The difference between what B2B telemarketing was 5 years ago and what it is today is the fact that prospects are more critical of detail. They've become aware of the things that make a conversation worthwhile, or the things that make a proposition worth considering.
They no longer yield to the suave persuasion techniques of telemarketers, and they are no longer wowed with trivial information that anyone can find on Google.
Instead, prospects today are yearning for someone to really listen to them and understand what they need. It's like saying, "Let's skip the sales-y part and talk real business." So how would you show that to a prospect? By being a real conversationalist.
There's a difference between "good" conversationalists from "real" ones. You can be good if you know how to respond in a way that the other party would think they're genuinely listening -- in other words, they could be pretending. Being a "real" conversationalist is being sincere:
- Don't interrupt -- It's the thing that prospects hate the most. Usually, when a telemarketer interrupts a prospect, everything is lost and it will be difficult to regain their respect.
- Don't worry about the next thing you're going to say -- When you get too preoccupied on the "flow", you tend to miss important things from your prospect, which defeats the purpose.
- Notice the tone of voice -- It's always embarrassing when someone makes a sarcastic or implied comment and you failed to recognize it based on the tone.
- Minimize distractions -- If you're not a natural multitasker, avoid dividing your focus to other tasks or some fidgety mannerisms.
- Use responses like "yes" or "uh-huh" -- This is just to let them know you're still with them, but don't use these words excessively or you'll sound like a robot.
- Recap when necessary -- Don't repeat each word. Translate it to something simpler based on how you captured its essence.
- If in doubt, ask-- People appreciate it when you ask them (logical) questions. It tells them you're exerting effort to make sure you understand everything and you're not being assuming.
- Talk like your prospect is a friend -- This has become an industry clichÃ© but its essence is never diminished. When you treat prospects as you would a dear friend, it will show -- through your tone, your choice of words and how you deliver your responses.