Why Telemarketing Brings In More Qualified Leads

Why Telemarketing Brings In More Qualified Leads

If you visit the Jobstreet website and filter your job search Telemarketing you will find more than half a thousand jobs are available, daily. This means that telemarketing has kept its popularity level despite the apparent expanse of digital marketing strategies like mobile, email, content and social media.

Of course, we’d like to give credit to new technology. In fact, these digital marketing tools largely contribute to the businesses’ goal achievement as their effectiveness are specific and measurable. See how they fare:

Mobile Marketing

Who doesn’t have a mobile phone these days? Statistics show that there are about 4.41 million smartphone users in Singapore this 2018 and is expected to surge to 4.82 by 2022. (Statista)

A large scale of this data comes from the business category.

Related: Callbox Rolls Out WhatsApp Click-to-Chat Integration on Website

Email Marketing

Singaporeans are more confident to engage with personal advertising via email. In fact, they sign up largely on emails (62%) over other media like SEO (47%), social networks (46%) and online banner (38%); checking their emails at least once per week. This is a good reference on how to quickly generate leads in Singapore.

Related: A Visual Guide to Email Marketing Analytics [INFOGRAPHIC]

Content Marketing

Globally, 91% of B2B marketers and 86% of B2C marketers use content marketing as part of their overall marketing strategy. Customers have become more curious about what more a product can offer aside from its usage, price, and effect. (MarketingProfs)

Related: Shocking Statistics in Content Marketing in Asia [INFOGRAPHIC]

Social Media Marketing

Singapore’s top brands rely much on social media. The top five industries that utilize facebook are Services, Retail, E-commerce, Retail Food, and Accommodation. The Shilla Duty-Free has the most number of interactions, while Singtel is the most responsive. (Socialbikers)

But where does telemarketing come in the picture?

But where does telemarketing come in the picture

Statistically, telemarketing comes less familiar to digital; indeed, the very word itself may connote a negative meaning or impression to end users. What’s worse is some marketing specialists claim that they are now fully engaged with digital innovations and even declared telemarketing dead.

However, what they have not realized is that these digital marketing tactics are just start points of the holistic lead generation process which would lead them to the capping stage – telemarketing. 

A Visual Guide to Telemarketing Performance Metrics [INFOGRAPHIC]

Take a look…

A lead that was generated from any of these digital marketing channels remains as is until it goes through customer profiling to validate information, and accuracy of demographic and psychographic data of the prospect. Data that were filtered with positive results would then be the qualifying factors for the prospect to become a candidate for gauging interest which is done via calling. A prospect that was confirmed as interested and identified that has a need of the product or service is then fully classified as a Qualified Lead. Note that this whole process is done by calling, talking to the prospect on his landline or mobile phone which either way, by the way, is still called “telemarketing”.

Related: Ways to Improve The Quality of Your Leads

In conclusion, leads generated from digital marketing tactics can only be classified as Qualified Leads once gone through the final stage of the whole lead generation process which is Telemarketing.

Related: Follow up Inbound Leads with 5 to 5 Calling Rule (And Increase Sales)

Trouble handling early sales objections? Check out our Telemarketing Tips Video 

How to Handle Early Sales Objections, According to Science [VIDEO]

Telemarketing Rules in Singapore that you Should Know

Telemarketers are rampant not only in the US but also in Singapore and all over the world. Many Singaporeans don’t like getting telephone calls from telemarketers advertising different products and services. That is why some Singaporeans decided to register on Do Not Call (DNC) Registry which was officially launched in December 2013 to protect their data from annoying telemarketers disturbing them while they’re busy at work because their numbers will be excluded in a calling list.

According to CCAS (Contact Centre Association of Singapore) here are the telemarketing rules in Singapore that you should know.

Know when to call the right person at the right time.

