Would like some Ideas on Opening Questions for Outbound Calling?


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We were asked…

“I have started to work as a call center trainer and would like some ideas on having a set number of opening questions which can be used for outbound calling.

I am working with a travel company, who offer coach trips to the UK and were about to start calling old leads and new ones who have just received their new brochures.

Any tips would be welcomed?”

Get the Prospect to Give you as Much Information

I am a Telemarketing Sales Team Manager for an Energy company and have managed a team of outbound diallers for 6 years. The common open questions are Who, When, Why, What, How and Where; all of which reduce the opportunity for a Yes/No answer from your prospect.

The key to Outbound selling, whether from a cold or warm lead is to get the prospect to give you as much information, but without them realising, in order to match their needs to your product and therefore sell it. Pull on their answers for info they have given and turn the parts you can meet into a vital demand.

For example
‘when do you go away?’ (you learn their calendars);
‘where do you go?’ (you can match their destination requirements);
‘why was that?'(get to know how they think when choosing a trip);
‘what was it the company offered you’ (determine if your product can offer the same or better);
‘how do you go about choosing your destination/tour operator’ (are they a customer that stays loyal, find out what is important to them and therefore how to keep them).

Thanks to Beverly

Outbound Calls Happen for a Purpose

To me this question is little unclear. I feel that outbound calls happen for a purpose and here that is not specified.

If the call meant to verify information, the call can be something like:
“Have you submitted a request for……. ?”
“Can I ask you a few questions to confirm your request?”

If the call is meant for selling, the calls can be dealt with in two ways – cold call and warm/follow up call.
For a cold call the call can go as follows:

“Good morning / afternoon /evening Sir / Madam I am (name of the caller)from (name of the company). You might have heard that a new product (name of the product) is now available in the market. As a prospective customer would you like to have a look at the product” – Depending on the response of the called prospect, the caller will fix an appointment and pass it on to field sales team to close the call.

If it is a follow up call, it can go as follows:
“Good morning / afternoon /evening Sir / Madam I am (name of the caller)from (name of the company). You had given us an appointment and our representative visited you on (date)to demonstrate our product. What all in the product you liked Sir /Madam ?”

Depending on the response, either the telecaller supplements with the product knowledge the effort of the field sales team or (in case she gets some positive points from the customer), tries to close the call by offering the customer to buy and discussing different option he/she can use to buy the product (probably suggesting the easiest option for the particular customer).

Thanks to JB Roy

Look at the Introduction of Your Calls

I believe what you need to do is look at the introduction of your calls. Look to create a benefit statement that gets the customer interested to continue to listen to you.

If you know where the leads have come from e.g. previous holidays book with the company, request for information/catalogue it will be very easy to create a benefit statement.

Thanks to Neil

Most Important Thing is Your Opening

The most important thing in outbound call is your opening. If you open up the call in a good way, you open up the heart of the customer. Be energetic but no so loud, be commanding with receptionist, think that you are selling in that call you are making right now.

Thanks to Bhuwan 

Published On: 20th Sep 2008 - Last modified: 12th Apr 2022
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