Outsourcing telemarketing is one of the smartest choices when it comes using an off-site back-office team. Unfortunately, many business owners have a misguided perception that:
“There’s no way my customers would respond to some cold caller with an accent!”
If you have ever said or thought that, I implore to consider the following:
(a) there are definitely telemarketers in every nation who speak *perfect* English, without an accent … they just might cost a bit more than the average worker, and…
(b) nearly every sales process has telemarketing / phone support roles that require significantly less skill than your top sales talent.
Combining these two caveats means that almost every business that is involved in any form of sales or marketing could benefit from a well deployed, low-cost outsourced telemarketing campaign. These efforts can almost always net new hot leads, new customers, and a nearly guaranteed positive ROI. Nearly guaranteed, that is, IF (and only if) you are using the right list and the right script.
These 10 tips are about building a better telemarketing script for your outsourced telemarketing team(s).
Building Better Telemarketing Scripts
TIP 1: Understand Your Audience
Your audience is your list. The more concise & precise you can be when building your telemarketing lead list, the better chance you’ll have to really get to know and understand your audience. The most important consideration you have is to understand your audience’s problem.
You need to know the “pain point” that your solution addresses. Ideally it is an urgent problem, so you need to understand how your audience is suffering. You need to feel their pain … You need understand how your audience feels it … You need to know how they talk about it.
You need to know this, because without this knowledge, Tips 2 – 10 are useless.
TIP 2: Craft An Irresistible Offer
You’ll only know what’s irresistible to your audience if you understand them. However, if you have taken Tip 1 under advisement, and you really & truly understand your audience’s problem … then an irresistible offer will bring them the solution. What that means is not only bringing them the solution, but presenting it in such a way that is:
- affordable (and / or profitable),
- easy to accept,
- exciting to do,
- in-demand already, and
If you can succinctly present your offer in such a way that presses all those hot buttons of persuasion, and you can unequivocally prove that the contents of your offer will solve your audience’s urgent problem, then you, my friend, have yourself an irresistible offer.
TIP 3: Build & Maintain Rapport
The worst telemarketing scripts in the world mechanically present information using language and tonality that never occurs in any situation other than on a bad telemarketing call.
Your script, and your telemarketer’s phone presence need to be true to the way people actually talk on the phone (not like some formal letter read by a robot). That means you need to speak the audience’s language. You need to be likable. Your tonality needs to be appropriate to the message you’re delivering. You need to be responsive to the audience’s needs. You need to build rapport, and you need to maintain it first and foremost.
You’ll never close a sale or generate a hot lead without rapport.
TIP 4: Articulate How You’re Unique
No matter how irresistible your offer, if the next guy in line can make the same exact offer for even just a few pennies cheaper … then you’re going to lose the sale. That’s why effective telemarketing scripts must clearly articulate what makes you, your company, your offer, or your solution unique in the marketplace.
Being unique can be as simple as adding a distinctive perk that is only available through your business. Maybe it means your offer includes a special bonus that – due to your position in the marketplace – is currently unavailable to your competition. Maybe you are unique because of some exclusive knowledge or rights that only your company possesses. Maybe you are unique because of adversity your company has overcome to get where it is today.
Whatever it is that sets you apart from the competitors (in a way that provides added value to the audience), be sure to articulate this in your script clearly, concisely, and consistently.
TIP 5: Be Consistent
One of the most frustrating and annoying sales tactics ever devised is the “bait & switch” … where one value – one offer – or one solution is espoused up-front … only to be replaced by a less appealing offering once the potential dupe is “baited” into the trap. This can be as benign as an offer that is presented in different ways at different times, or as malignant as a con artist attempting to trick the audience into paying for something other than what they’re getting.
If you have clearly understood Tips 2 – 4, you should have a very clear idea of exactly what it is you’re offering (and why it’s valuable to your audience). Your script, follow-up communications, and delivery all need to be consistent. Any inconsistencies will call into question your credibility, and ultimately result in lost sales or lower levels of client retention.
Consistency means you have honesty & integrity. Make sure your script (and subsequent communications with your audience) always accomplishes these.
