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B2B telemarketing finding out what interests the prospect
There's an old saying that "Assumption is the mother of all foul-ups" and nowhere does it sit better than in creating a telemarketing activity for the B2B market.
But what IS an assumption?
Well, the dictionary says that "to assume" means "to take to be true" or "to simulate" ("pretend to be, have or feel" and "imitate or counterfeit").
Thus we see that an assumption FEELS like the truth but really isn't true necessarily. It's a created fact, not one researched scientifically and found to be accurate.
We are extremely prone to forming assumptions because the human mind can only work with DATA. Thus, we FORM data in our mind, using the information and indicators that we HAVE at our disposal.
Add to this the human tendency to laziness and we see how easily a single experience from a subject can cause us to form an absolute truth or fact about it despite that it's obviously a one-time occurrence which does not authenticate it as a fact.
In English: We believe ourselves to know things which will be found to be assumptions upon closer inspection. We accept facts that aren't true objectively speaking.
In telemarketing, there's another issue involved that makes it even harder to differentiate between fact and assumption.
B2B telemarketing your viewpoint of it IS correct... for you
Obviously you DO have lots of experience with your clients. You're the expert, you've served lots of clients and you KNOW what they think.
You do. But you know it from YOUR viewpoint, not theirs.
See. In telemarketing, we cannot just go by what's true.
In B2B telemarketing, we need to differentiate between what's USEFUL and what's not.
What you know is correct but most of it isn't useful when planning telemarketing for your target group.
It would be EXTREMELY vital to anyone planning a telemarketing campaign for your COLLEAGUES / competitors. What you know would hit their go-buttons smack-on accurately.
But not so with your target group. What THEY know, what THEY think, what they withhold from you, what they say to EACH OTHER (but not you)... that's useful when telemarketing to THEM.
And this is the difficult point for any business owner or executive: What you know is true but it's true FOR YOU, NOT for your target group.
Chances are that what you know about the target group and existence as the service provider is something with which many of your colleagues would AGREE.
But even then it would be prudent to conduct a survey to find out whether or not YOU are an exception in that group, see?
Now, if we want to create a SUCCESSFUL telemarketing activity for your company to acquire new clients from the target group, we need to find out what THEY think and want, like and hate, and so on.
B2B telemarketing market research
Amazingly, most B2B companies conduct NO market research at all to speak of. Or, to put it more precisely, they concentrate on various technical statistical data but make no effort to find out the EMOTIONAL responses within their target group toward their industry's products and/or services.
And yet telemarketing is all about emotional responses created by the telemarketer in the mind of the decision-maker on the other end of the telemarketing call.
Now, it's not wrong to find out how large your target group is, what age group and gender the decision makers are, what's the size / turnover / purchase quantity of the average client, which technical requirements they have and things like that.
These are useful data in planning your B2B telemarketing, absolutely.
However, such technical information seldom avails itself to make a difference in the market in terms of CREATING DEMAND for the services and/or products of your particular company by telemarketing.
We want to BELIEVE that "we B2B experts are completely logical and never allow any emotional impulses to intervene in our decision-making process..." but that's NOT SO.
It is not so because we are HUMAN.
The anatomy of human nature predetermines our behaviour. Part and parcel of this behaviour is this:
EVERY ACTION IS TRIGGERED BY AN EMOTIONAL IMPULSE.
We do absolutely NOTHING without there first being SOME emotional impulse to trigger it off.
Emotions are the carrier wave of impulses. No emotions at all equals a dead person. I'm NOT speaking of the conservative habit of HIDING one's emotions here, you understand, but the fact that emotions do exist under that seemingly unemotional exterior we business people sometimes put on.
A lot of emotions are mis-categorized as something else. Joy is an emotion and we all know it is. But so is satisfaction, conservatism, suspicion, apathy, anger, hostility... you name it, they're EMOTIONS.
Even CERTAINTY is an emotion... and an extremely important one for our case here in B2B market research and marketing.
Basically we can divide emotions into two categories in terms of telemarketing. Positive emotions evoked in the prospective client propel his willingness toward a positive decision.
Negative emotions toward a negative (or NO) decision.
To you it matters not much whether the prospect decides "NO" or decides not to make a decision... both equal "no results from telemarketing" and, eventually, "no sale."
It is true that the B2B market is much more rational, its decision-making process far more logical than what's the case with consumers, which is why the telemarketing must also be more factual.
True, very true... but that does NOT mean that the B2B market is unmoved by emotion.
B2B telemarketing using market research to find the emotional triggers of your B2B target group
All movement is caused by emotion to some degree. This is vital basic data for B2B telemarketing and yet most businesses (and telemarketing experts) totally ignore it.
Theoretically it is possible to do something without emotion but in human life experience all animation is involved with some degree of emotional impulse as the propelling force to initiate the action
The smaller the movement, the subtler the emotion both in terms of intensity and longevity.
Routinely activities carry some conviction of emotion, be it boredom or the feeling or responsibility or the emotion of being forced to do it against one's own willingness.
The emotion is not often obvious to the person because it's so interwoven into our thinking.
Being emotional has in a way become a sin for the thinking person, especially so within the B2B sector wherein feelings are the antitheses of scientific rationality.
Logical thinking is the keyword within the B2B industries because it is the ideal which we seek in our profession.
But that just makes emotional impulses more hidden.
And the more we hide them, the more they can INFLUENCE OUR DECISIONS. This is particularly so in the BEGINNING of any cycle which means it's especially pertinent to B2B telemarketing.
So, when your logical engineer makes his decision to buy your services or products, the thing that propels him over the line is "sufficient degree of CERTAINTY acquired about this being the right choice."
