Train Competent, Confident Telemarketers

Train Competent, Confident Telemarketers

A professional telemarketer must possess excellent communication skills, as well as the ability to identify and respond to customer problems. What’s more, they also should accomplish these complicated objectives in a cost-effective, efficient, creative and timely manner. This, of course, requires training.

If you decide to set up an in-house call center rather than hire a contractor, you would do well to approach staff education in an organized, thorough manner. Here are some guidelines that can help:

  • Start with the resources at hand. Train your team to generate additional business from established customers - they already like your products and services. Research shows it is much more expensive to cultivate new accounts than to develop existing ones.
  • Make your products and services central to your training program. Trainees should understand - and believe in - their value, and have a clear understanding of how they function. In-depth knowledge will make your trainees better salespeople and also prepare them to provide solutions, not pat answers.  
  • Teach effective listening. A critical communication tool, active listening means that a telemarketer lets prospects do the talking. This is how sales happen.
  • Teach good customer service. Trainees must learn to put themselves in the buyer’s shoes. Customers care about their own needs, not whether the telemarketer will make his or her monthly sales goals.
  • Emphasize solution selling. Simply put, this means approaching the sale as an opportunity to provide customers with products or services to address their specific needs.
  • Provide a script. This valuable tool maps out how to overcome customer objections and close the deal.

Prepare to Sell

Successful telemarketers do a lot of advance preparation before starting their shifts. Besides encouraging trainees to develop a positive mindset, urge them to cultivate a warm, professional phone voice. Roleplaying calls during training sessions is particularly helpful when novice callers are shy or nervous. If you are the trainer, give these tips a try:

  • Have trainees to go through their scripts in front of a mirror. As they recite the message, encourage them to relax facial muscles and posture. This is important, because tension seeps into the voice. By the same token, when callers are relaxed and upbeat, their tone shows it.

    Experts suggest that the best approach to a sales call is conversational, not pushy. For example: "We are offering half price on all our eye makeup until the end of the month. Why not come in for a free makeover and some samples? We make it both relaxing and fun.”
  • Tape rehearsals for trainees to watch in private, and urge them to take objective notes.
  • Encourage your callers to personalize their workspaces. They might decorate with posters, photos and quotes, for instance. Soft music is helpful if it won’t disturb other workers. When your call team feels happy and relaxed, their delivery shows it.

Establish an acceptable pace. Experts suggest three minutes per call, or about 20 calls an hour. This is sufficient time to allow friendly conversation, yet compels callers to stay on track. Suggest that callers take a five-minute break after completing 20 or so calls. A breath of air or a cold soda will fuel them for the next call block.