Goodness, if only it was possible to predict when you’re going to be most effective. Unfortunately, I don’t think there is a perfect time for anything – let alone a such a call!
I’ve just agreed to take part in completing a telephone survey for a council who want feedback on their services to businesses. I thought it would be a good opportunity to see if I liked this type of work so I can decide whether I wanted to include it in my skills set as a virtual assistant.
Before I started my calls, I did my research, practised the sales pitch, checked the software worked and then I bravely picked up the phone. Only to find people didn’t really have time to speak to me. I was getting paid on a commission basis so this began to bother me a little. So the next thing I did was researched the best way to get people to stay on the line long enough to complete the survey.
I thought I’d document my research and keep it in a handy-to-read blog where other interested parties can share my findings. Different survey’s had conflicting results so it will differ for people and whether you are completely cold calling or are they lukewarm leads. The best way I found was to keep track of my own success rates so I knew what to repeat to see if it worked again.
I started this task on Monday and I was keen to just get started – I am quite a focused person and if I have a target to achieve then I just want to get on with it. I clearly didn’t ring a prospect at 9am on the dot on Monday morning. I thought about how I would feel if I got such a call and knew this was unlikely to be a successful use of my time. I find it always pays to put yourself in the other person’s shoes to see how you’d react… it’s not perfect but it is a good barometer. So when I found this graphic below and it said that Monday’s were not necessarily the best day I kind of gave myself a break! That, and a pat on the back that’s I’d made my first few calls and had already honed my script to be most effective for me.
My research also indicated that no-one has 100% hit rate and you should not be put off by rejection – you shouldn’t obsess over people not wanting to participate. I mean how many times have you said you don’t have time for that right now? Below are some top tips I’ve picked up or gleaned from my research.
Katrina’s top tips:
- Know your product as well as you can so when people ask why you’re ringing you don’t have to fumble through the script but you have a go-to answer.
- Know your client – know who you are ringing / how to pronounce their name.
- Visualise the paths the conversation could go down and rehearse the options available to keep them engaged – this might be scheduling a call at a more convenient time so have your calendar open!
- Listen to your client – if they don’t have time to speak to you now, don’t plough on with your script and ignore them. Offer a solution that still keeps them engaged with you.
- Keep your voice at an even, natural tone – sometimes people reading from a script sound unnaturally high and happy but this just raises sales call alarm bells for some business. Be as natural as possible.
If you have experience in this area – are there any top tips you can pass on?