Author Archives: alvi

How to Defeat Procrastination in a Telesales Environment

When it comes to motivation (or the lack of it) on a daily and recurrent basis, I am sure that every one of us would agree that mornings quite frequently are not the best of times. Speaking for myself, even after many years of doing the job of selling over the phone, my first three or four pitches on any given day are mediocre in comparison to my overall performance. I learned over time to live with that and not to be too hard on myself. This is a pattern that somehow seems to work for me. I consider it my “warm-up” stage, almost like a prerequisite for all the professional and successful calls I make thereafter.

Procrastination is the biggest enemy of motivation and by just getting on with things I instantly feel in control again and therefore start feeling better in myself. Beat procrastination instantly as and when it crops up.

Albeit by “just doing it” I don’t refer to blind action in order to kill time and to get through my day as quick as possible, but to refer back to my plan and my goals.

You want to make 20 fresh calls each morning? Now is a good time to start.

I promise you that if you stick to your few core principles it will help tremendously to motivate you on a n ongoing basis.

Another big enemy of self-motivation is the constant need to improvise all the time.

Improvisation is a syndrome where people only react to their surrounding circumstances and their workload in order to get things done. It is the opposite of control and strategic planning.

Prime candidates for this behaviour are small business owners who feel the need to slog it out at all times, as well as many salespeople in small organisations.

Quiet often they are not only responsible for sales but also involved in marketing, client liaison and customer service. If needed they do the stock ordering too (or any other task that requires urgent attention). These people must be driven in order to get through their workload on a daily basis. Driven to the brink of exhaustion quite often. As a result, the individual error quota rises and even more manpower is needed to keep all balls up in the air.

If you can relate to this scenario you would agree that it dampens your spirit and probably does not bring out the best in you. If you are the business owner and you feel that your most demanding customers consume too much of your valuable time you have to address this. Go through your client book and you might find that 20% of your customers bring in 80% of your business. Perhaps the ratio is only 70% to 30% but its unlikely that its lower than that. Quite often the customers who bring in good business are also nice and easy to deal with. The next logical step is to concentrate on these ones in order to do more future business with them and to find new customers who are equally easy to deal with and nice.

But you can only free your time for these tasks when you firstly identify your most troublesome customers (who are often at the bottom of the pile when it comes to turnover) and eliminate them. Yes, get rid of them, tell them to buy somewhere else if they are not happy with you and your services.

If you are a salesman in such an organisation and you feel obliged to take on what your boss or colleagues throw at you, you equally have to address this. Organise a meeting with the relevant parties and let them know what your core duties as a salesperson are (sales, sales, sales) and explain to them how much time you spend on other tasks. Prepare a detailed list to illustrate how much time you spend on each task, therefore demonstrating how much time is taken away from you that you could spend on sales.

Sales is a priority for each business. Without selling there is no turnover, no cash flow and no profit. Good telesales people are usually treated with respect, and such a meeting is a great opportunity to get respect for you back on board.

If in the long run you still cannot concentrate on your telesales in order to bring in new business you will probably feel frustrated even more so. In such a case it is simply better to look out for a new job with an employer that sees and values your abilities.

Another self-motivation killer is boredom. On the one hand, it is certainly beneficial to have a routine in your daily tasks as it might make you feel more centred and secure. But with all routines there will be sooner or later the point of saturation where your secure routine becomes boring. If you let this happen your negative feelings will fester and over time you might get so bored and disinterested that you even might dread the thought of showing up to work each morning in the first place!

Don’t let that happen and do everything to make your work life happier and easier. Most salespeople I know have a quick mind and love being challenged and these versatile characteristics come often with a lack of patience. If you get bored, vary your task as much as you can. Try pitching a new product or continue to use the same old product but pitch new markets or use a new product and pitch a new market segment. I’m sure you will see what I’m trying to do and I believe the possibilities for variations are endless once you start thinking about it.

Increase Sales By Understanding That Cold Calling Goes Beyond the Telephone

Cold calling is viewed by many as calling strangers on the telephone. Having a father who was a professional sales person, his belief was that cold calling began by knocking on doors. Using the telephone was for wimps, those who couldn’t stomach the reality of face to face rejection.

Recently, I came to realize how pervasive this belief is. Part of my marketing activities includes Internet article marketing. In submitting to one site, article categories sometimes are changed by the editors. I had submitted several articles on cold calling within the category of sales and then discovered that the category had been changed to sales teleselling. Even the editors at this article directory believed that cold calling was only for the telephone.

In this age of high powered electronics from email to cell phone to landlines, sales people have become somewhat insulated from the real world. The thought of physically cold calling by knocking on a door leaves many salespeople actually sick.

However, if we accept the premise that we drive by more business than we will ever get what is keeping us from just stopping by business, knocking on the door and getting to know the person inside? Since business today is just about if not more so about relationships, then isn’t face to face a much better way to begin that relationship?

So why the fear of the face to face meetings? Probably that fear of cold calling goes back to your childhood when you were conditioned not to strangers especially if a place you were not invited.

Yet, we meet and even talk strangers all the time on the streets. We smile at them and mean even say good day to them. However when we begin to connect that stranger to an actual physical activity of cold calling suddenly our behavior changes.

Why not take a change to begin to increase sales by just stopping by someplace and see what happens. One of my clients has adopted this cold calling strategy on a weekly basis and is getting one new client every quarter. So it does work, all you have to do is give it a try.

Teleselling and Acting Like a Human who Actually Cares

If you are engaged in any type of selling career then you know that using the phone during the sales process is necessary. How you use the phone can indeed make or break the sale. These days with CRM machines, Voice Technologies and push 1 if or push 2 if automated machines, a real human voice is a plus. But not if you do not act like a human, a human that really cares that is. In Teleselling you must not only act like you are human, but Acting Like a Human who actually cares is the key.

Too many people act like order takers during the sales process the minute they get on the phone they go into rapid fire prepared sentence speech. They talk over the other person, do not hear what they said. If the client or prospect wanted that they could call the phone company, American Express or their Cell phone provider and not have to talk to the likes of you.

Would you please do your self a favor and act like a human, with real live human emotion? Emotions like empathy, caring and honest listening. And not just act like you mean it, truly caring. Because if you do the customer will respond in kind and you will be able to move the sales process forward without them hanging up on you or making an excuse to get off the line. Trust me on this in 2006.