesses paying exorbitant... Read More

How To Be A Cold Calling Superstar!

Our emotions and feelings are changing all of the time... Read More

7 Ways to Jump Start Your Cold Calls

Cold calling has to be one of the most feared... Read More

Telemarketers May Have Ruined Everything

I had to really look at things a little different... Read More

How To Know Youre On A Winner

The catchword today for business is flexibility.With changes in suppliers,... Read More

Telemarketing Tips for Direct Sales Success

Unfortunately, the DNC legislation has many small businesses that use... Read More

Generating Leads Through Telemarketing

Telemarketing is one of the most common ways that a... Read More

The Cold Calling Conspiracy

A consipiracy exists in the world of selling. A cold... Read More

Sales Call Success - Turbo Charge Your Sales Calls

Do you want to be a sales champion? There are... Read More


HEADSETS & TELEPHONESThe equipment your personnel use is important. Don't... Read More

High Phone Bills Can Affect More Than Your Expenses

I got a phone call today from a gentleman in... Read More

Get Instant Rapport On Sales Cold Calls

Immediately establish rapport on cold-calls by matching your prospect's voice... Read More

Cold Calling for Introverts

In her book, The Introvert Advantage, Marty Olsen Laney talks... Read More

Overcoming Objections Over the Telephone

In sales, one of the things you will be doing... Read More

Closing That Big Sale With Conference Calling

So you're in business. Whether it is micro, small, medium,... Read More

7 Cold Calling Secrets Even The Sales Gurus Dont Know

More and more e-mails are arriving in my in-box from... Read More