3 Tips to Avoid Focusing on Price When Selling Answering Service
April 27, 2017
When working with a prospect about answering service, price always comes up. But even though it often becomes the focus, it need not. In fact, price is not as important as most salespeople think when it comes to selling answering services.
Yet the conversation often gravitates to price because buyers don’t know what else to ask, prices are easy to quantify, and rates make comparisons simple. As an answering service salesperson, your job is to steer the conversation away from price and to more relevant issues.
Guide the discussion away from price by asking probing questions. Then confirm how your answering service can maintain positive items and avoid negative issues:
1) What do you like about your current answering service? Even though they are talking to you about switching answering services, don’t assume everything about their present answering service is bad. They likely appreciate several things about their present answering service. Find out what each of these items are. Then explain how you can match, or surpass, each one of those characteristics. Provide assurances that you, too, can provide these much-appreciated traits.
In some cases, however, your answering service may not be able to match an item. This may be because it’s impractical, runs counter to your answering service’s processes, or falls outside of the level of service you provide. If this occurs, address the discrepancy candidly. Explain why your answering service will not be able to match that specific element. If possible offer a superior alternative.
Then end with a reminder of all the things you can match or surpass. That way you will leave this part of the discussion with a positive final impression.
2) What do you wish your current answering service could do better? Instead of asking what they don’t like, which focuses on negative phrasing, ask what they wish their answering service could do better. This helps you gain valuable insight without putting down your competition.
Remember, whenever you talk negatively about other answering services, prospects will redirect that negativity back toward you. Keeping your words positive reflects positively on you and your answering service. Let them talk negatively if they wish, but don’t follow them when they do.
Address each item of deficiency. You will be able to improve upon many areas of concern. Make sure the prospect knows this. Some items are not feasible, such as a guarantee to have a person answer every call on the first ring and never put callers on hold. Though understandable, as a shared service this is something that is impossible to provide. Make sure your prospect knows this as well.
3) What items are important for your next answering service to provide? While the first two questions will likely uncover all key elements, this third question, essentially asks, “What else?” Again this is the time to confirm you can address these items of importance, or explain why it’s not feasible or realistic.
By this time you will have had a productive discussion to uncover what’s important to them. Now you can move the sales process forward. And finally you can chat about price. But if you’ve handled these first three questions with excellence, talking about rates will be a mere formality.
Janet Livingston is the president of Call Center Sales Pro, a premier sales and marketing service provider for the call center and telephone answering service industry. Contact Janet at email@example.com or call 800-901-7706.
Peter Lyle DeHaan is a freelance writer from Southwest Michigan and a longtime member of the TAS industry.
7 Steps to Deal with an Underperforming Answering Service Sales Rep
If an answering service has sales reps they either produce consistent sales month after month or they underperform. Too often sales reps underperform....
A Professional Billing Service Provides Added Value to Answering Services
With the right software, anyone can generate telephone answering service invoices—and get them mostly correct. Yet it takes a company with unique in...
Use an Answering Service to Back-up Your Staff
In today’s fast paced business environment we all have more to do and less time to do it. Too often something needs to give. We skip some aspects of...
Use an Answering Service to Handle Your Office Hours Calls
Most everyone knows that answering services are great at answering the phone in the evenings and weekends, but they can also answer your phone during ...
Use an Answering Service to Increase Staff Efficiency
Most people think of telephone answering services as doing things for you when you can’t do them or things you don’t want to do. This is true. How...
Don’t Let Agent Attendance Problems Drag Down Your Call Center
Attendance Issues Are Not Inevitable and They Can Be Dealt With Agent attendance problems are something too many call centers struggle with. Unlike ma...
Happy New Year!
Happy New Year! As we transition into a new year at Call Center Sales Pro, we want to wish you a successful and prosperous one. May this year be your ...
Merry Christmas! From our workplace family at Call Center Sales Pro, we want to wish you and your family a Merry Christmas. May you have a joyous holi...