Contact Centre Association of Singapore - Telemarketing Rules

Telemarketing calls must only be done on the hours mentioned above, except with the express prior consent of the called party. Reach the right person at the right time when there’s a higher chance of getting hold of your prospects and conversion rates are at its most optimal, leading to a higher percentage of success calls. And because of the restrictions, Callbox has to improvised a tool 

Related: The ‘PERFECT’ Timing to Call a Prospect in Singapore

Provide proper Identification.

During an outbound call, the telemarketer must identify herself, state the name of the company they are calling on behalf with and the purpose of her call.

Related: The Many Pleasant Responses in Calling Irate Prospects in Singapore

Supply information upon request of the party being called.

If the call recipient requested for the following information, telemarketers must provide the information.

  • The telemarketer’s name and contact details
  • The name of the telemarketer’s supervisor
  • The name of the organization the telemarketer is calling on behalf with
  • The nature of business of the organization
  • Source of the prospect’s contact information (if available)

Related: Customize Cold Calling Script to Earn More Appointments in Singapore

Do not Call List

All prospects registered in a “Do Not Call” list must not be contacted and advertised of various products and services. When someone asked you to take them off your calling list, telemarketer must update and maintain his/her records on a regular basis. The prospect being placed on a “Do not call” list must remain on the list for at least a year. After which, telemarketers can call them again. However, when asked to be put on a “Do not call” list again, must be included in the list of companies who wishes not to receive any telemarketing calls.

PDPC (Personal Data Protection Commission) chairman Leong Keng Thai said:

“Telemarketers looking to promote their products or services to individuals with Singapore telephone numbers must abide by the DNC provisions. It is a frustrating experience for individuals who have registered their numbers with the DNC registry to continue receiving unsolicited telemarketing messages, and the PDPC will take enforcement action against those who continue to ignore the rules.”

All telemarketers must abide to these rules especially if your target area is within Singapore. Be considerate of your prospects time and respect them by providing information upon request of the party being called.  

Get our FREE sample telemarketing scripts for All Industry types. This includes scripts for appointment setting, event telemarketing, and data profiling:


The 4 Things That Make up a First-Rate B2B Telemarketer

The 4 Things That Make up a First-Rate B2B Telemarketer

We’ve heard people say that a telemarketing call’s success is 50% chance (i.e. the prospect’s level of need, his availability, his temperament during the call, etc) and 50% skill (telemarketer’s aptitude in appointment setting).

That is actually not true. While there are indeed some aspects that are beyond control, a telemarketer’s skill definitely constitutes more than just 50% of the process. Why? Because even in unfavorable circumstances, a good telemarketer can turn things around.

A first-rate telemarketer has the ability to turn a “no” into a “yes”, or to educate prospects so that whatever they think may not be “necessary” can turn into something worth looking at after all. He won’t just exert all his efforts halfway towards the goal; he would push the envelop and see how further his skills can take him.

What are the 4 qualities that first-rate telemarketers possess?

Communication skills – Obviously, one has to have the smarts in talking to people before anything else. But we’re not just talking about a superficial exchange of words; a telemarketer must also be able to skillfully time his questions. He must know whether or not a comment is appropriate or necessary, and when to give it. He must be able to control the conversation while still maintaining the prospect as the subject.

Management skills – Not pertaining to employee ranks here. Rather, it’s one’s ability to manage his or her time, resources and concentration while carrying out a telemarketing campaign. It takes a well-organized person to adjust to schedule-related problems (especially when dealing with diverse time zones), as well as to use CRM tools, phone software and computer-based applications in a systematic manner. It makes the calling part much more fluid if everything else is organized.

Proper Motivation – The ideal setup would be having someone who has strong team spirits and always strives for excellence. Unfortunately, that rarely happens because of so many external factors such as training, compensation, and peer support. The important thing is to know how each telemarketer is motivated (if at all) in performing their tasks. How? That’s what coaching sessions are for.

