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"I just have a few questions..."

I work at an inbound call center. I am allowed no call backs and do not have a direct extension. With each prospect, I have one shot. I've been trying to find a way to create urgency with my callers. It seems like, when people call in off of our fliers, their only intention is to ask questions.
Immediately after the greeting of my script, I am required to ask the person if they carry a major debit or credit card. Almost every call I take, the first words I hear from my caller are 'I just have a few questions, I'm not planning on setting up today.'

Any suggestions on how to handle this??

;bg Natalie - by natalie_rene014
Being in somewhat of a bad mood this morning, my initial reaction to your post was a pretty flippant "well when you get serious, so will I.... or... "Lady/Sir here is my delimma with this... I ONLY get paid if you move forward with this and since I don't get callbacks, your asking me questions without being ready to buy is only interfering with me being able to pay the babysitter, so if you will please understand my quandry what's it gonna be....?"

But then I thought better of it.... Urgency.... "Maam... Sir.... is it important that we be able to answer all your questions in order for you to move forward with this today? If so, you'll be able to take advantage of our state of the art technology this evening and be able to surprise your family or be able to relax with us while..... "

You've a quandry if you cannot also get your company to offer an incentive of sorts for moving today... otherwise its gonna be your good nature, your ability to draw them out as to what they are looking for, and assure them that once you've gotten all they want .... tell them that "we can do this... we can set you up exactly like you want it... shall we?"

I did something yesterday I've not done before, I asked a mother "If you were to design an insurance policy for your son, what would it look like?" And by God she did.... and we gave her a proposal that fortunately exactly fit her design... so asking someone an off the wall question like this might work to engage them as well.

Aloha.... :cool: :beer: - by rattus58
Natalie, here's an important rule you should follow your entire sales career. NEVER TREAT A STALL AS AN OBJECTION.

A Stall, as in your example means the prospect is not ready to buy for no specific reason. An Objection does have a reason for not buying yet.

If you challenge a stall, the prospect will often invent an objection.

Acknowledge the stall, and cover the features and benefits along with using their "questions" to learn more about their needs. Summarize the features and benefits as they relate to their questions. Ask how "that sounds?" Then ask for a commitment. - by Ace Coldiron
Natalie, can you explain why your script has the credit card question in it, especially so early in the process? It seems to me that this is a premature question which will create unnecessary anxiety in your callers, which is why you're losing sales momentum.

What thoughts do you have about this?

Skip - by Skip Anderson
Upon scheduling an installation date, there is a $49.95 'processing' fee due. We can only get that with a major credit or debit card. It is also required run the credit check for the qualification. In general, we are require to keep their card on file for any unreturned equipment fees or cancellation fees. Basically, it is pointless to speak with someone unless they do carry one. However, it does create anxiety with many of my callers. Heck, it makes me anxious to have to ask!! I mean, it is mandatory that I ask the question, but I guess I do not necessarily have to ask it right away. Maybe I'll try throwing it in after a few discovery questions, so I've already established some rapport. - by natalie_rene014
Yes, Natalie, I think it would definitely be better to not ask the CC question right away. I can see the value in it from a qualification point-of-view, but it can be a killer when you're trying to create engagement with your prospect on the phone. - by Skip Anderson
Natalie, here's an important rule you should follow your entire sales career. NEVER TREAT A STALL AS AN OBJECTION.

A Stall, as in your example means the prospect is not ready to buy for no specific reason. An Objection does have a reason for not buying yet.

If you challenge a stall, the prospect will often invent an objection.

Acknowledge the stall, and cover the features and benefits along with using their "questions" to learn more about their needs. Summarize the features and benefits as they relate to their questions. Ask how "that sounds?" Then ask for a commitment.
I definitely understand what you're saying, and it's great advice!! of the time, their questions are things like 'What is the price after the promotional period?' or 'What is the bottom line price?'
The callers believe that price should be the only determining factor. They are unaware that there are several variables that determine their prices. How do I get them to slow down and answer a few of my questions so that I can give them all of the information needed to make a completely knowledgable decision? It seems like callers just want to call around to all providers and get prices to make their decision. - by natalie_rene014
How do I get them to slow down and answer a few of my questions so that I can give them all of the information needed to make a completely knowledgable decision? It seems like callers just want to call around to all providers and get prices to make their decision.
How do you get them to slow down? I'm impressed that you choose that question, because in my view it is the RIGHT (and most important) question.

I learned this technique for those circumstances many years ago, and I'll share it with you.

Here is how you slow down the process--much to your advantage.

You say, "I want to make a note of ALL your questions---the first one was..?

"OK...cost...that's certainly important...what other questions might you have?"

Here's the key. Either they give you other questions and you keep writing them down--or--they remain at the price question---IN WHICH CASE you volunteer the questions they should be asking. Examples: What about value? What about time frame?, etc.

If they give you more questions you NOW HAVE a ready made outline for your presentation--step by step--and they are slowed down and ENGAGED. If you give them the questions--same thing.

