You’re just sitting down to dinner, the phone rings, hopefully not another telesales call! You were looking forward to the opportunity to relax. Everything in you wants to ignore it, but the persistent ringing is worse than pretending you can ignore it. You decide to answer because then you can stop the annoying calls. We’ve all experienced this. Why do these companies insist on calling people at home at dinner time? Well, the answer is obvious – it’s because that’s when they are more likely to find people at home. But that’s not really the subject of this sales tale. This call was different.
Tip 1: Be confident and enthusiastic, develop excellent listening and questioning skills.
What made the call different? Well firstly the person on the phone was bright, confident, enthusiastic and sincere. Not too pushy. They didn’t sound bored with their job. They didn’t assume that I wanted to hear from them. They asked empathetic questions and listened making it clear that they valued my time and they were enthusiastic about their company. They clearly had developed excellent telesales skills!
Tip 2: Don't focus on selling, create a positive customer focused experience.
They were actually calling from a local cable company (and we already had satellite TV). I let them know very quickly that we had satellite – but they were not fazed by that. Instead they were interested to know what I liked about the service I had and explained that they would welcome the opportunity to talk again if and when things were to change. Why am I writing about this? Mainly because this person left me with a very positive impression of their company simply because of the way they handled the call. Their polite, confident and empathetic approach made me think well of their company and much more likely to be open to considering change in the future. They didn’t make a sale on that call (but I suspect that was not their primary objective). They created a positive environment for a future call.
Be sincere and empathetic
The message: too many telesales people seem to forget that they are speaking to another human being. They don’t seem to care about the person who is answering the phone. They are not sincere or empathetic. They are totally focused on getting their call completed and moving to the next. By contrast I just received yet another telesales call – this time of the negative variety. They asked to speak to a colleague – speaking in a way that made it very clear that they were not at all interested in talking to me. Little did they know that I was the decision-maker for their service, but they didn’t care enough about the person answering the phone to take the time and trouble to find out. They had one goal. They weren’t thinking. They were following a script.
My thoughts turned to that very different call a few weeks ago … and made me think more positively about the company that had employed that person. A company, vested in their employees success (and therefore their own) and who realized the importance of excellent telesales training to create a successful, positive, customer focused experience. When I’m ready for the annual service renewal I might even call them.