Experience – Yes, experience matters. Telemarketing is not something you could learn by reading a book or by listening to countless recordings of calls. Even role playing and simulated calls aren’t enough to prepare neophytes for actual calls. The only way that one can really learn is to do the real thing. Some people may have the gift, but really being out there making calls is the true test.

Basic B2B Telemarketing Tip of the Day Make Your Offer Irresistible

Basic B2B Telemarketing Tip of the Day: Make Your Offer Irresistible

In this time of unlimited digital resources, a budding telemarketer would not have any problems with gathering information and advice on how to become proficient in his or her field. Experts here and there provide what things there are to know to be successful.

But there are also things that even books cannot teach. They’re more like significant tidbits of wisdom that only experience and credibility can bring about.

Some say that B2B telemarketing is all about the sales pitch. That’s only half true. The other half depends on your offer, and in order for your goal – which is to persuade a prospect to commit to a sale – to be achieved, you need to make your offer irresistible.

1. Learn how to “package” your offer

When talking to prospects, you don’t just create mental bullet points of key features of your product or service. You need to present them in a way that stands out from the competition. If you sell IT software, for example, you may talk about how this product was able to help a certain company, or how superior it is compared to direct rivals. Don’t just tell them that it’s good; tell them why it’s good.

2. Highlight the non-obvious perks

Of course you’ll be talking about how you could save them money and how more efficient their operations would be, et cetera. But those are palpable details and prospects are already kind of expecting them. What you also need to focus on are the good features that may not know about. Dwell on value. Dwell on investment. Talk about how this purchasing decision could impact their business in the larger scheme of things.

3. Add an incentive

Freebies always appeal to buyers. It gives that extra shove for them to commit to a subscription or agree to a sales appointment. But it shouldn’t be just any kind of incentive – as much as possible, give them something they could use in connection to their purpose of visiting your blog. On the flip side, don’t offer too many incentives; you don’t want to look like you’re too desperate for leads.

4. “Sense of urgency”

“Why would I need that?”  – If you don’t have an answer when a prospect asks you that question, you will most likely have a hard time selling your stuff. Without a sense of urgency in your sales pitches, prospects would have no reason to even give your call its due consideration. Build your pitch around the reason why they need to make business with you – and fast.

The Basic Telemarketing Equation Qualified Calling List = Qualified Prospects

The Basic Telemarketing Equation: Qualified Calling List = Qualified Prospects

The ‘profiting’ part of the lead generation and appointment setting scenario only starts when you and a prospect close the deal. But until that point, these ‘prospects’ are mere targets. You basically don’t know 100% what the outcome will be.

In essence, that’s what you call a leap of faith. But you need to rely on chance – you can improve your probability of a sale if you start polishing from the beginning of the process. And where do you start?

You start with the calling list.

The list is the raw ingredient. If you’re making pizza, your list is the dough, and everything else is just toppings. If you’re dough is bad, the pizza is ruined no matter how much toppings you dump onto it. Okay, bad metaphor.

The point is, plenty of time and effort could be saved if a list is already optimized to include only those which are relevant and qualified. If you’ve been having leads that do not end up as a sale, chances are you’ve been working on a shoddy list.

How do you optimize a calling list?

It would certainly involve an elaborate and time-consuming process to sanitize a list, especially if it’s a huge one involving several industries. First, you start off by checking if your current pipeline system is up to the task.

The functionality to categorize prospect information based on history and relevance is very important in any pipeline infrastructure. The more organized it is, the faster you could get rid of futile elements and bring to front the ones that have the most potential.

Compared with Business-to-Consumer (B2C) lists, Business-to-Business (B2B) lists need to be more encompassing and specific. There are a lot of considerations in deciding whether a particular contact is even worth the call.

More often than not, these are the basic mandatory information for a list to include:

  • Business name and address
  • Business size: employee count/sales volume/asset value
  • Type of business: SIC or NAICS Code
  • Name and title of key executives and their contact information

Use these criteria in going over your list to check if there are entries that aren’t supposed to be there. This is helpful in making calls more efficient, especially if your agents are using auto-dialers which don’t really take into account the relevance of the person being contacted.

