Beginner’s guide to telemarketing for small businesses

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A telemarketing campaign can be a powerful way of winning new customers and growing existing business, but targeting the right individuals is vital. We know that time is precious for home and small business owners, so we’ve compiled a beginners’ guide to telemarketing.
Before you pick up the phone, these seven tips will help you decide who to call, when to call and how to talk to your customers and prospective customers.

Get the right data

Having clean, up-to-date, relevant data is really important because it saves you time, so when you make a call you’re reaching the right people. When calling prospects, there are dozens of companies who sell data lists to give you a head start. When contacting them, know what you want and be specific. If a provider can’t give you the exact data you need, keep searching.

Plan your call

Make notes for yourself before each call. Who are you calling? What do you want to achieve from the call? What is the key message you want to get across? How do you want to end the call? By having a simple outline prepared, you’ll stay focused and feel more confident.

Ask the right questions

Asking open questions encourages a dialogue with your customer or prospect and this will help you to identify what their specific wants are. The more you know about them, the better placed you are to meet their needs and either win their business or retain it for the long term.

Smile when you talk

As a small business owner, you’re the best person to talk about the service or product you’re offering, so be confident and smile. First impressions are lasting, whether face-to-face or over the phone. Smiling automatically makes your voice sound warmer and more confident. If you believe in your business, others will too.

Keep your promises

An obvious one perhaps, but without face-to-face contact, all your customer or prospect has to go on is your voice and your word. If you arrange a follow-up call with someone for 3pm on Saturday, make sure you call on time and leave a voicemail if they don’t answer with details of how they can contact you.

Give it time and resources

When it comes to telemarketing, it’s a numbers game. The more people you call, the more often you’ll get a positive result. But it can be time-consuming. The good thing is you can do it all at once, so you could set aside a few days of your time or recruit a temporary telemarketer to support you. Thankfully, all these calls don’t have to cost you a fortune. If you change your fixed-line phone system to a VoIP phone, you could save money on calls without any need for installation or a long-term contract.

Do your homework

Unsolicited calling is a skill, so create the best possible chance of success by researching popular call times, such as early mornings before business starts officially. Try using a time management app to arrange specific cold calling slots for yourself at the times best suited to you. See our guide to ten great apps for small business for more information.

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