The call opening is what happens in the first few moments of a B2B telemarketing call. For many people, this is the scariest part of the interaction, much like the blank piece of paper where you’re required to create something meaningful. If you get the opening right, the call goes well, if it’s wrong the call will struggle to engage the buyer.
At Blue Donkey the analogy we use to describe the call opening is a dive. When a swimmer dives, they make a hole in the water with their hands, for the body to move through. If the dive is good, the body glides beautifully and effortlessly into the deep. If the swimmer should belly-flop, the water slapping the swimmer stings, they scramble for control, it’s unseemly and embarrassing. In B2B telemarketing terms, the belly-flop is the feeling that teams work hard to avoid.
First impressions last
As ever, the first impression a person makes is key to forming a lasting relationship. B2B telemarketing is particularly sensitive to first impressions. This is because most value propositions in B2B will place a special emphasis on their relationship based services. For market leaders, with premium B2B products or services, the quality of an organisation’s relationships will be a differentiating factor. So getting it right from the get go is important.
Who you are
The first item of information in the call opening is who you are. OK, maybe that goes without saying. However, it’s quite possible to create a poor impression just by getting this not wrong exactly, just not-quite-right. For example “hello, it’s Sam here from XYZ” would fall into the not-quite-right category. The use of just a first name is unwittingly telling a story. And that story isn’t great in B2B telemarketing terms. It’s saying, I’m not important, you don’t need to take my call. A better version would be “hello, my name is Sam Jones from XYZ”. Using both first and last names is far more appropriate for a business call. This is especially the case if the person being called is not known to the caller.
Where you are calling from
Again, in B2B telemarketing there’s a right way to say where you’re calling from. And there’s a not-so-right way. The difference is quite subtle but it’s real. You should use the company name in a way that shows pride. If you listen to how company names are used in broadcast media, you can hear the difference. Saying something with meaning needs you to breathe well, and be sat upright in your seat. This is essentially about enunciation. According to Wikihow, “enunciation is a skill everyone could benefit from practicing, especially before a public speech, a singing performance, or just a crowded, noisy gathering. With enough practice, anyone can change, mumbling, mispronunciations, or lightning-speed chatter into a clear, vibrant voice”. Since a B2B telemarketing phone call is a performance, we think it’s worth getting it right.
The reason for your call
The call opening is three things. All very basic items of information. Your name, your company, and finally the reason for your call. Here’s where it gets a little harder. The reason for your call is just that. It’s the reason. It’s not the whole call, it’s not the entire B2B telemarketing sales pitch. It’s not a chance to say everything about a product that comes to mind, yet this is what some do. So if you’re calling to discuss the company phone system, say that. Only that. Because at this point, you’re trying to get your potential buyer to engage. They will only do so at the point where you get them talking. Before they talk, everything you say is to some extent at least, wasted. So save it for when you get a proper two-way dialog going and you know what they actually want.
After me, you’re next
The general rule is you should open the call, then get the buyer speaking first, second, and maybe even third. Then you can speak. You do this by asking intelligent open questions and listening carefully to the answers. In B2B telemarketing, as in life, people are attracted to those who get them talking easily. More than those people who talk easily. So getting the potential buyer talking is a priority after the opening. That’s why open questions are such a key skill in telemarketing.