Predictive Dialer Featured Article

13 Key Fundamentals to Listening and Closing the Sale

Listening is the key to talking your prospect into a sale. There is an old axiom among professional salespeople: "You can't begin to sell until the customer raises an objection". Don't call them objections, but opportunities to close the sale.
In overcoming objections (opportunities to close the sale), you must remember that every prospect is different. The prospect's thinking is based upon his or her wants, fears, needs, and desires.
No two people are exactly alike and no two prospects will ever react or respond the same way to identical suggestions. The successful salesperson develops closing techniques to direct the prospect's thoughts and actions.
He or she does this skillfully, by asking questions and overcoming objections, and also by listening.
The professional telemarketer makes the most of his or her listening ability to reach peak levels. If you don't hear the objections you cannot overcome them.
If you don't hear what the customer is saying you might forget to write up the order. What the customer is saying is on many different levels; inflections and voice tones. The best headsets allow you to hear what the customer is saying.
Listening is a primary key to success in telemarketing. Your goal is to become a great listener. Lee Dubois considered the consummate sales skills training company, Lee Dubois' client list reads like a "Who's Who" of America's great sales organizations, coined the phrase “Mr. Big Ears”. The customer wants to hear what you are selling. Are you listening to what is being said?
The following is a list of 13 key fundamentals to start your listening training:
1. Prepare.
You must free your mind for listening. Make sure you have your presentation prepared in advance, with your objections’, features, benefits, and advantages thought out before you make your call. Every call is a listening test.
2. Think like the customer.
You must learn to see things through the eyes of your prospect. Don't talk "at" them, talk "to" them. The best salespeople talk to them like their in their own family, brother, sister etc. Be friendly-- no pressure, remember they want to hear about what you’re selling… Mr. Big Ears!
3. Limit and control how much talking you do.
Keep asking yourself to "shut up" and take the order. Sometimes silence can be golden. Too much talking can "unsell" many orders. Ask for the close, then SHUT UP, no matter how hard it is, don’t say anything—nada--nothing. This may be the most difficult of all concepts to grasp. Listen and shut-up. Try this concept the next time your at a flea market, make your low offer then shut up, keep staring at the guy with you hmmm, wha?, hmm look until he lowers his price to your offer. Got it ?-- Silence is Golden!
4. Listen for ideas and concepts, not just words.
Always think in terms of the total picture. Get the big picture and any opportunity to close the sale. Listen for breathing, tones etc.
5. Concentrate.
Focus your attention on every word your prospect says, or doesn't say. Don't let any other distractions or your own talking let you miss a customer's responses, replies, etc. If there are distractions then get them fixed!
6. Learn to love pauses.
Never interrupt customers when they are trying to say yes. Allow long pauses so customers can continue. Many times it does not mean they are through talking.
7. Ask questions.
Keep the prospects involved, and use questions to lead and qualify them. Keep your customers on track; if they get off the track gently get them back on. Picture it like a train on the track, if a train is off the track, it can’t make it to the station--the station is the successful close.
8. Take notes.
Learn your own form of shorthand or chicken scratch. You may make or take over 100 calls a day, and no memory can keep up, so keep notes on every call, every response, and every objection. These little details can be the answers you might be looking to review later. Take 30 seconds after each call to jot down the most important concepts. Did you write them down on index cards too?
9. Repeat questions, statements.
Get your prospects to go into detail on all objections (opportunities to close the sale), so you can learn their real motivation and stimulus, as well as gain understanding and knowledge about how you must best pursue them. Use what they say to best sell them. Turn it around into a benefit.
10. Keep it cool. Don't ever get angry.
Use your head and let the hard stuff pass by you. Be professional and listen to the negatives-- learn by them. They are actually waiting for you to end the call.
11. Don't jump to any conclusions.
Never assume anything. Don't answer sentences for your prospects because you really aren't a mind reader.
My favorite Assumption quotes:
Assumptions allow the best in life to pass you by - John Sales
If we all worked on the assumption that what is accepted as true is really true, there would be little hope of advance - Orville Wright
We have no right to assume that any physical laws exist, or if they have existed up until now, that they will continue to exist in a similar manner in the future - Max Planck
I celebrate myself, and what I assume you shall assume, for every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you - Walt Whitman
The most famous assumption quote of all time: Never assume, for it makes an ASS out of U and ME - Unknown
12. Let the customer know you are still there.
Use occasional "uh-huh's" and "yes's" to let the customer know you are listening to his or her voice. This will relax your prospect and allow them to continue.
13. Practice.
Listening is a skill, just like riding a bicycle. It takes practice to become proficient.
Sales trainers historically have taught that the secret to successful selling lies in overcoming objections. Trainers in telemarketing have learned that to be successful in telephone sales it takes a very specialized mastering of voice skills, preplanning, and overcoming objections.
Once again every industry has its own particular common objections to overcome (opportunities to close the sale). You can teach anyone how to sell successfully if they have or learn the basic instincts of salesmanship.
Just remember there are only a handful of objections. Find out what they are and use them for developing your plan of attack.
If you have a great product, love your product and know it well. You should be able to present it to a wide audience. This audience will be your best learning example-- listen to them, take notes and go on to the next one if objections are getting the best of you. Modify and try different pitches and price points! Test, modify, Test, modify and repeat.
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What Are Related Definitions You Should Know?

