by Lucy Blomfield
The President of a small business set an overall objective: to move from being a road-based sales enterprise to an office-based sales enterprise. The company's New Year's objective: 25% of its annual sales would come from the office -- from telemarketing.
The sales representatives in this small company were primarily road reps, but each one had done some selling by phone. What the business needed now was a comprehensive telemarketing plan. The sales reps worked together in teams to write this plan. They worked to: set daily and weekly goals, organize computer databases of prospects, outline prospect-to-customer procedures, write telemarketing scripts and form letters for the various types of prospects, decide samples and brochures to mail to prospects.
How many phone calls should a telemarketer make each day? Robert McHatton, in "Total Telemarketing," writes: "A telephone sales representative should make 90 - 110 or more calls per day and, depending on the product and geographic area, should make between 35 to 50 complete product presentations, or more. This is significantly more product presentations than the average traveling salesperson can handle in a 40-hour week!... A telemarketing communicator, using a prepared text to sell a single item...can make as many as 25 calls and complete as many as 15 presentations or more per hour. Because the number of calls is as apt to decrease as to increase in a six-hour shift, these statistics are based on a six-hour shift. It is recommended that telephone sales reps work three hours, have an hour break, work three hours, and then go home for the day."
The small business described above decided to set a goal of calling enough prospects in the morning to be able to send promotional literature to 25. This might necessitate calling 75 prospects to achieve this goal. Therefore, the length of time of each call will have to be monitored. Perhaps a stopwatch might be a useful tool! Realizing the importance of follow-up phoning, each afternoon will be devoted to this.
Benjamin Disraeli said: "The secret of success is constancy of purpose." It is important to have a telemarketing plan - but it is more important to follow it. The sales reps are seeing that it takes self-discipline to make effective sales calls for an entire day. Time is easily wasted doing non-productive, non-selling jobs. Martin Shafiroff writes in Successful Telephone Selling in the '90's, "...but while the weak salesperson will spend most of his time responding to interruptions, the disciplined producer will not be sidetracked...He has a game plan, and he will not deviate from it." To achieve the daily phoning goals will require prep work before and after prime phoning times. It may mean owning a car phone to handle less important telephone work while driving. It means time management. Most importantly, it is never losing sight of the overall objective - becoming an office-based sales enterprise, and meeting the assigned quotas day after day and week after week in order to achieve that objective.
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