You can also cross-reference your evaluation with previous transactions with certain prospects. Checking the history is very important in determining whether there are valuable conversations in the past that could be relevant today but weren’t properly documented.

A handshake

Pay-per-Appointment Telemarketing: 4 things to reflect upon

One of the most likely reasons why companies support the pay-per-appointment model of B2B telemarketing is that it’s a financially low-risk option, since they only pay for scheduled appointments set for them. They can clearly see where their money goes to, and so for them it is far more cost-effective compared to traditional packages.

The standing question, though, is whether or not this kind of transaction can produce the same quality of appointments, the same approach towards telemarketing, the same follow-up mechanism, and the same impression from prospects. You see, pay-per-appointment contracts aren’t exactly what B2B telemarketing agencies shoot for, as they would rather a conventional-type model. That, itself, can be a factor to consider.

If you’re planning to employ this method into your marketing mix, here are some points to ponder on:

Is it okay for you that your callers are going to be aggressive?

If you take on a pay-per-appointment deal, you should expect that telemarketing agencies would be breathing fire down their agents’ necks for them to produce appointments. That also means agents would be wearing an aggressive approach towards their prospects because of the pressure. Do you really want to be professionally represented as a pushy vendor?

How would you know if appointments are unique to you?

You may have heard it through the grapevine that some telemarketing agencies sell their appointments to more than one client. This is especially suspicious in the pay-per-appointment model, since they are in need of appointments, otherwise they won’t get paid. Should your contract be pay-per-appointment, do you have means to check if your appointments are yours only?

Would you sacrifice quality just to get more appointments?

In a traditional setting, telemarketing agencies would still have the capacity to maintain their standards when it comes to lead generation and appointment setting. In a pay-per-appointment model, though, where they feed off every meeting scheduled, they have the tendency to uphold a “that will have to do” mentality. Quantity is what would drive them, and not quality. Can your business live with that?

After the appointment, what happens next?

Lastly, the pay-per-appointment model doesn’t generally support any follow-up system. As soon as the appointment is set and the money is wired, telemarketing agencies will no longer care what would happen to the lead. They’ve done their part of the deal, and you pick it up from there. If this setup doesn’t work for you, you’d be better off with a complete telemarketing package. Look for B2B lead generation companies, for they usually offer deals that take care of everything from cover to cover.

Call center agents at work

Real Talk: B2B Outbound Telemarketing is still Effective

First of all, to dispel any rumors that outbound telemarketing is dead:

DiscoverOrg recently conducted a study involving 1,000 IT executives from Fortune 500 companies in the SMB industry. Apparently, they don’t think outbound telemarketing has any problems at all:

  • 60% said outbound calls have increased the chances of an IT vendor to be evaluated by them
  • 75% said they’d decided to attend an event or take an appointment after having received a cold call or email.

At a time when social media is ruling the world and content marketing is getting its share of the limelight, it may come off as a little surprising that executives, especially in the IT products and services industry, still have faith in B2B telemarketing as a means for lead generation and sales.

Businesses are progressively more into social online marketing—blogging, content, search engine optimization and social media. But why is telemarketing never out of the picture? Because a good old-fashioned phone call humanizes the marketing relationship, regardless of the size of a business or industry.

But you don’t need to sacrifice one in favor of another. Inbound and outbound marketing can co-exist in a campaign, and here are a few ways to do just that:

Create scripts, but don’t make it seem you did. A script that sounds too sensational will only summon doubts. Draft something in a conversational tone, making sure that it reflects what your company stands for.

Make it personal; don’t take it personal. Do some research and gather personal information about your target market. Include these data in your telemarketing strategy so prospects can see how deep you are in making a strong business relationship from scratch.

Provide incentives. Your telemarketing strategies can be used to direct interested prospects to your website or blog so they can participate in activities or download free stuff from you. The more they see that they have so much they can get from you, the more they’d be willing to disclose information and agree to commitments.

