I recently got sucked into a telemarketing scam. It was so clever, and I was in a good mood and willing to engage the caller, who kept insisting that this was a REAL call (I won lots of money) that I stayed on the line, and even went so far as to confirm my home address.
It’s very embarrassing to admit that, and as soon as I gave him my zip code, it was like my “danger, danger” alarm kicked into my head, and I started challenging the guy to his claims. After seriously several hours(!) of back-and-forth calls, I think I scared him off, and I immediately filed my complaint with the Federal Trade Commission, for whatever that’s worth.
The guy didn’t really get any information about me that’s not publicly available (one of those times when you have to Google yourself), but I hated being played for the fool.
That said, telemarketing isn’t always a scam! And if you do it right, you can help customers feel like they are getting personal attention and you can keep them from blocking your number!
As marketing guru Jay Abraham explains it:
“When selling by telephone, you have approximately 30 seconds to convince the customer to listen to you. You need an opening statement that captures their attention, conveys who you are, what you want and why the prospect should listen.”
These days, it’s actually less than 30 seconds, and there’s no room for mush-mouth or hesitation in your pitch. You have to make sure your offer is worth the time someone is taking out of his or her day to speak to a stranger and a “salesperson.”
Telemarketing gives business owners the opportunity to demonstrate their honest interest in customers. It is best for high-priced, high-margin products and services (which is probably why everyone is so skeptical when they get a phone call). It is well-paired in the beginning in the end of marketing campaigns — as the final distribution channel where the sale occurs or as an opening to drive a prospect into a nurturing campaign.
To be successful in telemarketing you need to:
- Put together a plan, so you know exactly what you want to accomplish during the call.
- Develop a list of topics to discuss and the questions you want to present around these topics.
- Input verbiage checking to see if you are calling at a good time.
- Include enough questions to keep the conversation interesting, but not too many to sound like you are interrogating.
- Start with broad questions and narrow your focus as the conversation continues.
- Offer feedback to show them you are paying attention and appreciate their time.
- Don’t insult their intelligence or manipulate them.
- Listen first, talk second.
- Be relaxed and conversational.
Telemarketing doesn’t have to be the trauma it’s made out to be. You can put together an honest, personal and effective telemarketing campaign that is endearing, informative, and gets the job done. Think of how you would want to be treated on a marketing call. Ask your friends and family what they hate most about the telemarketing calls they get, and work hard to craft your plan in a better way.
It’s easy to see how telemarketing can positively affect your business by bringing in new customers and increasing the level of awareness about your products, services, and company branding.
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How do you turn prospects into customers and retain them for future marketing? Ah, that’s the question every business owner wants answered. Scarier still, what if you actually get the customer but then they aren’t happy with their decision. They key is to create a marketing strategy that will help your client avoid buyer’s remorse!
Your marketing may be doing its job, but you need to close the deal. When we look at the customer funnel, it goes from awareness to comparison shopping all the way down to a purchase. Marketing can get super-creative throughout (and I personally especially enjoy building reasons for your customer to choose you over your competition).
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But you still have to seal the sale, and while you try to be inviting, informative, and enjoyable throughout the process, you gotta get past that hump of the 10 reasons customers think of or talk themselves out of a purchase.
In other words, you need to overcome the dreaded fear of buyer’s remorse (and it’s the fear as much as the actual remorse that people experience). You want to avoid someone regretting their purchase at all costs, and this can be mitigated by providing a quality product/service that delivers on the marketing claims you’ve made.
So how do you prevent buyer’s remorse? Two ways:
- Offer to refund money — no questions asked
- Offer a bonus they can keep even if they return the product or don’t wish to continue with the service.
These offers alone will mitigate buyer’s remorse (or the worry that a buyer will experience it) because the customer will trust you more just for offering these things.
There are numerous ways to turn a prospect into a customer. These are fun, fun, fun to test and try, and they enable the business owner a lot of creativity in their marketing strategy:
- Offer a special price as an opportunity for you to test the market.
- Offer a lower price with the reason of pushing inventory for your own survival (like paying an April tax bill!). This makes you feel so much more human.
- Offer a referral incentive.
- Offer a smaller, more inexpensive product first to build trust.
- Offer package deals.
- Offer to charge less for their first purchase if they become a repeat customer.
- Offer extra incentives like longer warranties or free bonuses if ordered by a set date.
- Offer financing options, if applicable.
