|Learn why most telemarketers fail before they start or within the first few seconds of their telemarketing cycle. The first few seconds of a telemarketing interview are crucial to its success and the ANGLE OF APPROACH must be planned.....|
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B2B telemarketing, the all-important first few seconds and angle of approach
When contacting the B2B sector with telemarketing, the APPROACH you choose is all-important to your success.
This is so because most decision-makers make their decision "to continue listening or to get rid of this person and call" within the first 2-5 SECONDS from the moment you get them on the telephone.
Obviously, if those precious few seconds are spent babbling something incoherent or if the caller shows nervousness or indecision... well, it's easy to predict WHICH decision the receiver makes, right?
But it's not just a question of the personality, manners or degree of well-spoken smoothness of your telemarketer.
However, the APPROACH you take in your telemarketing is still more important than the things mentioned earlier.
What do you say during those first few seconds in the telemarketing cycle?
Essentially, speech in telemarketing should be viewed as "the method by which you focus the thoughts and attention of the listener."
You have just a few seconds. At this point it doesn't matter what comes AFTER that initial time period. If those first few words FAIL to bring about the decision "to continue listening" then even the greatest script and the supreme special offers will never be HEARD by the receiver.
Those first few seconds really MATTER. In fact, it's relatively easy to predict the success ratio of any telemarketing activity by simply...
the first few words (the first sentence or two)
in on the rendition of the telemarketer as he or she
Any weaknesses in either will SEVERELY diminish the positive results of the telemarketing activity.
Unfortunately in almost all cases I've witnessed as a telemarketing consultant, BOTH problems have been very much in evidence.
Now, I've not discussed the issue of "gatekeepers" at all.
"Gatekeeper" is telemarketing jargon for a person whose (appointed or self-appointed) responsibility is to SCREEN the calls to the decision-maker, rooting out all that the gatekeeper considers "unnecessary" or "redundant."
It goes without saying that a carefully planned "gatekeeper pass" is an absolute must in most telemarketing activities.
You need to find a successful way to get PAST gatekeepers efficiently yet PLEASANTLY (because you cannot afford to create a negative effect for someone in the company as that will work against you later).
But for now, let's stick with the actual telemarketing script and its approach.
The second starting phase of successful telemarketing creating interest
Once we manage to get past those first few seconds and retain the target person's attention ("manage to focus the thoughts and attention of the listener") we're up for the next challenge immediately.
His decision to listen is but provisional. It's a temporary state of existence. You now HAVE his attention but unless you do something worthwhile WITH IT, he is going to put that phone receiver down within seconds.
Now you must grab his INTEREST. You must say something that makes him create an idea that he could learn something new and valuable from this interaction.
If you cannot arouse his interest by coming out with something DIFFERENT, something that's not only USEFUL in his mind, but also ENJOYABLE... you're going to lose him.
With "useful" I mean something he feels might give him a solution to a problem he faces. And by "enjoyable" I mean that the WAY this is forwarded makes him feel GOOD about himself, allows him to feel smart and able.
Suffice to say that self-aggrandizing sales / advertising claims are NOT what I mean here.
Equally, giving ANY indication that HE might have a problem would be similarly self-destructive to achieving the result you're after with telemarketing.
Worst of all are any attempts of "verbal entrapment" the kind wherein the receiver is cleverly manoeuvred into a corner in which he must either AGREE with the telemarketer OR "admit to being stupid."
These techniques are not productive because the prospect, when manipulated into choosing between two equally unpleasant alternatives, will DISLIKE you for it... and you cannot achieve anything in telemarketing if you violate the rapport with the prospective client.
These major stumbling blocks are also where most telemarketing approaches and telemarketers' attempts at positive results take a tumble.
How NOT to telemarket: "Look at me, aren't I just adorable...?"
The "normal" telemarketing script is filled with claims of self-appreciation. In other words, the script is planned to be a promotional piece of advertising.
Now, it works with consumers and in TV advertising... but you can change the channel, tune out the sound or just go get a snack during the commercial break.
It's an altogether different proposition when someone buttonholes you on the telephone and you find yourself having to listen to carefully planned slogans promoting the excellence of the caller.
Essentially, telemarketing works much the same way we form relationships, however strange that may sound at first.
The easiest personality to bond with is one who is interested in YOU, who focusses his or her attention on positive things about your abilities, experiences, skills and so on... and genuinely appears to admire your achievements.
Reversely, we rarely bond instantly with someone who is full of self-importance, goes on and on about his own excellence... or even just seems insincere in his motive for talking with us.
Now all this is totally obvious to everyone of course... but why do we plan telemarketing scripts and approaches that completely VIOLATE these golden rules of successful communication and interaction?
You tell me... I don't really know.