TIP 6: Provide Social Proof
One of the most persuasive tools in your arsenal is social proof (basically, the idea that if they’re doing it … so should we!). If you’ve ever noticed when really successful companies are making a sales presentation, they always provide examples of their most auspicious clients. They always tell you how Microsoft, eBay, and Pizza Hut were all wise enough to choose and benefit from their solution. When we hear that those big successful companies are using a solution, our subconscious automatically assumes this means it is a good solution.
This is called social proof … and even if you don’t have Fortune 500 clients, you still have examples of successes in your past, with other clients, that you can describe & share to illustrate the effectiveness of whatever it is you do.
To give you an idea of a specific scientific study on social proof as food for thought, consider: “researchers who joined a door-to-door charity campaign … found that if a list of prior donators was longer, the next person solicited was more likely to donate as well. This trend was even more pronounced when the names on the donor list were people that the prospective donor knew, such as friends and neighbors.”
TIP 7: Back-up Your Claims
Tip 7 is about another type of proof: unquestionable proof of your claims. If your solution improves the client’s health, prove it with statistical data & independently verifiable research. If your solution makes clients money, prove it with tax returns or financial records as examples of your typical clients.
This isn’t about testimonials (but it may include them). This is about irrefutable evidence that whatever you’re saying is indeed truth. If you can prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you can definitely deliver whatever it is you’re offering in your irresistible offer, then your script will have a much better chance at overcoming objections.
The most important factor in backing-up your claims is providing hard evidence that the audience can independently verify to ensure it is unbiased and hasn’t been tampered with.
TIP 8: Plan For The Big Picture
The worst thing that can happen once you’ve crafted a brilliant telemarketing script – incorporating every other one of these 10 Tips – is to find out the effort doesn’t fit into the bigger picture. Often, your entire sales funnel will include multiple telemarketing scripts, email or direct mail templates, web pages / web forms, and even in-person interaction. They all need to be congruent, so you’ll need to plan for the big picture from the outset.
If your telemarketing script does not fit into a well crafted, step-by-step sales funnel, then it is basically worthless in context of that campaign (no matter how well written it is otherwise).
Recall Tip 5: Be Consistent. If you don’t plan for the big picture, and visualize a clear progression from the first communication to the smooth & enjoyable delivery of your solution, than your telemarketing script efforts will be falling on deaf ears. Or worse: one script that introduces inconsistency or incongruity into an otherwise effective sales process can blow the whole sale in an instant.
TIP 9: Overcome Common Objections
All too often, when drafting a script, the sales director or copy writer forgets one of the most important parts: the likely objections your audience will have.
No matter what your offer is, no matter how well you’ve presented it, no matter how persuasive your social proof, no matter how unquestionable your claim verification … at least some portion of your audience is going to have objections to what it is your telemarketer is saying that must be overcome before you can close the sale.
If you fully understand your audience’s urgent problem, and your script clearly articulates how your solution resolves it, then it should be easy to envision common objections. Make sure you include persuasive counters to common objections in your telemarketing script.
TIP 10: Track, Test, And Optimize
The most important factor of all for sustainable long-term success is good management of your campaign. That means that for your telemarketing script … you need to measure results, track them, test basic variables, and constantly optimize based on whatever tests produce the best outcomes.
Some considerations you might want to measure & track when using a telemarketing script include things like:
- Typical calls per hour
- Typical response ratio (% of cold calls that turn into warm leads)
- Conversion percentage (# of warm leads or total calls that become paying clients)
- Average time from cold call to closed sale
- Specific problem areas in the script (where leads go cold)
When you are consistently tracking this data, you will come up with some pretty interested numbers. Most importantly, you’ll be able to know whether or not what you’re doing is even working (and if it is, exactly how well it’s working).
“That which gets measured, gets managed.”
Once you’re measuring & managing the different aspects of your campaign, you’ll be able to constantly tweak & improve elements of your script (referring back to these 10 Tips, and implementing them more concisely, consistently, and persuasively) to achieve better & better results.
- ^ Cialdini, Robert B. (October 2001). “Harnessing the science of persuasion”. Harvard Business Review 79 (9): 72–79.