Drawing up a marketing plan is mere child’s play for a marketer. In order to pursue a good marketing policy a plan is essential. This is also true for telemarketing companies. To have a successful telemarketing campaign you also need a well-thought out plan.

The telemarketing plan can be divided into several categories: background information, product information, goals, calling script and arguments.
In order to give your telemarketer a clear picture of the mission of the campaign you write down some background information about your company. This can be brought up during the telemarketing conversation and is a way of briefing the telemarketer about the points you want discussed with your potential customers. This can be a part of your company’s history or a couple of important points (your strengths).

Apart from background information about your company you also need to include the background information about the telemarketing plan in your campaign. The telemarketer needs to be fully up-to-date in order to achieve good results. You also need to answer these questions in the plan:
• Why are we having this campaign?
• What has been done before the start of the campaign? (for instance: was a mailing send?)
• What is the target group we are going to approach?
• How do we assemble contact data?
• What is the relation of the selected contact persons?

The most important thing is still missing, however: what will the telemarketer offer? Write down the offer in a short and concise way so no misunderstandings are possible in this area.
• What will one receive?
• What can be expected?
• How is the offer build?
• What are the conditions?

Something you cannot forget are the Unique Selling Points, the unique benefits of your products or services that distinguish you from the competition. It is advisable to have a look at similar products or services. If your competitors use the same USPs than they cannot be called unique anymore which makes them useless for your campaign. But it is even more important to translate these USPs to specific advantages for your potential customers. People want to be informed in a short and concise way during telemarketing conversations.

Now it is necessary to talk about your goals. Make this concrete for the telemarketer. This means that you determine a clear target concerning the number of transactions the telemarketer needs to realise per hour, day part or day. This enables your telemarketer to know how he/she needs to perform and you will quickly know whether or not your campaign is profitable. Take into account though that the target needs to be realistic. If it isn’t then this will discourage the telemarketer and chances are that your campaign won’t succeed.

To help your telemarketer with the conversation, you offer him a calling script. This serves as a guideline for a conversation and is of course not meant to literally read out loud. The script can help to structuralize the conversation which presents the telemarketer as more confident. You will see that, the more conversations he has, the less the telemarketer will use the calling script. The telemarketer receives feedback from the other party and thus rapidly sees what works and what doesn’t. It is also wise to talk about the campaign with your telemarketers on a regular basis and to adjust the calling script when necessary. The opening of a telemarketing conversation is very important. What do you want the introduction to be like? Your company probably has a certain house style the telemarketer needs to respect. Do you want the conversation to be businesslike or more personal?

Especially with business calling it is often difficult to speak with the right contact person. At most companies the calls first arrive at the telephonist who holds back a lot of conversations. It is thus important that your telemarketer appears to be confident and direct. He or she also needs to give the telephonist the impression that it does not concern a telemarketing conversation. You can help the telemarketer achieve this by including some example sentences in the script.
The next step is getting and holding the attention of the right person. You can do this by involving the other party in the conversation. By asking questions you force the other party to take part in the conversation. Your telemarketer receives valuable information that he can use in the sales process and prevents the conversation from becoming a monologue.

Another important part of your calling script is formed by arguments. In most cases it is not sufficient enough to make the offer. Even stronger, when one reacts negatively to your offer, the sales process has only just begun. The telemarketer will have to find out what stops the other party and then he can use the right argument. A good argument can convince the potential customer to buy the product after all. The telemarketer should thus listen carefully and then work with the offered sales chances. You also need to adjust arguments regularly.

Another goal you want to achieve by using your script is getting the right information. Telemarketing is an expensive way of bringing in new customers. Therefore you want to get as much results as possible from the campaign. Apart from sales you probably also want to enrich your database. Persons that have moved? Missing birth data? Or maybe you want to know how long the contract of your potential customer will be in force at your competitor? These are all questions that can be determined in the script.

A script is often used as a guidance during the conversation, but gives the telemarketer the correct handles to make the campaign a successful one.

Sander Noordzij is Project Manager at Ad Hoc Sales support, a full service telemarketing bureau in The Netherlands – www.adhoc.nl