Best Telesales Training Advice: It’s Not What You Say, It’s When


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Tele­sales train­ing is a hard, thank­less task. How can you train your employ­ees to be “nat­ural” sales­peo­ple if they don’t come with an innate gift or knack for sell­ing? Is it pos­si­ble to con­vert non-sales-type peo­ple into top-performing sell­ers? What is the secret that great sales­peo­ple have that the rest of us don’t?

Well, it turns out, there are tricks of the trade that can help even the most awk­ward sales­per­son improve. Here’s a hint: It’s not what the sales­per­son says, nec­es­sar­ily, that will close the deal. In sales, tim­ing is paramount.

Be care­ful when using a script

One of the key points to keep in mind when sell­ing is that you are not “sell­ing.” You are hav­ing a con­ver­sa­tion. While it may seem impor­tant to help keep your staff on-point by pro­vid­ing them with scripts, here’s a handy bit of tele­sales train­ing advice: a script can hin­der a con­ver­sa­tion. A script dic­tates that your staff should say cer­tain things to probe about the prospect’s cur­rent prod­uct, and a script tries to help steer the talker toward a sales closer. In the­ory, this should work well if the prospect responds to each ques­tion accord­ing to “the script,” but in prac­tice, that rarely occurs. If it does occur, then your sales­per­son and the prospect are not truly engag­ing in a con­ver­sa­tion. They’re engag­ing in a for­mal, scripted sales call, and few peo­ple enjoy the act of being roped into try­ing to buy a prod­uct. So the first step in help­ing improve your tele­sales train­ing is to teach your reps that they should be mind­ful of cer­tain points, but they should not read from a script. They should engage in a con­ver­sa­tion, first and foremost.

In sales, it’s not loca­tion, loca­tion, loca­tion. It’s tim­ing, tim­ing, timing

The real estate maxim “loca­tion, loca­tion, loca­tion” could be re-stated for sales to be “tim­ing, tim­ing, tim­ing.” In sales, it’s not so much what you say, but when the key points are addressed that can make or break a sale. A best tele­sales train­ing prac­tice tip to keep in mind is mak­ing sure your sales team under­stands the appro­pri­ate con­text for ask­ing impor­tant ques­tions. For exam­ple, don’t train your staff to open the con­ver­sa­tion by ask­ing who the com­peti­tor is buy­ing from – this ques­tion is per­fectly appro­pri­ate, but the tim­ing of the ques­tion is what really mat­ters. If the prospect describes a prob­lem that has been ongo­ing with their cur­rent prod­uct, then it is appro­pri­ate to ask who the sup­plier is. Sim­i­larly, if you know your prod­uct is priced higher than the competition’s, weave this nar­ra­tive in when the prospect is dis­cussing the issues he or she is hav­ing with the competitor’s prod­uct. Don’t state this upfront. Make sure it flows into the con­ver­sa­tion dur­ing the time when there is that “ah ha” moment of what your prospect’s prob­lem is, sealed by the reas­sur­ance that your (more expen­sive prod­uct) adds value because it will alle­vi­ate this problem.

Effec­tive sales is solv­ing a problem

The goal of any and all sales efforts, and, con­se­quently, of your tele­sales train­ing efforts, is to solve a prob­lem. Your prospects have a prob­lem – even if they’re not aware of their prob­lems. Your team’s goal is to unearth these prob­lems, already armed with the solu­tion that your prod­uct can pro­vide. It requires research, thor­ough knowl­edge of why your solu­tion is the best fit in the indus­try, and it requires build­ing a rela­tion­ship with the prospect. Seen in this light, sales seems a lit­tle less intim­i­dat­ing, right? You are not train­ing your team to sim­ply cold call, go for the hard sell, or reach a quota. You are re-framing sales into some­thing more mean­ing­ful and more lasting.

The best tele­sales train­ing requires a multi-pronged approach

To recap, remem­ber that even if you don’t have the most nat­u­rally gifted sales team, you can still make win­ners out of your reps. Often, it’s the “non-salesy” peo­ple that have the best results because they are good at build­ing rela­tion­ships and read­ing the sit­u­a­tion. So throw out the script, teach the value of con­text and tim­ing, and train your team to be prob­lem solvers and solu­tion presenters.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Jodi Beuder
We help organizations create a positive connection between customers and brands. We promote synergy through integration as it builds on the decades of collective history of renowned expertise. MHI Global is your comprehensive source for customer-management excellence solutions to compete in today's ever-changing, customer-centric environment.


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