One of the most basic tasks of professional telemarketers is to uncover information from prospective clients that may lead into business opportunities- in short, sales leads. But along with that task of lead generation is to also maintain an atmosphere of openness and trust, which deviates from the usual, transactional and heartless survey-esque style of telemarketing. Leading them into a cyclone of inquiries and not letting them talk much may have them lose attention and eventually lose interest with the call.
The opening spiels and introductions are usually harmless. What could be detrimental to the success of the telemarketing call are the questions that follow. Asking wrong (or too many) questions may force clients to end the conversation. If they do decide not to end it, oftentimes they’d just refuse to give out anything.
So the goal is clear: Earn their trust. Avoid the survey style of questioning.
And how do surveys usually sound? A barrage of yes-or-no questions.
Business-to-business (B2B) Outbound Telemarketing and Lead Generation require skills in questioning and extracting information. The way to make them perceive the call as a normal conversation is to engage them to do the talking. Obviously, close-ended questions won’t give them much liberty to expound on specific aspects of the answer they would have. To make them respond predictably and systematically only eliminates the “personal” touch of the dialogue and kills the momentum that’s needed to sustain the life of the conversation. Instead, ask open-ended questions, like “How does your current IT operation work?” or “What services do you need in your next campaign?” Sometimes, even non-questions could work, as long as they allow the prospect to elaborate certain details, like “Tell me about the challenges you’ve had in your department.”
Although telemarketers need to obtain specific information from prospects (statistics, dates, technical details), engaging them in a meaningful exchange of words is still worth the distance and can benefit on the bigger picture. For one, prospects would feel comfortable and not feel harassed. Letting them vent their opinions and grievances can make them feel appreciated and important. This established relationship may be very useful in the future, especially in Appointment Setting. Also, one would find that a thorough discussion may elicit more information than expected, because it involves personal perspective and emotions. By earning their trust, they will often offer the information that was targeted in the first place, and it will have been done without sounding like an interrogating robot.
That is why these days, Outsourced Telemarketing service providers now focus on “humanizing” the telemarketing experience. Companies assign the task to external professional companies to do their telemarketing for them, which are dedicated to generate quality leads and appointments. Aside from training their agents to be product-competent and articulate, they also make sure that they know how to “talk like human beings” and go as far as befriending prospective clients. And open-ended questions are the first step to revolutionizing the telemarketer’s tarnished facade. By now putting more emphasis on the person rather than on the business, they’re not that bad to talk to.