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Seeking REAL sales advice

Hello,

I've recently just entered into sales and am enjoying it and want to improve and make it into a career. At the moment Im telemarketing for a major telecommunications company and am seeking advice on techniques for improving sales performance.

Though I am new at this one of the things im struggling with is the crappy sales training we are offered. I admit to not knowing much, but we are taught to say things like "hows your day going?" and "how's the weather?" to build rapport. Surely people arent that gullible???:dun Anyway, while some of the stuff makes sense (i.e. assume the sale), most of it goes against my instinct and much of what Id rather do in a sale is just get to the point and offer tangible benefits and real savings.. I can do that part reasonably well enough but often lose because there is little emotion/urgency in my pitch. Can anyone suggest how I can add emotion to the sale without seeming phoney, or build rapport without asking stupid questions?

Also can anyone suggest a really good book to read based on effective sales/telesales practise? All Im interested at the end of the day is what REALLY WORKS, and would like to hear what the best have to say about it.

Cheers
Ace - by sales_ace
Do you HAVE to use the scripts the company trains on? - by Frankie
Do you HAVE to use the scripts the company trains on?
There is no requirement to use the scripts we are taught, they are to be used as a guide to help newbies. They aren't much help to me. - by sales_ace
Sales Ace,

I agree with you on using 'how are you' and other meaningless questions to build rapport.

In the UK this worked in the 1980s but now people want you to get to the point of your call.

I worked for a major communications provider for many years as a sales trainer and manager.

My advice: Get benefits into the introduction. The most important line in your sales call is, the reason you are calling. If you don't get past this point it doesn't matter how good your other skills are.

Make the reason you are calling a massive possible benefit to the potential customer.

I say possible because you want to use the possible qualification for this benefit as the reason to move to the next stage of the call, usually the questioning stage.

You're basically saying - I'm calling because you could gain this benfit - to see if you can - let me ask you - and then into the questions.

I also agree with the question Frankie asked regarding scripts. I know from experience some of these scripts are wriiten by people that have never tried using them.

Hope this is usefull

God luck with the job

Steve - by Steve C
Read "High Probability Selling" which is perfect for what you do. The best to you.

MitchM - by MitchM
Steve C, thanks for the advice.

High probability selling is based on a consultative method right? I've tried this but had limited success trying to identify with people needs, ask questions, listen in carefully and offer solutions to problems. Generally people just don't want to know and don't care unless you have an exciting, confident sounding voice (i.e. hard sell). Seeming empathic and generally interested in offering a better deal seems to only get me shut down.

I'm sure this is not the case for all sales but it's not like we're offering a professional service, it's just mobile phone sales to persons using other providers, so I'm not sure a consultative based approach would work best approach for the type of sales I'm doing. Any advice? - by sales_ace
Have you thought about what your unique benefits are?

What's diferent about your service?
How can you package the deal to the prospect in a way that shows them what it will do for them?

Even if you don't have unique benefits what is your major selling point? If you were a customer why would you be convinced to listen to a salesperson with your sales message?

When you find the best benefits, get them into your introduction.
It won't always be price. You can't always be the cheapest, but you canmake it sound like you offer the best value.

Steve C - by Steve C
Generally our products are well known for being the most expensive in the country. Our competitors offer cheaper call rates, more value for money and better phones. Our only points of differentiation are we are the biggest Australian Telco and we offer the best coverage Australia wide, however these are difficult points to sell to as most prospects are satisified enough with their current coverage and don't see a need to pay more for extra coverage they'll probably never need. Overall it's hard to sell because many are of the opinion we are too powerful therefore unethical and prone to exploitation. - by sales_ace
Generally our products are well known for being the most expensive in the country. Our competitors offer cheaper call rates, more value for money and better phones. Our only points of differentiation are we are the biggest Australian Telco and we offer the best coverage Australia wide, however these are difficult points to sell to as most prospects are satisified enough with their current coverage and don't see a need to pay more for extra coverage they'll probably never need. Overall it's hard to sell because many are of the opinion we are too powerful therefore unethical and prone to exploitation.
Hmmmm sounds like you are representing the wrong company!!thmbp2; - by PaulRushing
Generally our products are well known for being the most expensive in the country. Our competitors offer cheaper call rates, more value for money and better phones. Our only points of differentiation are we are the biggest Australian Telco and we offer the best coverage Australia wide, however these are difficult points to sell to as most prospects are satisified enough with their current coverage and don't see a need to pay more for extra coverage they'll probably never need. Overall it's hard to sell because many are of the opinion we are too powerful therefore unethical and prone to exploitation.
Oddly enough, some of the most successful companies don't necessarily provide the best services, products or even value for money. Do I have to mention a certain computer giant? Ask a cross section of designers, programmers, bloggers etc. which is the best browser, operating system, service provider and what will be the answer? Nine times out of ten, the largest company will not be the favoured system. So why are they the largest company? Because 99.9% of the rest of the customer share are persuaded by the power and marketing.

Being position no. 1, though not an easy place to be, is still a very strong position to be and all those other companies undercutting are aiming for that place. There must be a reason why your company is the largest company. If they have great brand awareness and trust then that is a great selling point. "Yes, our product is more expensive, but we are more experienced than anyone else and know what we are talking about".

I think first of all, you need to start believing in your product. Even in your last quote, you sound (if typed words have a sound?) like you already believe your competition is better. All those features that your competitors have may also have weaknesses. For example, your competitors may be able to offer better rates because they may be making less margin in an attempt to capture more of the market. They may not be able to sustain this indefinitely which is bad for the consumer in the long run.

The more positive you are, the more positive your customers will feel about what you are offering. - by nesh thompson
Sales is a transfer of feelings. That means you have to know that you know your service is the best there is and it's the best choice for the prospect. Based on what you written above you're not sold on your own opportunity. Enthusiasm = I Am Sold Myself.

Having run a number of call centers I can assure you that there is tremendous value is going with the most reliable service provider. I prefer to do business with the company that charges enough to be able to have technicians available 24/7. Not the one that has to apologize for not being able to get my circuit repaired for 3 days.

I suggest you invest the time to really learn about your product and service you offer so that you know why what you offer is better than the competition. In the process if you find out that it isn't better than go apply at the best company your research turns up.

I agree that you should read "High Probability Selling" as well as "Spin Selling".

Mike McMahon - by itsallaboutsales
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