Freelance Telemarketing to beat the Credit Crisis Pt2

Telemarketing beat credi crisis 2
In part 2, I will explain how I helped to achieve sales via telemarketing during the recession of the 1980s.  Alternatively call me on 0870 042 1263 or email me stephen@sl-freelance.co.uk.

Until the summer of 2008 many companies had been continuously expanding.  Continual growth led to a requirement for expanding work in all areas.  Purchasing departments were falling over themselves to buy in the services and products they needed as fast as possible to maintain the momentum.  The situation was pretty darned similar in the early 1980s with the rise of the Yuppy.  Likewise the party abruptly came to an end.  But it would be a mistake to think that every company ceased trading at the end of the 1980s.  So why did some fail and others succeed?  What lessons of telemarketing success can we learn from the companies who succeeded during previous economic downturns?

Everyone whipped themselves up in to a frenzy over the value of their property until 2008.  It was a question of perception taking over from reality.  The bricks and mortar simply didn’t add up to a house being worth so much.  Likewise, when everyone started to lose confidence in the banks, the perception of the market went in the opposite direction.  The key point to bear in mind, is to differentiate between what is real and what is simply rumour.  Whilst knee-jerk reactions are common place in stock trading, the perception of doom and gloom right now in the market does not necessarily reflect the ability to find new business via telemarketing.

Let’s start with some basics.  Mankind’s basic instinct is for a roof over our heads, food in our stomachs, drink to quench our thirst and for warmth when its cold.  The stock market has no bearing whatsoever on mankind’s instincts.   So are we all going to stop eating because there is a recession? Of course we won’t stop eating, but we may cut back on some of the non-essentials in life.  That’s the key point – that a lot of marketing people are failing to understand right now.  The buyers have not stopped buying, they are simply being more cautious about what they buy and when they buy it.  So what form of telemarketing approach should be applied to a cautious buyer?

Going back to my time in the 1980′s, the question of cautious buyers was on every salesman’s lips.  So how did I instigate a telemarketing campaign that worked during a recession?  The first point is to completely ignore all those around you who are gripped by panic.  Any NLP practitioner worth their salt will tell you, that you can program your brain for failure or program your brain for success.  Clear your mind of all the nonsense and you will see that buyers are still buying in virtually every market.  Stop knee-jerk reacting and looking for a quick fix, and try to put yourself in the shoes of the buyer.  Telemarketing for success involves finding what your buyers want and meeting that requirement.

So what does a cautious buyer want?  Well firstly, they want someone to buy from  who understands their caution.  Marketing logic tells us that you will never sell to everyone immediately, so you apply the same rules today that you used yesterday.  It’s all about looking for low-hanging fruit (those looking to buy shortly who have a budget) and building a pipeline (a list of those who may buy later).  More than ever, consultative telemarketing will help you to find and win new business.  In this economic climate, a cautious buyer does not want to be pressurised, they want to know that you understand their timetables.  Don’t waste your time trying to push someone too hard if they are very cautious. Gently build that relationship and diarise your callbacks and swiftly move on to the next prospect.

For telemarketing success in a recession you need to tidy up and expand your prospect database.  Don’t thrash the same people over and over again like a Mumbai Call Centre, you will simply alienate your prospects.  Add more prospects to your database and build, build, build your pipeline.  Work hard in telemarketing to find out what people want and when they want it . Be very methodical about tracking progress and follow through at the right times.

More than anything, you should take a Business Development approach to your telemarketing.   Remember to put yourself in the shoes of the buyer.  In a recession, buyers are thinking about saving money rather than spending money.  You need to examine your offering, examine your pitch and see if this needs to change.  Think carefully whether you are giving the right sales message to a cost conscious and cautious buyer?  The right telemarketing pitch will work in a recession.

I’ll go back to the 1980s again and give you an example.  The telecoms company I was working for had been selling their systems on the enhanced features.  Until the recession, buyers wanted more for their money and the additional features were very attractive.  In a recession, the buyers did not want to spend one penny unless they had to.  So I came up with a telemarketing pitch that was aimed at a cautious buyer.  After looking at the market, I noticed that the competitors were also selling on lease or rental.  I did a few sums and realised that it was possible for a prospect to buy our telecom systems in the same way but be spending far less.  The telemarketing pitch changed from selling the features first to talking about the savings first.  Within six months, the company I was working for went from the brink of bankruptcy to a roaring success.  Happy customers were swapping their old telecom systems for new ones and improving their bottom line! Telemarketing was the key to this success during a recession.

To recap, the products didn’t change, it was the mindset and the approach that changed.  Telemarketing sold in to sectors such as Finance and Legal practices that were supposedly the hardest hit by the recession.  Please don’t think it was easy – it was darned hard work.  I’m not offering any solutions here for lazy people who bumbled through the good times.  Successful telemarketing is not easy, it’s hard work – but positive results can be achieve in good times and bad times. Look at the examples I have given and interpret this to fit your business model.

If you wish to gain more business in the recession, but don’t know where to start, then why not give me a call on 01639 850 817?

Stephen Law is a Business Development expert. Over a 25 year period, Stephen worked has worked from a Foot Canvasser and Telemarketing Junior in the 1980s to an Executive Director and Company Secretary in the 1990s. Stephen's sales and marketing career spanned the IT, Communications and Technology sectors, where he was always top in his field. Stephen has also been head of Manufacturing, HR, and R&D for a number of organisations. In 2005, Stephen decided to form his own company offering Business Development via Consultative Telemarketing. Few people enjoy telemarketing as much as Stephen and fewer still understand how to communicate effectively with senior decision makers. Stephen is an Associate Partner of the No1 UK Business Development Agency and an Honorary Director at the LCDA for Business Development, where he has taught the Art of Selling at London South Bank University.

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