One of the hardest things to do in Telesales is get through to the decision maker. Call Screening is designed to stop you. If you can’t speak to the right person, you’re finished before you even start.
Many salespeople are oblivious to the purpose of a call screener and view the individual as a greeter of some sort. If you are calling a customer that you do business with on an ongoing basis, the screener may know your relationship and may help you get through. If you are making a cold call, they’ll try to stop you!
The job of a call screener is to decide if you are going to waste the time of the person you’re trying to contact. They will try to get information which will help them decide where to direct your call. If the screener can’t redirect your call, they’ll try to get enough information to judge whether or not to ask the decision maker if they want to take your call, or they will decide not to put you through at all.
In the case of Cold Calling or any other selling skills, there are some rules you need to know, understand, and follow, and what I’m saying now is the mother of all sales tips and it is especially true of Telesales.
Never Sell To Call Screeners
This is a huge no no! I have listened to salespeople pitch the receptionist believing that the receptionist will be some kind of champion of their cause.
To begin with, this person cannot buy anything from you, the only possible decision they can make is a no, N O ! If you already know the outcome will be no, why even go there!
If by some rare stroke of luck you happen to turn-on the screener with your idea and they do approach their boss, what assurance do you have they will present the product or service on offer correctly. None.
You are the best person to deliver a presentation to the decision maker, not the executive assistant, personal assistant or call screener. They won’t care about the outcome or be complete; how could they.
Let’s assume you sell sanitation supplies over the phone. You cold call people responsible for purchasing such items anytime you have a new product launch or a special introductory offer as a way to build new customers.
Let’s say you try to get a certain purchasing agent on the phone and the call screener keeps asking you what the call is about. Frustrated you finally tell the screener you have a revolutionary new garbage bag that is twice as strong and half the cost of any other industrial garbage bag on the market. And not only that – depending on the volume of garbage bags they order, they could possibly qualify for deeper discounts!
So the call screener takes your phone number and says if they are interested Mr. Purchasing Agent will call you. After you hang up this person asks the boss if he wants to buy any garbage bags which he responds no – he already has a reliable garbage bag supplier. End of story!
Was that worth your effort? Definitely not! Did Mr. Purchasing Agent know what he turned down? No! In this instance, everyone lost. No sale for you and no cost saving for them.
You must get the decision maker on the phone, no one else will sell your products or services like you do. There is nothing more important in Telesales, or any other sales for that matter. Talk to people who can give you an order.
Call Screening is a fact of life and it’s your job to get past that obstacle. I will be talking more about how to get around the dreaded call screener in another post.
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