How to emphasise benefits not features in telemarketing calls
One of the most common things clients ask me is “how do I increase buyer interest in what I’m selling?” The answer I normally give is to make it interesting for them. A fairly pedantic answer you might say. But when I drill down I find a number of common problems with their telemarketing calls. These are not least:
- The caller pitches their products without focus on the buyer
- The telemarketer focuses on features not benefits
- The caller doesn’t understand buyer needs
- The telemarketer sounds scripted, stilted and the same as the other dozen cold callers the same day
- The are of course lots of other issues by I want to focus on the first three in this blog.
Too often, when I receive cold calls, the call starts something like.
“Hi Jonathan, this is John Smith calling from abc company. I’m just calling to introduce our products to you”.
If, (and it’s a very big IF) they get past this point, they will proceed to pitch at me. This is very poor telemarketing technique and guaranteed to stimulate buyer objections you will struggle to overcome.
First, prospects don’t want to be sold to and second they still don’t want to be sold to.
They want someone to understand their business needs and what keeps them awake at night. They want solutions not product pitches. They want buyer empathy not a list of product features
Often clients confuses features with benefits. I was with a client recently and asked them to give me a list of product benefits. They detailed the following:
- Stock availability
- Wide product range
- Range of colours
- Non slip
The problem is that these are features. We then spent some time working through what durability meant for the client i.e. longer replacement cycles which mean higher productivity, lower costs and fewer claims from staff for injuries thus reducing risk. These are the real benefits. And this should be he emphasis for the call. Likewise for the other features above, we flipped them to become genuine benefits. That way, when the caller eventually reaches a decision maker (no mean feat in large organisations) the focus of the call can now become buyer rather than seller centric.
Instead of saying “we sell superb products that are durable and ex stock” they can say that they’re working with a lot of similar companies with issues such as a need to reduce cost and claims for injury whilst mproving productivity”. If they buyer engages, they might go on to advise that ex stock delivery means clients can order fewer items more frequently and protect cash flow. Then they can advise that if these are issues for the buyer, they might have a solution but they’d love to understand how it works in their company. At this point the must move to the questioning part of the call rather than spraying the client with features like a machine gun. The idea is to stop talking and start asking.
The above at least puts the buyer and seller on the same wavelength. It avoids sounding like a telemarketer and makes it sond more like a partnership. It also helps avoid sounding like a stiff telesales script and pitch that is not going to enhance cold calling results.
The above is not foolproof. Nothing is. However, telemarketing success is driven by understanding buyer needs, by focusing on genuine benefits, by identifying decision maker pains and by looking at the call from the buyer’s perspective not the seller’s.
If you re-engineer your telesales call structure to focus on how you can alleviate buyer challenges, you are much more likely to find ways to improve telemarketing success.