Perhaps it is because it's not commonly known how INTIMATE a medium telemarketing really is.
You're whispering to the ear of a stranger, after all... and the intimacy of it is both the good and the bad thing in telemarketing.
It's good if you can approach him correctly because you have his full attention. I've seen cases where some 20 minutes on the phone makes lifelong friends out of the two people. Telemarketing can be hugely successful due to this rapid advancement produced by the high degree on intimacy of the medium.
And it's BAD if you approach it wrongly or even if there's a single flaw in your telemarketing approach, because NOW you're not only lacking the WANTED results but actually creating a NEGATIVE result as the recipient will form an adverse image of your company and its services / products.
Thus you need to plan extremely well that which you say in your telemarketing. The approach must be based on research and testing. The telemarketing script must be flawless in its start and the rendition of it by the telemarketer must be at least acceptable in quality.
Obviously, you're out to make FRIENDS with telemarketing, not enemies... but it's amazing how this isn't obvious to a lot of telemarketers and/or telemarketing agencies.
To acquire new clients, one must first gain their trust and establish some degree of rapport which is also known as "friendship."
Thus, the start of your telemarketing cycle is important.
But that still leaves the APPROACH you choose to enter the subject matter.
Angle of approach to your subject matter in telemarketing
To top it all, you need to have a clever angle of approach to your subject matter if you want to maximise the obtaining of POSITIVE results from your telemarketing.
What do we mean by "angle of approach" of telemarketing?
Well, simply the point of entrance to the subject and the direction or viewpoint from which you approach it.
For instance, what's the level of understanding about your subject out there among your target group... truly? What is it REALLY... as opposed to what you would WANT it to be or what someone ASSUMES it to be or what airs clients put on to appear more knowledgeable?
How much do they really understand about it?
Whatever the level then THAT'S the level you need to START from (or preferably slightly below that point) IF you want that your telemarketing WORKS at all or with the majority of the target group, right?
Or let's take the viewpoint. Should you approach him from YOUR viewpoint (that of the expert, the service provider) or should you adopt HIS (client's) viewpoint and approach it with from that angle?
What does your target group REALLY think about your industry, its various service providers, your services, your attitude, your knowhow, or your value to them?
What would they want you to do differently, what do they consider that is completely MISSING in your services...?
Do they consider your telemarketers and/or salesmen and/or technical experts as genuine or pompous or something in-between?
What do the companies within your industry do that truly irritates the target group?
What do decision-makers look for to evaluate your honesty, expertise, trustworthiness, technical quality or service attitude?
You really need to know all these things (and more) with ABSOLUTE CERTAINTY in order to plan an approach that's guaranteed to be successful with THAT target group.
Now, I'm not saying that you DON'T know your target group... but I am saying that your VIEWPOINT is that of YOU, the service provider... and not that of the client.
The client's viewpoint is often completely OPPOSITE... but unfortunately not so that you could just write down YOUR views and then reverse it to get the client's viewpoint.
Factually, it's borderline impossible for the service provider to understand the client's viewpoint fully because that opinion will include so much humiliation in its unrefined state.
Those negative generalisations and fixed ideas held onto by the target group are sometimes just too unbelievable for any service provider to discover and comprehend.
These viewpoints are EMOTIONAL things which are definitely NOT the objective truth. Yet those are the "facts" on which most clients base their decisions and actions...
...so you need to KNOW these in order to plan your telemarketing approach so it won't hit these invisible walls but navigate in safe waters to the intended destination.
On top of this come the technical specs and other issues related to your services and/or products and the needs of the target group.
Finding the best angle of approach for your telemarketing produces results for years to come
All in all it can be quite an undertaking to research forth the best angle of approach for your telemarketing.
But, on a positive note, while it can take some time the cost is not that much... and nothing compared with the benefits produced by the increased efficiency of your telemarketing during the coming years.
So it's well worth the effort. Not only in terms of increased sales and profits but definitely in view of the competition. The more of the market YOU can take the less is left for others.
So, how DO you then plan your telemarketing approach so it works well, focussing the attention of the receiver and creating strong interest within seconds from the start of the telemarketing script?
And how do you make friends and not enemies AND, above all, choose the best possible angle of approach to your subject matter for your telemarketing?
Well, these are not mysteries as such but certainly somewhat extensive issues and definitely too wide to go into on this web site. But we do have this information for you in form of a special manual called the Professional B2B-sector Telemarketing Guide click the link to read the presentation of this unique B2B telemarketing information & tool kit.
Alternately, if you already have a telemarketing activity, why not try our B2B Telemarketing Result-Optimization Analysis which would give you a detailed analysis on these and other aspects of telemarketing within days?
Give the approach of your telemarketing some thought. It is well worth the effort as even a small improvement will be instantly reflected in the results you obtain from your telemarketing!
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