Many books have been written on creating calling scripts for telemarketing services. Many of those books address some of the multiple scenarios that I listed above, but these scenarios only begin to scratch the surface. I am not going to do that. What I am going to do is share with you five of the top things to remember when working to create a successful B2B telemarketing script.
1. 30 seconds to buy a minute
In B2B Telemarketing, you are typically calling someone that is not expecting your call. Even if you are not prospecting and you are calling a current customer to renew a subscription, it's not like that customer is sitting by the phone eagerly awaiting your call. You are calling someone at work, while they are presumably trying to do their job.
I feel like most people are like me, in that I don't want to be unnecessarily distracted while working. Perhaps I am wrong in that, but I don't think I am. So if that is the case, you have a very short window to capture a person's attention in any meaningful way. The golden rule is that, “you have 30 seconds to buy the next minute of a person's time”. Do Not Waste It.
The first and most common mistake in a B2B Telemarketing script is having the agent ask, “How are you today?” The thought from managers that insert this into a script and also for agents that like to utilize it is that it helps to build some rapport. No, it doesn't. It has the opposite effect. If I don't know you, don't ask me how I am. At best, my eyes will roll right out of my skull. You don't care how I am. I don't care how you are. We don't know each other. It's disingenuous. And as a result, you have wasted 20 seconds of your 30 seconds to capture my attention in a meaningful way. At worst you have captured my attention, but in a negative way and you have no time to turn this into a call that is productive for anyone.
2. Don't Monologue
You have a product to sell and you have to explain the concept, capture the imagination, give five reasons why this person needs the product, and don't forget that special promotional offer. Before you know it, your script is seeping onto a second page in block-like format in 11-point font.
If you want to put someone into a coma, that is the recipe. People don't like to be “talked at” and don't tend to respond favorably when they get the impression someone is just reading a script to them. You have to break it up, build in some engagement and consultative questions when appropriate. It's less about building a “script” and more about building an “agent-controlled conversation”.
It's important to note that engagement and consultative based questions in your script doesn't mean you have to sacrifice structure. It's not a binary situation, you can build a script that allows your agents to create engagement without sacrificing structure. Create a compelling introduction that leads into an engaging question. Let the customer's response dictate where the script should go next, but plan for the likely positive or negative response accordingly.
3. Understand the Players
This point is two-fold. First of all, you have to realize that not every B2B Telemarketing script can be executed in exactly the same manner by each person. In an ideal world, that is true, but it's far from the case all of the time. Certain agents are going to pull off a conversational script better than others. Those exact same agents may struggle if you ask them to follow a script verbatim. And vice versa. Hopefully you are in a position to tailor your team around the needs and message of the program. If not you need to carefully consider your approach and if the team you have can execute it.
Additionally, you have to consider your audience. Is your message going to resonate with whom you are attempting to reach? Is the offer compelling to that person? Are you selling a product that solves a problem for the prospect? Is it affordable? This is where quality assurance is key. A good QA department is just not focused on the individual they are listening to, but also listening to see what is resonating with the target market. Heck, do you have the correct market targeted? There are several questions you need to truly understand about your audience when creating a script and those things need to continue to be monitored after a script is in motion.
4. Call to Action
In many cases I would refer to this as “asking for the sale”, however depending on the objective of the script perhaps that isn't the exact call to action. This is probably the biggest no brainer on the list, but one that is still one of the most common coaching areas for agents, and in turn sometimes this issue has more to do with ensuring you have a proper call to action in the script itself. I can't tell you how many beautiful, spotless, amazing presentations I have heard over the years that ended up being for naught due to simply not asking for the sale. Things get weird, and a little awkward. It's like asking a girl to the dance and she knows it's coming, except you don't ask because you are afraid, so she never responds, and you both end up disappointed. It's pretty simple, you won't get a yes if you don't ask!
5. Test It!
It's rare to create the perfect script right out of the gate. You have to carefully listen to how the message is resonating, see what people are responding to and what they aren't. Adjust accordingly. Also, when you have found that perfect script, don't be fooled into thinking that it will be perfect forever. Your audience will likely change over time, and a periodic review is essential.
Nathan Teahon is the Vice President at Quality Contact Solutions, a leading outsourced telemarketing services organization. As a highly competitive person, Nathan brings his &A& game to work every day, ensuring that each of his clients wins on a daily basis. Nathan carefully balances the operations resources and client goals to ensure his clients receive the highest possible results at the lowest cost. Nathan is a true, born and bred telemarketer. He grew up in the business and intimately knows (and has played) every position on the field, including supervisor, quality assurance, call center manager, program management, account management, and call center psychologist. Nathan can be reached at Nathan.firstname.lastname@example.org or 516-656-5133.