If you ask people to list down what they think are the qualities of a good telemarketer, they would probably include things like energetic, argumentative, persuasive, persistent, good talker, has a pleasant voice, warm and friendly, and professionally articulate.
A few, if not none, would include traits like keen observer, empathetic, and a good listener.
That’s because the standard persona of a telemarketer (or anyone involved in sales and marketing, for that matter) is someone who “controls” a conversation with a prospect. It is somewhat expected that the telemarketer would do all the convincing and selling, and then wait for a yes or a no, and that’s it.
Prospects should not lie at the mercy of telemarketers – it should be the other way around.
The flow of the conversation should be dictated by the one who ultimately has the power to take things to the next level, and that power is never rested on telemarketers. The decision comes from the prospects; therefore they should be listened to, not imposed upon.
This is how a telemarketing call should go:
- Telemarketer introduces self and company
- Telemarketer asks permission to discuss things, prospect agrees
- Telemarketer asks probing questions
- Prospects answer, may elaborate freely, while telemarketer listens
- Telemarketer acknowledges concerns, offers help
- Prospect asks questions, telemarketer answers
- Telemarketer offers appointment, prospect agrees
- Telemarketer thanks prospect, ends call
As you can see, the progress of a call relies greatly on prospects. If they respond negatively to any of these stages, then the call will fail. Telemarketers should aim to serve prospects, not overpower them. Prospects deserve attention, and to do that, there must be sincerity.
Most of us don’t really listen. Sometimes we just hear words, and if we do listen, we’re often just waiting for the other person to finish talking so we could be the one to talk. We often crave for our friends to listen to us, not realizing that we ourselves never lend our ears to them.
The greatest mistake a telemarketer could do is to dismiss whatever the prospect has just said. Some telemarketers respond with something completely unrelated, or repeat something that’s already been settled. Why? Because they don’t listen, and they’re too preoccupied with how they’re going to deliver their pitch.
According to forbes.com, here are some of the ways to give proper attention by listening:
- Be attentive, but relaxed.
- Keep an open mind.
- Listen to the words and try to picture what the speaker is saying.
- Don’t interrupt and don’t impose your “solutions.”
- Wait for the speaker to pause to ask clarifying questions.
- Try to feel what the speaker is feeling.
- Pay attention to what isn’t said.
It’s a simple give and take relationship. If prospects feel that you’ve given them the attention they deserve, they’d be more open to consider what you have to say in the end. That makes it easier for you to better understand your prospect, establish a relationship and achieve your goals.