Be omnipresent. Include links to your online presence in print (brochures, regular mail, business cards, advertisements and packing slips). Also, tap your colleagues to include links to your company in their email signatures, as well as in their social media profiles.

Track outcomes. A good customer relationship management (CRM) platform can help you measure the results of your outbound and inbound marketing efforts. It will help you to adjust your strategy over time and align your techniques to ensure your overall campaign is working broadly across multiple techniques and platforms.

Telemarketing and Internet Marketing A One-Two Punch Combo

Telemarketing and Internet Marketing: A One-Two Punch Combo?

Marketing over the phone has for a number of years earned a bad reputation amongst those who consider the tactic as a source of annoyance. On the other hand, internet marketing is just in its blooming phase, and no one knows how much bigger it would blow up in the next decades.

What if telemarketing and internet marketing were molded into one?

Using web presence to generate lists for telemarketing can breathe fresh air into outdated call lists and help businesses regain a relevant target. Together, they make a powerful team.

But before we get excited, let’s weigh the pros and cons of merging the two tactics:


  • Relevance. People who have explicitly expressed interest in a subject are a more promising candidate for telemarketing than a cold list of contacts. Depending on the type of response elicited and where it was placed, marketers can define the list around relevant audience characteristics.
  • Consent to call. Marketers can pre-structure a web platform to include permissions to make follow-up calls to help trounce legal restrictions and customer elusiveness.
  • Fresh data. Information gathered from online responses can contribute to new data, most of which are often not available from public directories.
  • Faster interaction. If it’s necessary to make a lead “lukewarm” before a telephone call, a conversation can easily be established online using social media platforms or conference applications.


  • Limited shelf life. A response to a specific offer or subject matter may be very time-sensitive. The more time that passes before a follow call is made, the colder the lead will become.
  • Inaccurate info. Because online responses are mostly made up of self-reported data, they become highly prone to inaccuracies and may greatly affect the quality of leads.
  • Time and manpower. Obviously it would take a certain number of people to scour the web for potential clients not to mention interacting with them on a personal level. Doing that can eat up a lot of hours, too.
  • Quantity can be overwhelming. The power of the internet is immense. Depending on the platform to be used, the number of responses may become too great that it makes qualifying a more difficult task, more so when there is, again, lack of manpower and time.

So what do you think? As promising as it sounds, do you think your team will be able to pull it off? Remember, when generating more leads is your priority, you shouldn’t be afraid to try out new things, let alone give it consideration.

The Most Essential Rule in Telemarketing Acknowledge your Prospect

The Most Essential Rule in Telemarketing: Acknowledge your Prospect

We often overlook the importance of capturing the real meaning behind what other people say. For instance, when a wife tells her husband that she’s “tired of her job”, the husband immediately tries to solve the problem by saying “You should quit” or “Get another job”. The thing is, that isn’t what the wife was trying to say.

Or when a kid tells his Mom that he doesn’t want to go to school, the Mom right away concludes that the kid was being lazy or irresponsible, but failed to capture the real possibilities – perhaps he’s sick or being bullied at school?

It’s also a basic problem in telemarketing. When a prospect says “I’m just going around the market looking for good Managed IT services, but we’re not going to get one just yet”, a typical telemarketer would say “Great! Let me discuss to you some features I’m sure you’d love”, and then he’d go straight into details and technicalities.

Three Traits of All Remarkable Marketers

What he missed is to acknowledge what the prospect really had just said. Although he was “going around the market”, he clearly stated that they are “not going to get one just yet”. A good telemarketer should have at least acknowledged the fact that the prospect is just shopping for information.

A good response would have been: “I understand that you’re still in the early stages of your decision making. Allow me to provide what you need to know to make it easier for you.”The advantage of using that statement is that it makes the prospect feel understood. He is assured that he will not be pushed for a decision because the telemarketer is aware that he’s not buying today.

