Telemarketing has always been an effective means of communicating with clients – current or future ones. Even with the advent of certain technologies, such as social media, email, and messaging apps, there’s simply no better way to communicate with your audience than telemarketing. But are you using the right telemarketing script when you reach your prospects?
When the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) enacted the TSR, or Telemarketing Sales Rule, outbound calling took a pretty significant hit. But that doesn’t mean telemarketing is a thing of the past, on the contrary, telemarketing is still the best way to communicate.
But that communication first has to get to its intended audience. Once you’ve scaled that hurdle, the next – and most important – one is compliance.
What is Call Compliance?
If your company engages in outbound calling, call compliance is a very important facet. Because of the number of telemarketing phone calls, the FCC deemed the TSR necessary. In a nutshell, the TSR is a code of ethics that applies to all outbound dialing.
Abiding by these ethics is important to ensure you are maintaining your business’ reputation. When making outbound calls, a script is often used by sales representatives to maximize their success after reaching a client. Some tips to creating a good telemarketing script are to abide by the ethics guide lined by the FCC. This will not only keep your business out of trouble, but also increase your legitimacy to prospects. The rules of the TSR include:
Federal Telemarketing Licenses
While there’s no specific license required to engage in outbound calling, the majority of agencies that include telemarketing in their arsenal must purchase an SAN, or Subscription Account Number. This allows access to the nationwide Do Not Call registry and helps ensure your company doesn’t call the people who’ve asked not to be.
Your company is not allowed to phone potential clients before the hour of 8:00 am or after 9:00 pm in the potential clients’ time zone. The majority of states include these lists within their own form of telemarketing laws. If you wish to call someone whose number is on one of the Do Not Call lists, you must have previously obtained their consent or have a previously established business relationship.
Telemarketing Initial Disclosures
At the beginning of every outbound call, you or your agent must make certain specific disclosures. The items the caller must disclose at the beginning of the call are:
- The name of the company and the name of the person who’s calling on the company’s behalf
- The purpose of the call, which is to sell a product or service
- The nature of those goods or services
- The company’s actual phone number or physical address
Before your agent can accept payment, they must also disclose:
- The total quantity of items purchased and total cost
- Any restrictions or conditions of purchase and/or payment
- Any rights to refund or cancellation, or a lack thereof
If you’re calling regarding a specific prize or promotion, there are additional disclosures. If your agents fail to abide by these rules, you could pay some hefty fines. Because these regulations are both federal and state to state, you could owe more than $41,000 per violation to the federal government, as well as a fine of $1,500 per consumer per violation to consumers.
What is a Good Telemarketing Script?
The best way to ensure you’re compliant starts with your script. A good telemarketing script is the difference between compliance and your calls getting flagged. Even if you’re compliant, your calls can still be flagged as scam – but a good script can mean redemption.
The most important roles your script plays are to:
- Tell you what to say and when to say it to make sure you achieve key objectives
- Keep your potential client or customer engaged
- Help you sound professional and let you maintain control of the conversation
- Ensure you don’t make any mistakes in-call
It’s not hard writing a great telemarketing script, but there are key aspects of a sales script that must be included. All calls should include:
- An introduction – This is where you state your name and the name of the company you’re calling from
- Reference – If the person you’re calling is a current customer, state this; if not, state who requested you make this specific call
- Ask if you may have a moment of their time
- State the call’s purpose
- Probe – Ask the potential customer open-ended questions to discern if they are truly interested in what you’re offering. If so, continue – if not, you risk wasting your time and resources and that of the prospective client.
- If the prospect’s answers are positive, restate these answers for clarification and reinforcement
- State the benefits and features of your product or service that again reinforce how it solves the prospect’s issue or fulfills a need
- Obtain and gauge the prospect’s reaction
- If the response is positive, you should attempt now to close the sale
- Address any objections the prospect may have and attempt to overcome them
- If prospect’s answers are still positive, close the sale – if not, ask for a specific time you may call back
To close a successful sales call, thank them for their time and restate the sale or the appointment time for meeting to close the sale. Bid them a pleasant remainder of their day.
Challenges of Telemarketing
Inundated with telemarketing calls, prospects often get frustrated and may not want to even hear your pitch. Being concise and polite is a good strategy to getting through your script. In addition, the prospect you are reaching may not be looking for products or services.
Your calling list could also pose problems for sales representatives. Ensuring your lists are tailored to the product or service you are selling is important. If you are selling a product for example, you likely don’t want to be using debt collection lists to reach your prospects. Companies selling solar panels should also avoid calling renters. Calling the wrong customers for the wrong services or products could get your phone number flagged.
If your telemarketing script is too aggressive, or lacking empathy, your chances of getting your phone numbers flagged as spam are more likely as well. Optimizing your script to match your target audience is the best key to successful selling.
Some of the most common obstacles in telemarketing include:
- Fraudulent calls
- Lack of personalization
- Integrating multiple channels
- Hiring sales reps with enough experience to understand the average concerns of the consumer
- Lack of patience in the face of rejections
- Use of outdated technology
But all of these obstacles can be easily overcome by using the above suggested solutions.
Telemarketing Scripts Considerations
One factor that is often overlooked is an opt out, or back out plan. If you reach people that are clearly not interested in your service, offering a friendly disconnection section in your scripts could help to avoid making prospects angry.
Additionally, there may be instances where you might be calling out from a number that is marked as scam likely. This can raise questions from your leads which could be included in your script. Keeping this in consideration could be the difference of flipping a wary lead or losing the deal.
Outbound dialing always comes with some challenges, but a good script can help tip the odds in your favor.