5 call center training tips for sales objections
5 call center training tips for sales objections
For any call centre manager, managing an outbound sales team is all about giving your agents a sense of purpose and control, even when it comes to sales objections. Let’s be honest, objections land like a lead balloon in any conversation and can impact the confidence of even the best sales agents. That’s why prepping agents to be quick and positive in response, with a call script that can adapt to any scenario, is vital. With the right call center training tips up their sleeve, agents can respond to the following 5 sales objections and handle them like a pro:
1. The instant hang up
Your agents will face this time and again. They make a call, someone answers, and before they’ve said ‘boo’ it’s an instant hang up. In this instance, drill into your team not to be disheartened. A hang up is still not a clear-cut ‘no’. It could mean a number of things – in the middle of something, at work, on another call, shopping, driving – the list goes on, and given this there’s every reason to try again. Test another day and time to see if it generates a different result.
With contact centre software you can schedule it into a shared calendar to be automatically dialled through to an agent who’s at work on the given day and time. It’s worth chasing up a few times. And you never know, perhaps the next time they’ll pick up, show interest and convert to a sale.
2. “I don’t have time”
Ok, so your agents have managed to introduce themselves with a personal and powerful script and yet respondents automatically respond ‘I don’t have time’. Training your agents to walk this knife-edge, between a potential hang-up or call back, is important here.
Any time-related response indicates a hint or irritation waiting to either explode. Agents need to tread lightly. The sense is that the automatic sceptic has come out; they’ve made up their mind and could be close to hanging up.
To prevent this from happening, agents need to respond quickly, positively and with a sense of purpose. A good response is to say ‘Of course, what’s a good time to call you back for a 5 minute conversation?’ Keep the conversation short and direct. This will help the respondent feel in control and may be enough for them to say ‘yeah sure, call me tomorrow’. A win for your agents and the call center training tips they use.
3. “Send it in an email”
This could mean many things – they don’t have time, not interested, slightly interested – although more often than not it’s a soft way of saying ‘no thankyou’, or something less polite, to get out of the call. This kind of objection, however, still leaves a door open to test for a different reaction once they’ve been given more information. And sending an email is only the first step to keeping the communication lines open.
The potential for an email to be ignored is high, so agents need to organise a call back after the email is sent. Something like ‘Yes I can send this to you. I’ll give you a call back tomorrow to see what you think’ is a good start to open up the conversation and negotiate a time and day to call the lead back.
This email send-out and call back can then be rescheduled into a cloud-based calendar, and handled personally by the agent the next time they’re at work, so there is continuity in who they’re talking to. Also make sure the email is short, concise and with a strong ‘Call to Action’ and contact number at the footer, making it easy for them to call back.
4. “Call me another time”
This is one step closer to capturing their interest, although they are still sitting on the fence and could go either way. Again, an agent’s response needs to be clear and definitive, with a time and day to call them back.
If they’re at work, on public transport, with a crying baby, in any context where it’s clear they’re inconvenienced, agents need to be swift in organising a call back time. Dithering has the potential to turn a lead off in an instant and to become an instant hang-up – and there is no coming back from this end.
A good quick thing to say would be ‘Of course, I’ll give you a call back this afternoon. Does 6pm sound good?’ And ensure the same agent calls back at 6pm to add trust to the relationship being built.
If they don’t answer this time round, call again on the same day scheduled, but no more than 2-3 times in one day. You don’t want your lead to feel like they’re being harassed with 10 miscalls on their call list.
If still no success, reschedule it for the following day while the lead is still hot, and again over the coming week if still no answer. Again you never know, they may pick up and move one step closer to a conversion. After several tries and no answer then it’s time to move on. The ability to let go and not waste time and money on dead leads is something you should also add to your call center training tips.
5. “I’m not interested”
This is a hard one, and the temptation for agents to give up straight away is high. However, there still is opportunity to test out what this means. Usually a definite ‘no’ is when they say ‘I’m not interested’ and instantly hang-up. If they pause, however, and wait for a response, this is a chance to test out what this means. Are they not interested because they’ve been called at the wrong time? Need information in a different way? Have had a bad experience in the past? To find out (without literally asking these questions) agents can combine several suggestions into one clear response, such as. ‘Ok, we have some great offers, is there be a better time to call? I can also email this information to you?’ Giving more information without sounding pushy might be enough to spark their interest and let you call or email them back.
Call center training tips long-term
So as you can see, with all these sales objections, there is still opportunity to turn rejection into an opportunity using the right call center training tips.
Your agents need to feel that with every call a conversion is just around the corner. This will keep them motivated and engaged from one call to the next, irrespective of the initial response; where rejection is seen as a challenge to test, probe and find the right time and call scripting to appeal to a lead’s interests.
Flexible call scripting ingrained with these call center training tips is important here, ready for any situation, and over time agents will also will develop a deep instinct on how to handle every respondent – from the polite to the downright rude – and make every outbound call count.
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Image via Flickr CC/Erich Ferdinand