A telemarketer should also know how to explore and read between the lines. In the scenario given, the prospect said that he was “looking for good Managed IT services”. However, one’s definition of “good” is very subjective, especially for a business. If his company is running short on budget, “good” may refer to a service that’s very affordable. On the other hand, if money is not an issue, then “good” is equated to quality, which means he may be willing to acquire a service despite of a high price.

It would be a grave mistake for a telemarketer to immediately jump into conclusion and assume what his prospect’s priorities are without even probing or analyzing his words. Rather than quickly transitioning to the sales pitch, the telemarketer should have responded with acknowledgment, such as “I hear what you’re saying – we all need to seek what’s best for our business. Tell me, what exactly is your basis for a good IT service?”

If you were the prospect, wouldn’t that sound heavenly to your ears?

The art of acknowledgment requires discipline – you have to resist the urge of jumping into an opportunity as soon as you see it. Breathe. Take time to acknowledge. It’s worth the effort, you’ll see, for it can help you determine what your prospect really needs, instead of having your sales pitch scatter all over the place without really hitting your mark.

Handling Telemarketing Calls With Business Executives

Handling Telemarketing Calls With Business Executives

All right, after a successful B2B telemarketing call to business executives, you end up with a meeting with them. Now, a business meeting with potential sales leads may not have to be in person. It could take many forms, like another telephone call, a video conversation, email, or perhaps a myriad of other things that marketers do these days. What never changes, despite all this variety in B2B appointment setting, is the process of actually discussing business with your prospects. You have to know where to start, as well as figure out what you need to do before, during, and after meeting with your prospects. That can spell all the difference in your marketing campaign. So, how will you do that?

  1. Do your research – before you meet with your business prospects, you need to do your homework with regards to their interests. Study their industry, the kind of markets they serve, what products and services they offer, as well as the problems they face. You just cannot step inside the office and speak things at the top of your head. That would be a real disaster waiting to happen.
  2. Never assume they know you – many a failed business meeting with prospective B2B leads can be traced to the simple assumption that the prospects already know you and your business. Be graceful enough to introduce yourself and your company. Help them connect your name to your business, and then go straight to the point.
  3. Present proof of credibility – once the meeting has started, you should show your prospects proof that you know your business. Focus on the problems that these executives face in their business. Try not to sell them anything yet, nor focus on the features and benefits that your solution provides. This will give them more reason to trust you.
  4. Ask intelligent questions – you see, asking a question, and asking the right question, are two very different things. The former will indicate that you do not know anything about your prospect’s problems. The latter shows your intelligence and that you are determined to find the right solution to their problems. It will not take you much to figure out which one will work.
  5. Talk less and listen more – when you are in a business meeting with B2B lead generation prospects, you should take this as an opportunity to learn more about them. You should talk, when you have to talk, but leave most of the talking to them. Surely, they have a lot to say about their business and what they need.
  6. Put value in your talk – you should be able to add something to the business discussion, something new and intangible that your prospects would want to hear about. It may not seem that much to you, but business executives value that.
  7. Conclude the talk – whether you have closed the deal with them at this point, or if you need to have more discussion, you should have this ironed-out during your current meeting. Be clear and concise with the details.

Once you mastered these steps, it would be easier for you and your lead generation team to handle business executives in a meeting.

A headphone on top of a keyboard

The Triple A of Telemarketing, Article 2: Attention

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:

  1. Telemarketer introduces self and company
  2. Telemarketer asks permission to discuss things, prospect agrees
  3. Telemarketer asks probing questions
  4. Prospects answer, may elaborate freely, while telemarketer listens
  5. Telemarketer acknowledges concerns, offers help
  6. Prospect asks questions, telemarketer answers
  7. Telemarketer offers appointment, prospect agrees
  8. 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, 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.

Generating Sales Leads Why Questions need to be Open-Ended

Generating Sales Leads: Why Questions need to be Open-Ended

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.