Telemarketing scripts are aimed to help the uncomfortable get comfortable, and the poor get good. They rarely do either. Today I’m going to show you a number of telemarketing scripts, summarise them, and make one big change to that summarised set to help you get more effective at telemarketing for complex B2B selling.
Telemarketing needs a flow, not a script
I’ve reviewed practical recommendations from three sites and summarised them. I found generally that they’ve tended to be all about manipulation, trying to manage a conversation. In complex B2B, there are some really important elements going on for the buyer that the seller needs to understand and take cognizance of and build a strategy around.
I believe a telemarketing script should be a flow, not a script at all, and it’s, of course, not about selling the product, but it’s also not about selling you or the company. It’s about selling the next step, and the next step is usually an exploratory meeting. If that’s true, if genuinely the next step is an exploratory meeting, then you have to earn an exploratory meeting, which means you need to surface an issue that you’re an expert at solving. I’ll show you how to do that when we summarise these articles.
Twelve steps for building a telemarketing script for B2B
The first is from Kathy Sisk. She’s the president and founder of Kathy Sisk Enterprises. Twelve steps, I found this quite practical. Let’s skip the preamble.
- a request for time
- purpose of the call
- features and benefits
- get a reaction
- trial close
- close for an appointment, and then
- post close
Very practical steps, if a little dry.
What to not do
Telemarketing scripts, No author named. The site is Biztree. Let me give you the summary:
- My name is [xx] and I’m calling from [xx]. How are you?
- [your name], I’m calling for a very precise reason. Here at [xx] we’ve developed [xx] specifically to [xx]
- Hang up.
Understand the limitations of your telemarketer
Let’s take a look now at Bill Nassir from Phone Ware. He’s got some practical steps. It begins with a point with which I agree. Understand the limitations. Three to fifteen percent of calls will succeed. That’s confronting, but good advice. He has some specific recommendations. Write the script with the telemarketer’s experiences in mind. Good advice. Use a grid to facilitate fluidity. Again, I agree. Include five key elements or areas within the script. Ask the caller questions. Differentiate yourself. Ensure caller action. Introduce the purpose.
That’s what I can conclude from looking at others who’ve blogged about this same topic of telemarketing scripts.
A well-considered script that isn’t above your telemarketer’s pay grade
Here’s the essence of the advice from those three sites: You need to develop a well thought-out script that the caller can use. Think about why recipients say no, and craft your script to avoid no and encourage yes-type interactions. Introduce the value early. The general format recommended from these articles is an introduction, a reason for calling, how the product can help the listener, repeat key information back and conclude with a call to action.
A flow, not a script, that gets the value in early
I wasn’t thrilled with that, so I looked also at our own site to see, basically, what we’d said previously in blogs. I found an old summary from our blog there that I think still makes sense. Key from that is that you need to follow leads up quickly, and there’s some real maths around how quickly you need to follow them up. Build a working best practice framework and test hundreds of hypotheses that you can A to B test to improve that framework. Remember that the buyers normally receive more calls than you make, so they’re way better at this. Don’t try and outsmart them.
We need a flow for telemarketing scripts that allows a bit of personality, get the value in early, respects that you have some value that they may not be looking for so that you need to talk, but recognizes that they are more expert than you at this game.
Here’s my take on what we actually need telemarketing scripts to do.
A process to earn every next second
- Set up a process which you can learn from, follow, master, measure and improve
- Follow up as fast as is humanly possible
- Do your research on the individual company and caller first (Website, LinkedIn, Competitor profiles)
- Make your transition from “who the hell is this” to “I need to allow this call” as compelling and as fast as you can. Nothing matters more than this. You need to earn the right to the next 2 minutes.
- Transition from “OK, let’s talk” to “I’d like to meet” logically. Consider
– So, if that’s the case, then I’m assuming that [insert gap or its cause or its consequence] is having an impact. Tell me a little about how that’s playing out.
– I’ve seen [now state how you’ve seen that elsewhere – don’t make this up BTW] …
– Evidence your knowledge of ways to fill the gap
- Ask for an exploratory meeting
Set up a process that you can learn from, follow, master, measure, and improve. All of those elements are important. Learn from, so it’s got to be a good process already that you can follow, so it’s not too detailed. One that you can master, one that you can measure, and the measurement is obviously important, and then improve your own process.
Follow-up as fast as humanly possible. Do your research on the individual company and the caller first. Look at their website. Look at their LinkedIn profiles. Look at competitors websites and LinkedIn profiles as well. Make your transition from “Who the hell is this?” to “I need to allow this call” as compelling an as fast as you can. Simply nothing matters more than this. You need to earn the right to the next two minutes. Remember you’ve interrupted them. You need to get from that interrupt to I’m going to put up with this call, and frankly that’s all you’re going to get, but you need to get to it quickly.
Then we need to transition from, “All right. Let’s talk,” to “I’d like to meet …” That’s another big transition. You’ve got two big transitions. “Do I even accept this call?” and then, “Do I want to meet?” The second transition has to be equally compelling, logical, and quick. Consider “So this is the case and I’m assuming that …” and you can then insert your gap or it’s cause or it’s consequence is having an impact. Tell me a little about how that’s playing out. Clearly if you mention a gap that’s unlikely to play out, then you’ve done your homework badly. “I’ve seen …” Now state how you’ve seen this elsewhere and don’t make that up. Evidence of your knowledge and ways to fill the gap and then ask for an exploratory meeting.
A telemarketing script that gets the value in early
Let me try that as a script.
“John, this is Hugh Macfarlane from align.me. The reason for my call is that I saw that you’re planning for a launch of your new data integration service simultaneously in five markets. I have to imagine you’re concerned about having a plan that will work across those markets and having a whole team, marketing as well as sales, from the five regions bought into the plan.”
“I’ve got a lot of experience building multi-stakeholder go-to market plans in 20 countries and seen a few blow ups but mostly just underwhelming results. I have an idea on how to possibly help you avoid some of the more common disconnects. Can I ask you a couple of questions?”
Don’t get cute
Now that was long. You might find with testing you need it to be shorter. You might, from your own personality, need it to be different. The point that I was making with that script is that I needed to get an issue to the surface that wasn’t at the surface because the guy was doing his e-mail, was doing something else other than my call, to evidence my knowledge, but I need to earn the right to ask the questions rather than just “May I ask you?” That’s not compelling enough because they’re busy.
Cute techniques that get people nodding, I don’t disagree with, but again, it’s all about manipulation and in sophisticated B2B, manipulation rarely works. What does work is finding and then bringing to the surface an issue that they weren’t focused on that you are a world expert at and earning the right to an exploratory meeting about the conversation. That means homework and it means getting that issue on the table quickly, not about cute telemarketing scripts.
Build your telemarketing in with other tactics using your Funnel Plan
- In your Funnel Plan, map out the buyer’s journey
- Choose tactics for every stage from finding names to closing deals
- Design both the strategy and the tactics together – Sales, Marketing, Finance and Ops
- Don’t have a Funnel Plan? Get a free one at funnelplan.com
Lots more lined up for next week. Until then, may your funnel be full, and always flowing.
Our thanks to:
You for watching this week’s show
Kathy Sisk – president and founder of Kath Sisk Enterprises Inc. for “12 Steps to Successful Telemarketing Calls”
- Unnamed author from Biztree for “Telemarketing Scripts“
- Bill Nassir, author at Phoneware for “How to Write the PERFECT Outbound Telemarketing Script“
Lisbeth Peña for blog production
John Ang for video production
Hugh Macfarlane for scripting and presenting this week’s show