by Arthur Kevin Rabago

In the last article, we discussed inbound call handling tactics. Today we talk about surviving the perils of being an outbound call center agent.

As an outbound agent, you have two important goals – To close a sale and to meet your target.

You will do this through cold calling, and more often than not (it can really be frustrating) to both the caller and the party being called.

Sometimes, it is a matter of making the right call at the right time. Skillful outbound call center agents have several tricks up their sleeves to stack the deck in their favor. Here are some of the best practices that successful outbound agents use:

1. Persistence – Outbound call center professionals pitch a product or service, and client initially declines. Although the prospect may not sound interested in the beginning, the determined agent remain unfazed from asking.

2. Options, Options – The agent pitches several options to entice the prospect and close the sale. That offer may be in the form of a discount, free item and the like.

3. Never Say Die – True-blue outbound call center professionals are relentless; they refuse to give up. No matter how many times prospects say “no”, they will continue offering alternatives until they finally persuade them and close the sale.

Of course, agents have to follow the engagement rules set by their campaign (DNC, no rebuttal, etc). As previously discussed, outbound call center professionals can use a modified version of the WASP technique. In this case, it is called GASP.

G: Greet
*Greet the caller properly
*Introduce yourself, and state the purpose of your call

A: Ask – Collect Information
*Ask questions relevant to the product or service you are pitching
*Probe on what the prospect wants. Look for hints
*Observe the prospect’s reaction

S: Supply – Give Information
*Give the prospect information about the features of the product or service
*Provide pricing information
*Entice prospects by telling them the benefits of the pitched product or service

P: Part – Close the call
*Ask the prospect about taking advantage of the product or service today
*Close the call. Make the sale. If you fail to close it, at least you have a potential lead.

Be careful not to annoy potential customers too much. Some people give up too early in the sales process every time they hear a few “no’s” and decide to turn their attention elsewhere (that’s where your soft skills and sales training come into play). It is the responsibility of the agents to convince the potential customers to make a decision. They cannot expect them to make the decision of getting the product or service on their own.

Next article: Call Center Guerrilla 3: Survival Guide for Outbound Agents.