How to be a better sales person?

Canada
September 22, 2009 1:58pm CST
Hey everyone, I work at a call center that is sponsored by my University. The goal is to call Alumni and ask for donations towards certain funds at our school (ie. Bursary and Scholarship funds), as the provincial Government no longer provides any funding for bursaries or scholarships. The script they have me using has 3 asks - first for $100, then $50, then $25. And if they still don't want to donate back to the school - we ask for ANY donation, as it truly does help. I'm having trouble trying to get people to donate (this is over the phone if you didn't catch that) as I feel like people are put off by the initial ask of $100. Do you have any tips that I could use to help increase the amount of donations I receive every time I work? Any help is greatly appreciated.
2 people like this
11 responses
@saralee1 (1983)
• United States
22 Sep 09
You my friend, are the accidental salesperson. We don't grow up to become salespeople, we want to grow up and become Doctors, Lawyers, and maybe even ballerinas, but who says they want to be a salesperson? or (sigh) a telemarketer? so, you are a telemarketer. now, your sales are about numbers. needless to say, you will be lucky to get between 3-5 hits a day, that would make you good. but, the secret is numbers, and using your gutt instinct to know when a call is going nowhere. then, you have to get off the phone, and try the next, and the next and so on. it's a hard job. but somebody has got to do it, and I guess that somebody is you! :) so, call as many numbers as you can, and play off of sympathy. you need alumni who want to see their teams win! good luck.
• Canada
22 Sep 09
I didn't say I wanted to be a salesperson - it's a part time job so I can have money to pay for living and rent while I'm at school haha. Thanks for the advice though.
@sulsisels (1685)
• United States
23 Sep 09
I have some experience telemarketing also while I was in school. I tried to raise money for the Vietnam Vets. One thing we did that worked was assign someone to spend the day on the phone asking for donations not in money, but in product. I.E., we got many many places to give us stuff like, Gatorgade gave us 100 cases of gatorade, grocery stores gave gift cards, I could go on and on. The point is that lots of businesses would rather do that than give money. When we picked up said donations, we turned around and gave them to the people we were asking for money. It is a lot easier to get a donation when they get somthing in return. Trash bags was a real big thing for us,Umbrellas, pepper spray, smoke alarms etc. All these things are relatively inexpensive and easy to get donated. Its worth a try and I'm telling you it works. People like to get stuff for their money, even if it is inexpensive. (calendars is another big item) The only other issue is getting the product to them. We had volunteers that would deliver the junk and pick up the check at the same time. This also solves the problem of people saying they will donate and never sending it in. If you show up at their door, gift in hand, you leave with a check. It saves them postage and s&h for you. We were able to get donations that we otherwise never would have got. This way you can approach businesses with "Hey John, do you need some trashbags today?" All businesses use them and like I said, they are easily donated to you..If you have no luck getting things donated, which you shouldn't, you always go to places like costco or sams club etc and buy real cheap and make you money 10 fold...Just repackage in pks of 25 bags for instance. Good luck
@rtslvtwy (1088)
• Malaysia
23 Sep 09
It's not that easy to become a good sales person. It takes years of experience and learning and exposure. I was doing sales ever since I graduated and have been in the sales line for the last 15 years now. But, for your case to get people to donate to you over the phone would be a more difficult task. People will only part their money away if they trust you. So, you must sound confident and full of integrity over the phone. Start with some introduction of who you are and then followed with asking for a few minutes of their time and don't start selling to them but instead have some side conversations about what you are doing and why you ended-up selling this and getting people to donate and stuff like that. Then only indirectly, ask if they would donate for this cause. And if all things fail, probably sympathy would be the best way and get them to sympathize with you as you need to get at least 1 sale today as you have not closed any yet so far and ask if they could help you just this once. Then say the same to every customer you call.
• Malaysia
23 Sep 09
It is better to see a philanthropist and asked him to donate some money for a Chair. That donation which can be tax-free can then be invested and the interests collected to give out scholarship. Zoomed in on alumni members who have made it BIG and get the VC to phone him and to have dinner. That will work better than cold calling!
@pillusch (1149)
• Mexico
23 Sep 09
Well, try to be as enthusiastic as possible about the whole thing. remind them how much the university gave to them, talk a little about current activities, the professors. Maybe you could ask them to tell you their most positive experience they had while studying there. Hope that helps.
• India
23 Sep 09
hi friend, what ever jobs, first of all we would like to job that job not company, as you know already. me too did this same task in my college days. for annual technical meet ew go for donation from alumini. from that i come to know one thing, that is those who feel that institute only help me to grow up in life. that people only have idea to give money, so friend first you describes about merit that alumnini from your university., tell professor who taken classes for that alumini. from this you can increase the power of donation
23 Sep 09
Well, it is very normal if people AVOID donation call. =) Even they neglect those street fundraisers for whatever reasons. Why not try to gather them together and hold one big seminary about your related program. They will be more convinced, rather than calling by phone which normally result in being hung up and annoyed. I hope I can help. =)
@jules67 (2790)
• Philippines
23 Sep 09
Hi sleblanc. You know, I had worked before in a call center where I was assigned to a sales account. This is really the hardest. You have to do a lot of convincing to do. Sometimes, I felt like I was begging for money. It is really hard to make them buy something they have not seen at all. The are consuming their hard earned money. What was only advised of us is to empathize with them. As much as you want to make a sale, it is still not proper to sound as if you are forcing them to something you like.
@sid556 (31003)
• United States
23 Sep 09
Wow...you have a really tough job in this day and age. I have to be honest and tell you that you would not get anywhere with me no matter what tactics you use. I hate answering the phone for someone asking me to give them money. I just won't promise anything over the phone....it just won't happen. Beyond the many scammers out there, it is just an invasion, I think. Don't get me wrong...I would be nice to you if you dialed my number but I just really don't like these calls at all. Beyond all that, I have no money to donate to anything. I do think that asking for 100.00 over the phone is a bit much. We are in a recession and people are leary of the scams. I think the best way would be to simply ask for a donation of what the person can afford. I think you'd actually do better that way. There are many people who could afford 5.00 or 10.00 that really could not do the 25.00 even. I don't know. Not everyone would be as put out by these type of calls as I am but I do think that specifying an amount might lose you some donations that may be less but they add up. Do you have to follow that script? If not, I'd try something different and see if it helps. Good luck to you.
@Mickie30 (2633)
23 Sep 09
You have to get the person to feel that they need to do this. It is something that they acutally need. So the product you are selling is something that the customer cannot live without.
@artistry (4154)
• United States
22 Sep 09
...Hi sleblanc17, I used to be a telemarketer, then was promoted to a manager of a group. Whenever I received a script, because I like words, I would rewrite it to make it much more effective. My group always won the contests that were put on so I know my reworking of the scripts made a difference in sales. I don't know if you can rewrite your script, but that is my suggestion. First thank the person for speaking with you before you identify yourself. Then I would give the virtues of the program or school in short form, I would then let them know that we positively appreciate any help they can give, if they can deduct it etc, tell them. I would then ask if they would be comfortable with a $50.00 donation, that they are not limited to giving $50.00, if they are able to contribute more than please do so. I myself would not start at the $100.00 level and work down, I would start at the $50.00 level and let them work up. I think its awkward for a person to admit they have to give less, so give them the mid range and see if they want to give more. I hope these suggestions are a help to you. Good luck. Raise lots of money. One last thing, always have a very cheerful phone voice. Take care.