Usually when I say that I head up the telemarketing operations at Spirus, people groan, sigh or nod apprehensively. I’m pretty sure that even while reading the word “telemarketing” you’re recalling some awful experience of script-reading robots interrupting your dinner to clumsily attempt to sell you something you really didn’t want.
This is NOT what we do at Spirus.
We like telemarketing because we like people. We view each call as an opportunity to talk to someone new and introduce them to our clients. When you speak to someone you can get a real sense of who they are, what drives them and appeals to them, meaning we can then tailor our approach to best suit them. We don’t use a “one size fits all” solution, because we understand that every individual person responds in different ways to different approaches.
We use scripts only as a guide for industry specific jargon. The real trick is to be so engrossed in our clients’ businesses that we can truly and authentically represent them. We hope whomever we speak to will have a pleasant experience and feel that they too have made a new connection that could lead to exciting new things.
It takes time.
We have all heard that people do business with people they know, like and trust and this is the same whether you connect with them face to face or by telephone. But relationships take time to develop, and trust cannot be earned instantly. That’s why when a marketer tells you it takes time, it really does. (Unless of course you have a product/service so unique and highly desirable or happen to be calling at exactly the right time!) How often have you been to a networking meeting and walked away with a signed and sealed contract on the day? More often, it takes some time for people to get to know you and get a feel for how you work.
However, there are things that you can try to shorten the time it takes and make impact sooner. We often run exciting memorable direct mail campaigns (managed by Jo Riches, our in-house marketing guru) that we like to think are a bit different- and we ALWAYS follow them up with a call.
So here are our top tips when talking to people on the phone:
- Remember the normal rules of good communication still apply (active listening, don’t talk over anybody, empathise!)
- Ask open questions to try and find out as much as you can
- Don’t be afraid to talk out of business speak when the opportunity presents itself (children, pets, hobbies etc)
- Remember that if you are speaking to your target market, any information that you get from the call will be beneficial regardless whether they have bought or not
- Do what you say you were going to do when you said you were going to do it. A CRM (customer relationship management system) can help with this.
- Desperation is VERY unattractive.
- Now go away and call some people! (or you can ask us of course…)