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Telemarketing techniques – Tone, Pace and Language…

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I have been running a lot of telemarketing training recently for a number of clients. It is always interesting to understand how companies approach cold calling. It’s fair to say that the following is still very much common:

      • How are you today? – A sure-fire signal that you’re a telemarketer
      • I’m calling to introduce my company and our products to you – Oh no you’re not! I’m not interested in that. I’m busy!
      • I’m calling from XYZ company and we do this and this and this and this and this and this and ….. – Guaranteed to bore the pants off the recipient or get them to put the phone down.

Have you by any chance heard a prospect say the following to you recently? ‘You’re the 4th person this week to call me about that!’ 

Why is that?

Well, simply it’s because you’re saying the same things as everyone else and you’re as dull as everyone else. A telemarketing call and caller need to be:

      • Enthused, motivated and motivating for the recipient
      • Interesting
      • Quick to the point
      • Engaging
      • Confident and authoritative
      • Relevant
      • Compelling
      • Focused on the customer’s needs not your company’s products

This is a big subject and too big for this one blog. Hence, I wanted to focus briefly on three areas i.e. Tone, pace and good language.


Research shows that human communication is 55% visual, 38% tone and only 7% words. In other words, it aint what you say, it’s the way that you say it. Given that we lose the visual aspects on the phone, your tone now accounts for 84% of your impact. Are you dull and monosyllabic or engaging and passionate?


It is said that the average speaking voice is 140 words per minute in the West Country or on the South Coast that may drop to 80 and in Liverpool it could rise to 180. How do you think the prospect feels if they speak carefully and slowly yet you talk as if you’re spraying them with a fire hydrant? The pace is important to help you build rapport so listen carefully and try to match pace.


Do you use strong words that convey conviction or wishy-washy words that take the prospect nowhere? Use energising powerful words like huge, massive, significant, dramatic, ground-breaking to emphasise your credentials. That’s assuming you can justify it of course! So, you can say

      • We do a huge amount of work with…
      • We’ve done ground-breaking work with
      • We get a massive number of enquiries about…
      • Our clients tell us that our service is genuinely unique

You have very little time and the bulk of what you say is lost. Make your words count.

Language mirroring also supports rapport building. Don’t overdo it or they will think you are nuts or a stalker or both. But good use helps you develop that relationship. For example, some time ago, a prospect of mine said he couldn’t speak and asked me to give him a ‘tinkle’ the following Tuesday. When I called back I said ‘Hi John, it’s Jonathan from GSA. You asked me to give you a tinkle today.’

It sounds better to your prospects and makes them feel more comfortable as they will relate to you better and we all know that people still buy people.

So, make sure you are motivated. Ensure you convey authority and confidence. Use powerful evocative words. Match tone but make it ‘sound’ compelling. And watch your pace. If you combine this with good questions and active listening, you will achieve much more from your outbound calls.




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