That is a technique that will put a lot of money in your pocket. I encourage you to learn it and practice it. - by Ace Coldiron
Ace,

Awesome! Thank you so much! I'm putting this into effect immediately! I'll let you know the results!! :-)
This is seriously the answer I've been looking for, for a long time :-)
So basically, when they say "Yes, I have a CC, but I just have questions!" I say "Oh, questions are great! What's your first question?" They give me their question, and I say, "Terrific! Let me write that down, I definitely want to make sure I answer all of these for you. What is your next question?" and then proceed?
Wow. That sounds great!! I really can't wait to use this!!
Thanks again!!
PS. We could use you around here for coaching!!! ;-) - by natalie_rene014
Ace,

Awesome! Thank you so much! I'm putting this into effect immediately! I'll let you know the results!! :-)
Natalie, you've paid me avery nice compliment which is very kind of you.

I want to share another thought for you to examine as diligently as you're examining the rest.

Notice my words:

"I want to make a note of ALL your questions---the first one was..?

"OK...cost...that's certainly important...what other questions might you have?"


They are natural and conversational and unembellished. I would talk that way in many circumstances having nothing to do with selling.

Now your words--paraphrasing my method:

I say "Oh, questions are great! What's your first question?" They give me their question, and I say, "Terrific! Let me write that down, I definitely want to make sure I answer all of these for you. What is your next question?"

If that is the way you would talk to a friend, a family member, or in situations where you are not selling--it's fine. It's you.

BUT...(you knew this was coming.)... if that's the way you would talk because you're selling, and you think that is how a salesperson should talk (sales speak), it will be far less effective.

We do not become another person when we sell. We stay as who we are.

Always beware of the paraphrasing trap. - by Ace Coldiron
If that is the way you would talk to a friend, a family member, or in situations where you are not selling--it's fine. It's you.

BUT...(you knew this was coming.)... if that's the way you would talk because you're selling, and you think that is how a salesperson should talk (sales speak), it will be far less effective.

We do not become another person when we sell. We stay as who we are.

Always beware of the paraphrasing trap.
You've brought up a very good point! This is the way I talk; this is me. I'm very bubbly and nice. Sometimes I believe that this causes problems for me. People find it sooo easy to say "Natalie, you've been so helpful. I greatly appreciate the hour you've spent with me. You've been very thorough and I feel knowledgable about your system. Let me present this to my significant other (or whatever they may come up with) and I'll be giving you a call back very soon!"
Having been patient and nice through the entire phone call, I find it difficult to be 'agressive' at this point. - by natalie_rene014
You've brought up a very good point! This is the way I talk; this is me. I'm very bubbly and nice. Sometimes I believe that this causes problems for me. People find it sooo easy to say "Natalie, you've been so helpful. I greatly appreciate the hour you've spent with me. You've been very thorough and I feel knowledgable about your system. Let me present this to my significant other (or whatever they may come up with) and I'll be giving you a call back very soon!"
Having been patient and nice through the entire phone call, I find it difficult to be 'agressive' at this point.
Don't change. You'll do fine. I promise. Connect with others as who you are. But study others who are successful.

I sense that you have an excellent mind for succeeding in sales. - by Ace Coldiron
Ace,

Thank you so much for all of your advice! It means a lot to me!

:-) - by natalie_rene014
I work at an inbound call center. I am allowed no call backs and do not have a direct extension. With each prospect, I have one shot. I've been trying to find a way to create urgency with my callers. It seems like, when people call in off of our fliers, their only intention is to ask questions.
Immediately after the greeting of my script, I am required to ask the person if they carry a major debit or credit card. Almost every call I take, the first words I hear from my caller are 'I just have a few questions, I'm not planning on setting up today.'

Any suggestions on how to handle this??

;bg Natalie
You have received some very good advice in this discussion. You mention that the company call center you work in 'requires' that you ask 'very very early' whether someone has a major debit or credit card.

How much control to 'change' the scripting of your conversation, do YOU really have? If you have little, some of the suggestions as to how to handle the beginning of your conversation if you 'don't ask the question' as 'required, could be a problem.

If so, maybe after your greeting from your script, you can simply add "I appreciate that you are replying to our flier, I know you have questions for me to answer and I will be very happy to do that, I need to ask you one simple question first and then you can give me ALL of your questions"....now ASK the question that your company requires you to ask.

Companies who run call centers and telemarketing rooms like your company does, are not often very open to their representatives 'changing what they believe is successful'.

Based on how your company works, if they don't have a major debit or credit card, you want to know that EARLY, so you don't waste your time with someone who doesn't qualify for your services. For every 'non qualified' person you spend time with, you may be missing two or three qualified opportunities. - by Paulette Halpern
If so, maybe after your greeting from your script, you can simply add "I appreciate that you are replying to our flier, I know you have questions for me to answer and I will be very happy to do that, I need to ask you one simple question first and then you can give me ALL of your questions"....now ASK the question that your company requires you to ask.

.
That's a great way of putting it! Thanks so much!! :-D - by natalie_rene014
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