Related definitions that you should know as you increase your understanding of predictive dialers include:

Dialer: generic term for any computer-driven device that places outbound calls and connects the answered calls to an agent or operator.

Agent: telephone professional to whom a predictive dialer sends the ready call.

Predictive Dialer: Predictive dialing was introduced for the purpose of increasing efficiency within calling centers. They are computer based system that automatically dial groups of telephone numbers, and then passes live calls to available agents. The SpitFire Enterprise dialer utilizes sophisticated algorithms to speed up and slow down the call rate based on, number of available agents, number of available lines, the campaign’s average call time and other statistical information.

Quick Connect: Quick Connect allows your agents to log in one-to-one with a phone line. This option is great for B2B purposes, especially when your agent needs to be on the phone line through the entire call.

Fixed Dialing: Fixed Dialing gives your call center manager the power to manually set the volume of calls. The software will then automatically dial a predetermined number of lines per agent. Fixed dialing is ideal for political campaigns, charity campaigns, and other situations drop call ratios are not a factor.

Auto dialer: makes thousands of calls screening for busy signals, no answers, fax machines while detecting answering machines/voicemail and delivers pre-recorded messages. SpitFireX Auto Dialer is a low cost solution for voice broadcasting.

How Do Predictive Dialers Work?

Predictive dialers use complex mathematical algorithms that calculate, in real time:

  1. the number of available agents
  2. the number of phone lines available
  3. the probability of reaching a human being at a specific number
  4. the time between calls required for optimum agent efficiency
  5. the length of typical agent/customer or
    debtor conversations
  6. the average length of time agents require to wrap up after a call

SpitFire Enterprise Predictive SEP is a fully blended call center solution that supports unlimited lines, agents, and campaigns. Its greatest strength is in its flexibility: multiple campaigns can be set up, viewed, and changed with the click of a button. With easy options for customization, data and dispositions can be catered to each campaign. In addition to our user-friendly interface, SEPhighlights full customer data and combines multiple campaigns on one screen. All the information your agents need is accessible at a glance, freeing their energy to focus on what matters: the calls.

Keep It Simple with SpitFire Fully Integrated Call Center Software

Our greatest priority is making your call center run smoothly, and we do that by developing software that is intuitive and easily integrated with your current systems. SEP works seamlessly with most CRM applications and long distance carriers, making it the simplest and most cost-effective solution for your call center.

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Benefits of Using a Predictive Dialer

  1. Manages the process of dialing tens of thousands of calls or tens of millions of calls in its lifetime.
  2. Detects the result of the call, as an example: no answer, busy, fax, bad number, answering machine without any presence of human expertise. Consequently saving time by only transferring calls which are voice connects to the agents locally or remotely.
  3. Using predictive dialer increases the productivity of the company by drastically increasing the time agents spend on the phone talking to actual customers or prospective clients.
  4. Predictive dialer users get the ability to organize and better manage the client information, no lost notes scribbled on pieces of paper. The database used by the dialer organizes the calling structure.
  5. The most significant task done by the predictive dialer is to predict, which means always making an effort to get a live call to the available agent with the shortest amount of wait time. This is achieved by self learning algorithms within the predictive dialer to increase or decrease the dial ratio per agent, logged into the system.
  6. Inbound call can be better dealt with by allowing the customers to wait on hold in an IVR system, or a way to leave a message they'd like a callback while the agent is busy talking with other customers.
  7. Most important benefit of a predictive dialer is it reduces expenses for your company over a period of time since you do not need to buy and deploy a complex and sometimes extremely expensive PBX system. Your company will experience return of investment (ROI) in a period of six to twelve months.
  8. A predictive dialing system can effortlessly fit into your companies existing infrastructure since it is software controlled.
  9. The call routing logic and the contact management is all included in one software package. Your call routing logic implemented as per your specifications. Since it is a software package it can easily be upgraded even if you are located remotely with the help of internet.
  10. Provides an added cost effective method of managing the client database by giving the user of the predictive system ability to rework your database on previous call results.

    1. only redial records which were busy, no answers and answering machines
    2. Delete records which are bad numbers, disconnected numbers or operator intercepts
  11. Do a real time look up against the do not call database saving the predictive dialer user from accidentally calling people who have enrolled in the do National not call registry. This saves the company from lawsuits and others risks conforming to all legal statutes and FCC complaints.
  12. Provides progressive dialing capabilities like call blending which means handling inbound and outbound call at the same time.
  13. Provides ability to integrate call recording devices and call monitoring interfaces which helps call center supervisors to train agents and users and improve their customer support skills.
  14. Easy to setup and learn the predictive dialer logic and software tools.

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