Learning how to identify the right buyers in B2B telemarketing is one of the first challenges marketers face. However, as databases become more sophisticated with profiling tools to help us find that special segment, the task is far easier than it was in years gone by. So now our data is leaner and meaner, what next? Creating an excellent first impression and going on to construct a meaningful relationship, maintaining that connection as a career customer; these things are the true pixie dust that everyone in marketing is after. We don’t just want to sell and move on anymore.
Given then that the process starts with an initial call, it’s worth investing the time to get the first impression right. A good first impression can help to lay the foundations for a positive and productive business relationship and although it’s true that even the best B2B telemarketing team won’t get every call right, a few effective and reliable techniques will help to give them a better chance of getting their calls off on the right foot.
Setting the right tone
The first impression a telemarketer makes when they dial a potential client will set the tone for your B2B relationship. If your telemarketer is too pushy, bends the truth, or is rude to the gatekeeper or the decision maker, it could spell disaster for your future prospects. If your team member can come across as professional, polite and well-informed, both the gatekeeper and the decision maker will be more likely to listen to them now and welcome their calls again in the future. If your team is coming across abrasively or disrespectfully, don’t wait for it to happen twice. Deliver training to help your team member recognise and nurture the right skills. Check your targets and processes and be honest with yourself about whether your team are adopting ‘over-goal-seeking behaviours’ because you have unwittingly taught them to.
Using the best tools available
When we meet people in person, body language is a major factor in deciding how we judge someone. Often, when someone is trying to make a good first impression, they’ll smile, mimic their counterpart’s body language and hold themselves in a way that makes them appear open and friendly. Using the telephone, telemarketers have to rely on their verbal dexterity to convey the information normally communicated through body language. Although this does present challenges, an experienced telemarketer should be able to use their communication skills to engage the prospect. They can create a productive dialogue and thus make a great first impression without ever having to see the prospect. Seeing someone in ‘your mind’s eye’ will help replace some of the human skills that you lose by being on the phone. Try it, imagine someone in your head, and speak to them. It works.
Body language matters
Although the spoken word is king when it comes to B2B telemarketing, body language does still have a part to play. Smiling as they dial will help your telemarketers to sound more friendly and enthusiastic over the phone and sitting up straight will help them to feel alert and focused. Using the whole body when we place a call can go a long way to making the voice sound more approachable and the conversation more engaging. Using hands, facial expressions, adopting dress codes, all help your team ‘see themselves’ as authentic, skilled, professionals – which of course they are.
Wellbeing expert’s verywellmind tells us that body language refers to the nonverbal signals that we use to communicate. According to experts, these nonverbal signals make up a huge part of daily communication. From our facial expressions to our body movements, the things we don’t say can still convey volumes of information. It has been suggested that body language may account for 60 to 65 percent of all communication so it’s important we don’t try to silence this part of ourselves just because we use the telephone in our work.
Speak with people, not with companies
One thing that makes a poor impression is scripted, robotic telemarketing calls. Impersonal and unhelpful, decision makers and gatekeepers can tell a generic sales pitch from a mile off. A good way to ensure the calls your company makes aren’t dismissed as irrelevant or poor quality is to remind your team they’re speaking to people, not companies. Thinking about the gatekeeper and the decision maker as a person, and remembering that they’re often busy and under pressure themselves, can help telemarketers to get a rapport going and create a productive two-way conversation in the process.
Although making a good first impression over the phone takes skill and ability, with practice and commitment your team should be able to start a call well – every time. For more information on improving the quality of your telemarketing calls, get in touch with a member of our expert team today.