Telemarketing is among the most effective methods by which businesses can reach out to potential customers and generate sales. It is direct, interactive, involves a two-way communication process, incorporates a human element, and is flexible and transparent as well.
Yet it is important to remember that lead generation—for which businesses rely significantly on telemarketing—is not that easy. A primary reason for this being the approach most organisations take while using telecalling techniques. The problem is they tend to view telemarketing in the context of sales, without paying due attention to factors like segmentation of target audience, proper data collection, and clearly defined goals.
If you, too, are finding it difficult to generate leads through telemarketing for your business, here are a few steps you can take, to make your calls and interactions more effective.
1. Selection of Target Audience
This is the most fundamental aspect of lead generation, and a lack of clarity on this is also the primary reason why most telemarketing campaigns fail. Clarity of target audience allows a business to segment them into different categories, thereby allowing for the creation of an effective communication strategy that is tailormade to specific requirements. In the absence of such segmentation, the communication strategy is directionless, too generic, and mostly fails to generate interest. The best way to improve lead generation is to first identify the audience, and then focus on specific communication methods that will work for that segment.
2. Clarity of Purpose
Besides determining your target audience, ask yourself what is the end purpose of your telemarketing call? What is the call to action? Do you want your potential customers to buy your product or service outright? Or, do you want to set up a meeting with your salespersons? Once you have the clarity of the end purpose in mind, you can design your communication with that much more conviction and greatly increase its effectiveness.
3. Proposition and Customer Needs
Both product proposition and customer needs are interlinked. As a business, ask yourself why a potential customer should choose your product or service over another. Incidentally, the answer to this usually lies in understanding customer needs.
To start with, your telemarketing strategy should drop its sales pitch and try instead to understand what the customer actually wants. Then frame your communication in terms of how the offering will help solve the problem. Doing it right should translate into the next stage of sales, possibly in the form of a meeting or a demo, and culminate in the actual sale.
It is important to understand that telemarketing is not as much about selling your products and services to potential customers, as about understanding what they need and how you can them to fulfil that need.
4. Campaign Messaging
Once you have clarity of needs and proposition, you can design a message that will best express your thoughts. Note that the concept of a clear message is very closely linked to your target audience. In fact, any communication that is made is always designed with a specific target audience in mind.
Failure to generate interest in the target audience leads to the perception of telemarketing calls as being spam or junk, rather than a genuine outreach by the business to inform customers of some offering which could be of value to them. The importance of a message that is strong, unambiguous and direct, has a clearly defined call to action, and properly defines the purpose for which it is intended, cannot be underestimated in this situation.
5. Responding to Questions
This is the tricky part, mostly because it requires experience, cannot be scripted in advance, and only good telemarketers can ace it. A good method of questioning eases the flow of conversation without seeming dominating or interrogating. It also allows the potential client to open up with ideas, thoughts and problems, which can be used as feedback, or followed up with further rounds of questions and suggestions, eventually moving towards a deal.
Catering to Customer Requirements
One of the key factors standing in the way of a successful telemarketing campaign is the tendency of most businesses to view it as a sales pitch. Putting sales at the forefront causes the customer to lose interest and hurts the success of the outbound campaign. Improving lead generation requires you to emphasise on how your offerings can solve customer problems, to make your sales pitch more engaging from the get-go.
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