- Offer a bonus if they pay in full.
- Offer special packaging or delivery.
- Offer “name your own price” incentives.
- Offer comparative data or other comparison tools.
- Offer a trade-up or upgrade for something they already have.
- Offer additional, educational information to help them make the decision.
The options really are as limitless as you make it. You can use these or other ideas to find what works the best for your business, products/service and target market. Just remember this …
“By making it inviting, easy, informative, non-threatening, educational, inspiring and fun to do business with you, you’ll loft your company above the competition.” -Jay Abraham
Need help with figuring out the best strategy for converting prospects into customers? Our FREE test drive gives you exclusive access to the mountain of resources and tools, along with information from some of the greatest marketing minds on Earth.
There are three marketing activities that are the most important tools you must do to get and keep new customers. They are the tools to communicate with your clients and potential customers, and they all involve you!
You won’t believe how simple it is to do. Here’s how:
1. In person — Meet with customers and/or clients in person whenever possible. This shows you respect them and take the time to work with your clients to give personal attention to each of them.
2. Follow up mail — Always send a follow up mail about what you talked about, new agreements or partnerships made, and expressing thanks for taking the time to meet with you. Likewise, you should always send thank you letters or small gifts to partners you find success with.
3. Phone calls — Pick up the telephone to call! Follow up with them to talk again about the matters you talked about in your meeting and offer any assistance you can to help their business run smoothly and more successfully. No one wants to make phone calls anymore but they are essential!
None of these will work if you don’t have a quality product/service to back you up, but they are vital to locating, acquiring, and KEEPING clients.
So now that you have that figured out, here are some key steps for making those start-up marketing tools useful. Knowing these and it will make those conversations easier to have:
1. Research potential customers, buyers, competitors, and their preferred methods of distribution.
2. Take a hard look at your product from your customers’ perspective and see what it needs to be successful. Ask them!
3. Develop systems for contact follow-through, quality control standards, and customer service.
4. Develop a post-sale follow-up system to keep communicating and to build on your current relationship, which increases future purchases.
And just remember how management consultant Peter Drucker looks at marketing: “Marketing and innovation produce results; all the rest are costs.”
These tools will help you put together a start-up marketing plan that can be used over and over again to help your customer base and business grow in a manageable way. The tools offered in our FREE test drive offer these very same things.
Educate your customers. You may be thinking, educate them about what? Well, consider this, many businesses focus solely on attracting new customers, but you need to spend a good chunk of your time retaining current and former customers. These are people you already know to be a good sales potential … they’ve already bought from you!
Take the time to market and sell new products to your old customers and less time trying to sell old products to new customers and you will see a drastic change in your sales, customer quality and branding position.
Here are a couple of key elements to use to retain your current customers:
1. Stay in contact: This means by phone, email, e-newsletter, in person-by pigeon if you have too!
2. Post-Purchase Assurance: This means you need to follow up with customers. Your customers need to feel like they are being supported for their purchase and with the item they purchased. How many times have you purchased a product, then felt completely abandoned? Something as simple as a Thank You note with your contact or customer service information can go along way in retaining a great customer.
3. Deals & Guarantees: Always offer your current customers the best deals and guarantees you have. Show them you appreciate their business or even come up with a club specifically to reward loyal customers. You can also do this with a preferred pricing option.
4. Integrity: Using good business practices and simply upholding integrity, dignity, and honesty go along way with customers. Let’s face it, there’s a lot of swindling and nonsense out there and the safer and more confident you make your customers feel, the more they will trust you and that makes for an amazingly supportive and loyal customer.
There are three cornerstone ideas to a successful business:
• Quality product/service
• Offering useful products/services that solve a problem for or enhance the life of a customer
• Offer subjects your customers find interesting
Use this approach of educating your customers and offering them real information and insight and you will be rewarded with loyalty and success.
Stop wasting all your time on new prospects while your current customers fall by the wayside!
As Jay Abraham says, “Your best prospects are your existing customers. If you’ve been putting all your marketing efforts into acquiring new customers, stop and divert some of your resources into reselling, upselling, cross-selling to those same customers. In every way possible – through package inserts, regular mailings, special offers – stay in touch with those customers and get them used to buying from you.”
So, there it is! Remember, our FREE test drive can help you put together the resources and tools to do exactly that. We can help you educate your customers and you can watch the benefits pay offer many-fold.