Wednesday, September 8, 2010


Telephone selling has evolved tremendously along with technology. Outbound call centers and professional services firms are continuously growing as demands for new products and services rise up. Salespeople are constantly improving their telemarketing skills in order to stimulate customer interest and eventually make a sale.

Some telemarketers have developed bad habits to cope with the physical and mental challenges of the job. These behavioral changes include developing overly aggressive and displeasing telemarketing strategies such as lying.

Everybody is capable of lying, but for businesses, INTEGRITY is a virtue that must never be broken. In order for companies to achieve success, every single transaction should be conducted with professionalism and honesty, and this includes phone selling.

So how does one sell with Integrity? In her book Selling to Anyone Over the Phone, Renee P. Walkup (with Sandra L. McKee) gave six ideas:

• Always tell your customers the truth – that way, if you're not smart enough to remember a lie, you don't have to worry about it later! Over the phone, your customers can't see you, so they may be worried about your integrity at first anyway.

• If you don't know the answer immediately, tell your customer that you will check into it and get back to him or her by a certain time. That way, you preserve your credibility instead of guessing.

• Fact-check before quoting a price. If you give a ballpark figure on your product or service, it could possibly come back to haunt you later. You may have either overquoted, which negatively affects your credibility, or underquoted, which makes you look like a liar!

• Make sure you understand what your customer's real need is. If you don't understand the customer's specific problem or goal, you may end up trying to make a square product fit into a round hole.

• Remember that your long-term success is dependent on happy and loyal customers. Don't blow it.

• Think before you speak.

Telephone selling can be challenging, but with the right attitude, salespeople can pull it off without resorting to deception and using misleading statements. Telemarketers are considered the front-liners, so it is always best to start any phone selling campaign with genuine regard for the customer.

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