“All the gear and no idea.”
They have the staff, they have the infrastructure, they have the data, but they seem to have no bloody clue on how to sell effectively!
Yes, that’s right, it seems like so many of these very big telesales companies have all of the gear but no bloody idea on how to engage effectively with a prospect! Let me tell you why!
I had quite a bit of time in the car on Tuesday as I was travelling back from a customer site. Whilst in the car, I am always happy to chat with companies that phone me as it allows me to see how they go about selling. I am afraid to say that I am often left amazed at how poor their engagement is and the call I had on Tuesday was no different.
The number was a local number and whilst I felt it could be a cold call, I answered it. A nice young lady proceeded to ask if she was speaking to Mr White.
“Yes, you are, what’s this about?” I asked.
She then proceeded to mention that she was from a company that I didn’t know but which provided a service to help insulate lofts. I think it was about that because in all honesty it was not clear at all what she did within the first 15 seconds of the call and she mumbled the company name twice which was not a good start!
I was friendly and said that I worked in sales myself and that I understood her role was tough, but could she clearly outline to me (in 30 seconds) what it is her company offered and why I should be interested in it.
She then proceeded to talk for the next 60 seconds through her script which basically outlined everything about her product, what features it had and why it was so good. She talked on and on without taking a breath, without asking anything about me and without even being clear about what it is she wanted from the conversation.
I decided after a minute to interrupt her and say that I couldn’t understand what it is she was offering me and that on that basis I didn’t feel it was right to carry on the call.
In fairness to her, the objection handling outline must have kicked in as she didn’t want to give up and then tried to carry on for a further 15 seconds to tell me more about her product.
Enough was enough though. I cut in, said thanks very much and indicated this was not for me and kindly ended the call. I looked at my phone display in the car and could see that the call had lasted for around 2 minutes, in total of which I must have only spoken for 20-25 seconds.
I ended the call thinking how this call could have been so different if her company had given her the training and support to engage more effectively with a prospect.
“WHAT SHOULD THEY HAVE DONE?” YOU SAY. THIS IS WHAT THEY SHOULD HAVE DONE!
- They firstly should have given the young lady more training and help to ensure that the script she was using didn’t sound like a script. She herself should have practiced it more as well because it was very clear that she was reading out words from a screen rather than really knowing her script and sounding natural with it. I am a big believer in scripts and feel they work well but just as an actor doesn’t read his lines, so a sales person with a script has to know theirs before they start talking.
- She should have been very clear in the first instance about who she was, the company she was representing and what she wanted to achieve from the call. Prospects are busy people and they want those who engage with them to be clear about what the purpose of the call is.
- The company should have provided the young lady with a script that outlined a couple of real challenges and problems that consumers have and then ensured that she started to ask questions about whether these were issues for me. This should have been done within 10-15 seconds and positioned in a way that would make me want to answer the question.
- The company should have ensured that the typical responses and rejections that telesales agents get could be handled in a more effective way. This could be done both through better training and also through better rejection outlines (click here for my advice on handling sales rejections). I have no doubt that most of the questions that prospects would have, would have been similar to mine. Responses such as who are you? What benefit does it give me? Why would I want to deploy it? Who else near me is using it? And others could have simple responses that COULD have made me want to take things further forward if responded to in the right way
- They finally should have, within the training provided, given guidance on how it is key within prospect conversations for the salesperson to remember that age old adage of ‘you have 2 ears and 1 mouth, use them in proportion’. The team at Gong.io have done countless research projects about how the best sales people operate and its very clear that the best listen in the main rather than talk!
MY MESSAGE TO THESE BIG TELESALES COMPANIES IS CLEAR:
Give training to your staff. Create scripts and frameworks that allow your agents to show they are real people. Be clear about who you are, be direct about what you want from the call, try and relate to the prospect and ensure your agents ask questions which enable you to build knowledge about them and what they do.
Do this and watch your engagement rates increase! Carry on as you are and you will continue to waste time and money! If you are the boss of one of these companies and feel your team need some help with training or if you want better scripts created to get better results then lets arrange a time to chat.
Have you experienced similar calls from big companies? What are some of the good and bad examples of cold calls that you have received? Share your experiences below.