B2B telemarketing relies on some important tools to be successful. As an outsource agency, Blue Donkey has two key success factors that must be front of mind every minute of every day. These factors are efficiency and effectiveness. In other words, like any other telemarketing agency, our work has got to deliver value for each hour (efficiency), and for every penny, we have to demonstrate that we’ve achieved something useful (effectiveness). Understanding how and when to close is, therefore, one of those important tools that have to be mastered in a project, pretty much from the get-go. But how do we know which close to use, and when to use it? Read on to find out more.
No dogs allowed
These days, classic closing techniques like ‘the puppy dog’, ‘good cop, bad cop’ and ‘impending doom’ are irrelevant in B2B telemarketing. Decision makers can see through them and will no doubt feel irritated or frustrated that the telemarketer has tried to manipulate them. Instead, we propose that the professional telemarketing approach is to lose the tricks or gimmicks and slowly manoeuvre the call to its natural conclusion. If you ask the right questions, listen carefully to the answers, cascade your message in a way that it generates lots of ‘yes’ type noises, and perhaps use a ‘test close’ first to gain agreement, for example ‘that sounds like it could be useful to you’ and then close depending on the outcome… ‘can I have someone come and show you…’
By testing the prospect’s understanding, and gently gaining commitment based on what they have told you, you’ll go a long way to winning trust. After all the best business relationships start with a warm connection between two people. Where the trial close suggests the buyer isn’t ready, choose instead to ask if you can speak again at a certain time to take things further.
Messaging is important in B2B telemarketing because our buyers are time-poor. So rather than rushing ham-fistedly through a call and then trying to close, telemarketers must instead do a good job of engaging the decision maker, describing the benefits and proof points compellingly. Telemarketers who are proud of the product or service they’re promoting can handle objections well and are able to create rapport with decision makers. They shouldn’t have to use tired prescribed closes at the end of a call. Managers who provide telemarketers high-quality training in effective telemarketing and communication techniques will find their team is more than capable of bringing a call to a satisfactory conclusion without a puppy dog in sight. Business benefits, unlike features of a product or service, actually tell the buyer what they will get from adopting something, for example, X is a 25% tougher disk than its nearest rival (that’s the feature) so your production efficiency will be improved by a quarter (the benefit). The right questions and benefits will counteract any need for closing techniques.
Do remember to close
So often in B2B telemarketing, the telemarketer or salesperson has engaged the buyer in a good and productive discussion, communicated some fabulous benefits, uncovered needs, answered objections, the call seems to have reached a natural conclusion that indicates the buyer is interested and then nothing! Nada! Niente! Fear of asking for the meeting or sale is remarkably common. Sometimes you just have to pull on your big-girl-pants and ask ‘that’s great, can I come and see you?’
A good way to finish a B2B telemarketing call is to sum up all the points you’ve covered in your conversation. Use this as an opportunity to repeat any concerns or objections the decision maker has raised and the solutions you’ve come up with to overcome them. Reiterate how the service you’re offering can make their life easier and demonstrate that you’ve listened to the points they’ve raised during the conversation. Tell them what happens next, and importantly, what you propose to do with their data. Ask if there is anyone else in the organisation that you can speak with so you can grow your sales base and understanding, especially with large companies that have lots of similar or autonomous decision makers.
Improving communication skills and learning effective B2B telemarketing techniques can help to improve the quality of the calls you and your team make. Find out more by taking a look around our site, or by getting in touch with a member of our team.