Developing in-house training material – customer service and telesales

Developing in-house training material for customer service and telesales is important for you and your company if you still have restricted training budgets at the moment. The temptation is to cut costs and look for increasing ways of being self-sufficient.

You recognise that training is important – perhaps MORE important than it’s ever been, but you’ve not got money to throw at it. Perhaps you’re reading this looking for some new ideas and new material.

You will therefore be using a number of different training devices to keep the team ahead of the competition, and motivated. One to one coaching is an important part of this.�
Training has become more important this year - and will remain so into 2010
Training has become more important this year – and will remain so into 2010

Also classroom training is a valuable part of the mix. You will have some training material in-house but it can be difficult constantly finding new and relevant material.

That’s why increasing numbers of people are turning to DVD and audio CDs for additional material.
Our audio CDs cover a range of topics for the development of individuals and teams : customer service, telesales, telemarketing,PR marketing and self-development. They’re all here.
You can see the full list of categories plus the latest best sellers and pack offers at   http://www.associatedlearningsystems.co.uk/
Trainers and team managers often use these CDs to either give them more material to listen to, adapt and present themselves. Alternatively you can buy them to use as learning sessions by playing sections of the CDs to the team and asking them to complete exercises about the material – specific to your industry and organisation.
For new ideas and top tips on customer service, telemarketing and telesales Associated Learning Systems is the palce to be. Buying is easy online with credit card or your PayPal account. Prices for each CD start at just £34.99 – so just one good idea will repay your investment many times over.
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Another great book on the psychology of selling

A book I bought for holiday last year, which I thoroughly recommend is Predictable Irrationality by Dan Ariely.

It is not intended as a sales manual, but is more an insight into patterns of human (and therefore by extension customer) behaviour. As the title suggests, it explains that although we as buyers do extraordinary things and apparently act irrationally, much of it in fact is entirely predictable. How much would this benefit you as a sales person do you think ?

One tip I learned is the example of giving people 3 options. Set out 3 options and people will naturally drift towards the middle option. This gives you the opportunity to present the product or service you want them to go for (and which is realistic) as the middle option. Good stuff eh ?!

He also covers an example of comparing 3 items when two of them are similar (a luxury weekend in Paris, a ‘value’ weekend in Paris or a luxury weekend in Rome.) He talks about why a person will be likely to choose one of the Parisien weekends. But I’ll let you discover that one for yourself.

You will be able to buy this at all good bookstores, I got mine at Smiths, you can follow this link http://www.whsmith.co.uk/CatalogAndSearch/ProductDetails-Predictably+Irrational+-9780007256525.html

But happy reading and let’s make 2009 an informed year ! Knowledge is the new power !

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Think about who your telesales call is to

Empathise and think about who you’re calling and why.  When conducting telesales calls to organisations, it is important to understand your demographic, your target market. Find out when they are busy, when things go quiet. These are all things you can build on for the future.   Work hard to get your timings right, and to build a picture of when the best time is to contact them. So for instance if you’re trying to contact a school – the middle of summer is probably not a good time. Also research through use of your questioning skills, what quantities they buy, who they buy from, and what they think of their supplier. You may also want to find out what is important to them when choosing a supplier, and even what would make them change. Be bold – ask some good questions. http://www.associatedlearningsystems.co.uk/product_detail.asp?ProdID=3      Thanks to Riz for this point. She was on a course earlier this year on telesales training in Leicestershire.

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Get your customer clear – don’t assume

The following tip comes from Amy Roberts who I worked with on a telesales training course earlier this year in Leicester. She wrote ;

“One tip I would suggest – At the end of the conversation repeat back what has been discussed and what both of you need to do – Then follow it up with an email, this reduces confusion and means you both know what is expected of each other.”

This is sound advice as it helps you manage customer expectations. You both need to be clear what will happen next and when. This advice applies equally to telemarketing, telesales and customer service roles. 

There will be a CD launched soon covering the basics of professional telephone behaviour, there are also 3 audio CDs on customer service http://www.associatedlearningsystems.co.uk/product_list.asp?Section=CUSTOMER%20SERVICE%20SKILLS

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Telesales training tips

Should you go through to a decision-makers voice mail when you’re given the option ? My answer is sometimes yes, sometimes no, so you need to use your discretion. This is a topic we discuss frequently on training. If you do telesales or telemarketing and you are trying to contact a decision maker where you’re trying to follow up a quote or a document you’ve agreed to send them, then leave them a message. Because if this is part of some on-going dialogue they may just call back. 

Conversely if this is the first time you’ve tried to contact them, again they may be unaware of what you do so leave them a message. You never know they may just be interested in what you are selling or offering.

However if you’ve spoke to someone before and perhaps already left them a message I would advise against keep leaving messages. After all if they’ve not repsonded to 2 or 3 messages you’ve already left, why should they respond to the latest one ? Also if you leave too many messages and too frequently it makes you look a bit desperate ! And you certainly don’t want that do you ?! Even telesales and telemarketing personnel can have dignity !  


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