Over the years, I’ve run a considerable number of telemarketing training courses for clients. It is always interesting to understand how companies approach cold calling, and it’s fair to say that the following style of calling and ‘classic’, tired, introductions are still very much the norm:
- 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 & we do this & this & this & this — Guaranteed to bore the pants off the recipient or get them to hang up.
Stop Boring Your Prospect
Have you by any chance heard a prospect say the following to you? ‘You’re the 3rd 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. You sound the same as the last dozen callers that picked up the phone to the prospect and the next dozen that will do so in the coming week or month. The need to be differentiated relates as much to the caller as the proposition. You only have a few seconds to make a positive impression. That’s where the use of good tonality, pace and effective language comes in.
A B2B telemarketing call, and caller, needs to be:
- Enthused, motivated, and motivating for the recipient
- Quick to the point
- Confident and authoritative
- Focused on the customer’s needs, not the company’s products
This is a big subject and too big for one blog. Hence, we wanted to focus briefly on the three areas i.e. tone, pace, and good language. Since we hope that most company’s products and services have some merit for the potential buyer, we’re going to focus on areas where the telemarketer can differentiate themselves in addition to what they’re offering.
Watch Your Tone
Research, back in the 1960’s by a doctor named Albert Mehrabian looked at non-verbal communication & the impact non-verbal communication has on behaviour. Whether you agree with the findings, or indeed feel the results may have been superseded, his study showed that human communication is 55% visual, 38% tone, and only 7% words. In other words, to some extent, it isn’t so much about what you say, it’s the way that you say it.
As far as outbound calling is concerned, given that we lose the visual aspects (55%) on the phone, your tone now accounts for 84% of your net impact. So, are you dull and monosyllabic on the phone or engaging and passionate?
Consider Your Pace
In the UK, studies have identified that the average speaking voice is 140 words per minute in the West Country. On the South Coast, that may drop to 80, and in Liverpool it could rise to 180. Aside regional differences, people are different. Some speak like an express train, while others are even-paced.
Consider for a moment, therefore, how your prospect might feel if they select their words carefully, and slowly, yet you talk at them as if you’re spraying them with a fire hydrant? Your pace is important to help you build rapport, and maintain appropriate momentum in the call. So listen carefully, and try to match pace.
Mind Your Words
Do you use strong words that convey conviction or wishy-washy words that take the prospect nowhere? Use energising, powerful words, for example such as huge, massive, significant, dramatic, or 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 inquiries 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.
Look in the Mirror
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 of matching 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. What’s more, we all know that people still buy people.
Buyers don’t Buy from Unmotivated Sellers
Of course, many purchases, these days, are online. Yet, for larger value sales, human interaction remains essential. So, make sure you are motivated. Ensure you convey authority and confidence. Use powerful evocative words. Match tone and make it ‘sound’ compelling. And watch your pace. If you couple this with good questions and active listening, you will achieve much more from your telemarketing calls.