By Susan J. Campbell, TMCnet Contributing Editor
Change doesn’t come easy. There’s a reason why the status quo has staying power – people like the way things have always been because it’s comfortable, they know it and there are few surprises. But that doesn’t mean it’s good for business.
When it comes to sales, anything that can help drive more revenue and improve the bottom line is good for business. If telemarketing is the focus, the introduction of telemarketing software, for instance, could help improve the bottom line. In order to get leadership to give it a try, however, there has to be a convincing argument.
The art of influencing people is not a gift that everyone has. Sure, it would be great if all of your telemarketing agents possessed this gift, as their numbers would greatly increase. You implement telemarketing software and increase the focus on people skills to make up the gap and hope this strategy produces the kind of results you need to be successful.
If a sit-back-and-wait strategy is your primary focus, you may not need to keep reading. You don’t have a reason to convince leadership of change as you’re happy with the way things have always been. But if your telemarketing software will only get you halfway, and it’s time to focus on influencing your leaders for change, there are few tips that may help you in the process.
A recent Inc. piece offered the best ways to influence leaders when you want to affect change within your organization. The good news is this information can be used elsewhere. Let’s take a look at some of their suggestions and how, when paired with telemarketing software, you may be able to use these tips in your calling activities as well.
Match Needs – one thing people tend to forget when they want to influence another person is that person may not have the same needs. Just because you offer something great, that doesn’t mean it solves a problem or matches a want for the other person. Instead, you have to be diligent in the process and make sure needs match. That means setting clear objectives for your pitch, demonstrating why your suggestions matches the leader’s agenda and continue to focus on the big picture. Doing it this way, you’re much more likely to be heard.
Keep the Sales Subtle – while people do want to be sold to, it only works when they have a need and you’re meeting the need. Therefore, you have to keep the “sales” part of it very subtle. Know the audience and plan key messages accordingly. It never hurts to get group influencers on board before meeting with a larger group. And, demonstrate the need and the solution with a story. Don’t forget to include evidence that will bolster the case and back it up with past situations of success.
Ready Your Defense – even the best arguments will have detractors, so you have to be ready to defend your position. Objectives are normal reactions to change, so you have to be ready to overcome them, taking away their power. Just be sure to demonstrate how your plan benefits the company, answer the tough questions with solid answers and stand by your convictions. In doing so, you’ll not only make a stronger point, you’ll also earn greater respect.
It’s not a fool-proof plan, but using these three tips can help you prepare and present a better argument to affect change and hopefully close your biggest customers. In doing so, you’ll gain more confidence to continue on the path of constant improvement.
Edited by Alicia Young