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3 May 2011,
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Your Salespeople Hate Making Calls?

3 May 2011
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Anything you can suggest to train new salespeople to pick up the phone in the Insurance business? They seem to hate making calls, even to customers who have bought from us before. How can I improve their collective attitude and generate more business from my telemarketer?

Brad Sugars answers

There are a few immediate concerns that pop out of your letter. First, maybe you have the wrong people for your telemarketing jobs. Certain personalities don’t like interacting with people they don’t know. What does your hiring program look like? Are you using personality tests to help figure out who would do best in certain positions and which positions don’t match with certain personality types?

It could also be that they’re not comfortable with what they are offering. In this case, either they don’t understand the offer or product, or they don’t believe in it. If this is the situation, you have to either develop a better offer or train your team in a new way, designed so they understand what they are selling implicitly.

Maybe they are too comfortable. If they earn a good wage and there is no REAL incentive to pick up the phone and get the sale, what is in it for them? They may work for you, but you still have to teach them why it benefits them that your business gets more sales. It could either be the carrot (or the stick) in this case.

You could play nice and offer quarterly goals they can reach to earn more money. Or you could go the other way and make it very clear that if their attitude toward the phone continues this way, they won’t have a job for much longer.

No matter what the issue is, there is only one person who can change and who is accountable for it, and that is you. It seems to me if you have a problem getting your team to do their job, you have a major leadership issue.

Remember, the boss isn’t there to be a team member’s friend. The boss is there to make sure the business continues to grow and evolve to reach its potential and to do that, your focus has to be on results.

If you aren’t getting results with one group, yet you’ve trained them and given them every opportunity to succeed, it may be time to move on to the next set of employees and train them the right way from the beginning.

All the best,
Brad Sugars

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