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How to Increase Buyer Rapport on the Telephone

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I run a lot of telemarketing training and one of the most common questions that comes during the course is how to increase buyer rapport on the telephone. How potential buyers feel about you will directly feed into the likelihood of them actually making a decision to buy. Therefore, quickly building rapport is essential.

Sometimes, I respond to the question with a flippant answer. I advise delegates that they need to tell prospects something of interest. I say that they need to be interested and interesting in equal measures. But, that interest needs to be genuine, not a false interest only to get the sale. What’s more, it’s not about talking the hind legs off a donkey. Demonstrating active listening is essential.

In many ways, I could genuinely end this blog here. But that wouldn’t be helpful, would it?

The Seller Trap

Sadly, too many callers fall into a trap and persist with the same tired and stilted cold calling sales pitches that go something like this:

      • Telemarketer: Hi Bob. It’s Jim calling from ABC Company. How are you today?
      • Prospect: Fine (on his guard through knowing immediately that he has a cold caller on the line)
      • Telemarketer: OK good. Well, Jim, the reason for my call today is that we’re manufacturers and suppliers of workwear and clothing and I’m calling to introduce my products to you and to see how we might be of assistance to help you with your staff workwear needs.

Very interesting isn’t it? No? Well no it isn’t. And what’s more, it’s the same, or similar, approach that the last dozen telemarketers used with that same buyer. It’s also probable that the next dozen callers will do likewise, and they’re fed up of poor approaches such as this. Buyers are tired of the sales pitches and tedious calls. That is absolutely not how to build buyer rapport.

Capturing Buyer Interest

If you want to capture buyer interest, ask yourself what your buyers are likely to be interested in. It isn’t difficult. Buyers are motivated by things that affect them. They are interested in their issues and challenges. They are worried about stuff that keeps them up at night. And, if you call and interrupt them with the same tired old script, what do you think will happen?

Hence, the way to gain buyer engagement, and to keep buyers involved in the conversation, is actually quite simple. They are interested in how you can help them to get rid of the challenges they have. Prospects want to hear how you can assist in improving areas of business operation within their scope of influence. They want to look good to their peers, their boss, and their team. If you align what you say to the above, you will succeed more frequently. It won’t work every time but you definitely won’t achieve your aim if you continue on the same overused paths above.

Fit your Approach to the Buyer

Identify industry, company, or job role issues, and make what you say fit these. Find a solution to their problems, and back it up succinctly by showing them that you’ve done this before. Name-drop, where possible, and demonstrate how you’ve helped similar companies. Build rapport from the outset by not making your call stiff. Avoid a product sales pitch. Show genuine interest. Ask good relevant questions. Use terms like ‘I’m not sure that this is relevant / an issue for you to sound less salesy at the start of the call.

The best way to do senior-level telemarketing, and to keep buyers interested, is to not sound like a cold caller. It’s hard enough as it is. So, increase your chances of telemarketing success by turning your call on its head. Don’t think about products, services, and sales. Think buyers. Think solutions. And the opportunities and sales will come to you.

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