I do a lot of telemarketing training. I often listen in on calls. What I hear frustrates me. Failure to build rapport and weak opening introductions are often evident. The impact of poor calls leaves a poor first impression with prospects and hampers new business development. Calls regularly don’t progress much beyond the opening gambit and, in some cases, cause real brand damage.
All too often, I hear intros like this one that I listened to a few weeks ago:
‘Hi Bill, it’s John calling from Acme products. How are you today? We are manufacturers and suppliers of health and safety and hygiene equipment for the food industry. The reason for my call today John is that I’d like to introduce our products to you and see if you have any projects coming up that we can quote on’
The above was followed by a product-based sales pitch about how great their products were. I heard one prospect actually sigh on the call. How many calls like that might they receive every day, week, and month?
You don’t want to sound the same as every caller that picked up the phone to the prospect in the past. You want to stand out. But, how do you do that? It isn’t easy, and it won’t work in every case, but telemarketing success, revolves around 3 main aspects at the start of the call.
- Using natural language, not stiff tele-speak
- Empowering the decision-maker e.g. Using a term like ‘I don’t know whether this is relevant for you…’
- Identifying something that they would want to talk about and engage with. This is probably something that is an issue of challenge for them rather than a product- based sales pitch.
If you package the above into a good opening line and opening gambit and follow it up with a good question, the conversation will flow better and you’ll have a much better chance of continuing for the rest of the call.
For example, why not try something like:
Hi Bill, it’s john from acme products. I don’t know whether this is relevant for you but we’re doing a lot of hygiene work with companies in food manufacturing like Bernard Matthews who’re really concerned about contamination. I’m not sure if that’s an issue for you but we’ve done some great work helping them get rid of the problem. Have you got a minute?’
This intro is far more compelling than version number 1 above. I accept that it ends with a closed question. You might change that for ‘do you mind me asking……. how are you dealing with contamination?
Your people are your brand. Buyers make an instant judgment about your company and your services based on the quality of the person on the telephone. So, make sure they get off to a good start and don’t blow it within the first few seconds!
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