Effective telemarketing is as much about listening as it is talking, which is why we think telemarketers should do away with the script and use conversation.
We’ve all experienced the occasional telemarketer keen to push through their script and on to the next call. However, can this approach really generate good sales leads? After all, no-one wants to be spoken to like a robot. We all like to be listened to and understood. That’s why we believe that telemarketers should do away with the script and practice good, plain English, build rapport with people and do their best to sound natural. In other words, have a proper conversation!
Following a script can be restrictive – it doesn’t allow you to express any human warmth or empathy. And people can often tell if you’re sticking to the script too closely. Additionally, it doesn’t allow for any interjection from the listening party, so a natural conversation cannot really develop.
An entertaining lesson in “natural” telemarketing can be found in Judi Dench’s efforts to teach her young Indian colleagues how to listen and speak with English customers in the film ‘The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel’.
Judi’s character explains that in reality, people just want to be understood – they want to feel that the caller is interested in and concerned by their challenges or opinions. So telemarketers should try to build rapport with the listener, being realistic about the time they’ll need, and then asking if it ‘is a good time to talk?’.
Being natural and using simple, jargon-free language is also very useful. This really helps to let a more ‘human’ conversation develop, which is ultimately more effective and will reflect well on the company or brand in question. Having more business (and life!) experience also helps – and gains respect quickly over the telephone.
Scripts often sound stilted and even patronising if not delivered in the right way; for example; asking “how are you today?” to someone you’ve never met is annoying and can appear intrusive to people – especially in the UK. Dropping the robot act and adopting a patient approach can work wonders.
The best quality sales information and leads can be achieved by using professional telemarketers who aren’t afraid to step away from the script and imagine they’re talking to the listener face to face. Being confident, honest and motivated is all-important. Adopting this approach means that, like Judi and her newfound colleagues, you’ll get much more from the call, and you might even enjoy it as well!