Obviously when we first approach him with telemarketing to map out his interest toward our services and/or products, these emotional impulses are the MAIN factor in his decision-making process.
The telemarketing cycle is all SPOKEN, none of it WRITTEN, no specs to go by, no prices to compare... well, you get the idea.
So it's important WE KNOW how to trigger the kind of emotional impulses that will enhance our telemarketing.
The fact is that IF you conduct a market research survey for your telemarketing (which can be done by way of telemarketing too) then you will also have valuable data for FOLLOWING actions in each sales cycle.
You'll be able to bridge it over to presentation and sales.
Now is it really so that his decision was solely governed by the technical specifications of his need and your product?
If so, why isn't the B2B purchasing (and selling) done by computers? Those work solely on data with absolutely NO ability to emit or sense any form of emotion.
What do you need a living being for in the process on both sides of the negotiating table?
Well, because we have "the nose" for smelling out things. We have the ability to observe our counterpart, to figure out his moves... to find out if he is hiding something, to see if we can't make a better deal by appealing to his needs...
Really, what else is this but just a magnified continuance of the same "emotional response decision-making" that we have in telemarketing?
These things are human interaction and the only way we can interact is through emotion as that governs our communication... which basically builds up the understanding we gain on both sides of the table... or both ends of a telemarketing conversation.
B2B telemarketing match their emotions and viewpoints
In B2B telemarketing, it's all about matching things. Emotions, impulses, viewpoints, opinions, and everything else must MATCH correctly.
Match a prospective buyer who's enthusiastic about his coming project with a cynical telemarketer or salesman and you've minimised your chances of obtaining the sale.
Combine an optimistic and cheerful telemarketer / salesman with a distrustful and scornful buyer candidate and you're not going to have anything to celebrate about at the end of that (mutually painful) interchange.
See how emotion plays an important part in telemarketing and sales even in the B2B sector?
That's if you needed any convincing in the first place... for if you've ever had to contend with an upset client then you KNOW that B2B buyers ARE influenced by emotions, most definitely.
Now, I hope your telemarketers are experts so they know to MATCH the emotional tone of their individual prospect so as not to create blatant personality clashes.
But what do you know with absolute certainty about the emotional responses of your whole TARGET GROUP? How will they react to your telemarketing... and how would you know as most of them will HIDE their reactions?
Clever market research as basis of a telemarketing campaign would find out so that your telemarketing and presentation materials, your APPROACH, your service concept, and your prospecting would all align with every wish and viewpoint of your target group.
Some of the issues may well be exactly what you believe, although there will be subtle (or not so subtle) differences because theirs is the opposite point of view to yours... they're clients and you're the service provider, so in some respects it's the two opposite ends of the thing.
But how many points are missing from your telemarketing? How many elicit NEGATIVE or partly negative or indifferent emotional responses within the target group with most telemarketing calls?
Do you really want to CHANCE it, play by ear... rather than know with absolute certainty that each needed step is there and every single one aligns exactly with what they will LIKE?
Only a market research of your target group can provide that certainty for your telemarketing.
B2B telemarketing success comes only with market research
So, what does your target group REALLY think, feel, want, and suspect?
Guessing just won't cut it. To know for certain you need to conduct a survey to research your market.
What do they feel about your industry... truly?
How do they experience your (and the whole industry's) telemarketing, how do they see your salespersons and their actions, behaviour, knowledge, service attitude and so on?
Which problem do the members of your target group consider their biggest, the one they want to solve NOW... but to which they don't believe a solution exists?
What are those magic words you could say in telemarketing within the first 2-5 seconds that would GUARANTEE that most prospects became instantly interested?
What addition to your service concept would be just what they want OR the thing they look for as a sign of reliability, trustworthiness or exceptional level of innovation in a company within your industry?
Which things do they see as proof of the opposite? Which of each category of these indicators does your telemarketing currently broadcast to your target group, be it an in-house telemarketing activity or outsourced?
Which of the qualities and (possibly unique) benefits of your services / products are they actually AWARE OF... and how well do they truly UNDERSTAND those qualities? Which WORDS or PHRASES or CONCEPTS should you use in your telemarketing to create instant understanding of exceptional quality of service?
Which areas of their own responsibilities and/or knowhow are they sensitive about, so much so that you should avoid ever mentioning those in your marketing?
What makes them want to find out more about the products / services of another provider within your industry? Which things in your online / printed promotional materials would tell them NOT to bother contacting you at all... and why?
What would YOU like to know about your target group with absolute certainty?
A lot of questions which cannot be answered factually without interviewing a good number of decision-makers within your target group, don't you agree?
And that's what should be done to create a successful telemarketing activity for your company OR greatly improve the results of an existing telemarketing activity.
What you can do about your telemarketing
If you already have a telemarketing activity and you're interested in improving its results, it would be best to start with the B2B Telemarketing Result-Optimization Analysis.
If you're currently considering starting a telemarketing activity then see the presentation of the Professional B2B-sector Telemarketing Guide as it will give you the basics on researching your market and creating a successful telemarketing activity.
We also deliver a specific one-day seminar on this subject called Principles of successful telemarketing among our host of some 15-20 theme seminars.
Alternately, if neither solution is of interest but you would want a market research survey done, contact us to receive a quote.
Whatever you do, remember that assumption is not the same as fact. Functions built on assumptions tend to fail and, reversely, those based on facts usually succeed.
It's not a question of luck but of accurate knowledge.
Unless you know EXACTLY what your target group wants, thinks, needs, dislikes, knows (and doesn't know), understands (and doesn't understand), is interested in (or bored by), then you will waste a lot of efforts and expense with your telemarketing.
Reversely, if you find out these things exactly then the success ratio of your telemarketers will increase tremendously!
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