Like any human interaction, telemarketing should engage, enrich and be interesting for both parties. Drawing a potential customer into an intelligent two-way interaction takes a bit of nifty open question technique, coupled with the emotional intelligence to read between the lines of what your respondent is saying and using this to decide where your discussion should go next. Is there room for humour? Unfortunately we think not. As the psychologist Freud suggests, people often use humour to deflect and endure difficult situations. So while it’s perhaps understandable that humour may help us deal with the awkward feelings that telemarketing can bring, we have some advice about why you should leave your jokes at the water-cooler.
Humour is highly subjective
If you can’t see the response or read the body language of the person you’re communicating with, using humour in an attempt to warm up your dialogue is a potentially risky strategy, as the things that make us laugh are subjective. Most people use humour with friends or colleagues they know well because they have a shared interest or insight that makes them laugh. Using humour with a stranger is therefore likely to flop, especially given that the telephone compromises communication by reducing the five human senses to just two .
Getting people in the right mood
Colleagues who find themselves constantly injecting humour into their conversations can be (let’s face it) a little irritating, especially if you’re in the middle of a busy working day and dealing with issues that are not funny or trivial. Laughter might be good for the soul but like that nice glass of wine, there’s a time and a place. Cold calling is probably not the time to practice your best puns, and whilst it’s polite to share a little laugh with someone who said something funny to us, we wouldn’t respond in kind.
Keeping it professional
We are all the face of our business, so we have a responsibility to reflect the specialness of our brands in the way we conduct ourselves. Few B2B brands would benefit from the funny-man persona. In fact, the most successful business brands present themselves as polished, professional and sharp. So if funny is not one of your brand’s differentiating factors, keep your dialogue professional – after all, we will never fail to win the hearts and minds of customers by not being funny enough.
If you would like to speak to experts about making professional B2B telemarketing calls on your behalf contact Blue Donkey on 01353 724 880.