Telemarketing 101 – Think Like a Consumer

Traditional telephoneGreat telemarketing isn’t about what you want to say to people. It’s about what they want to hear from you. 

Telemarketing? Remember you’re a consumer, too

If you think exclusively like a marketer and forget you’re a consumer, it’s all too easy to balls telemarketing campaigns up. Take the call I got from a reputable online wine delivery company last night.
The telesales agent started off by confirming my name, which was fine. But then, without asking me if I had time to chat, she went straight into an involved script. The message? They’ve been listening to their customers and improved their service. And it took ages to deliver while I twiddled my thumbs in frustration, feeling it was rude to interrupt.
I’d never had a problem. I’d always found their service excellent. So the message planted instinctive doubts in my mind about their operation when there was no need to disturb the equilibrium. But with my marketing head on, I realised they were taking my data at face value: because I hadn’t ordered for ages, they assumed I was unhappy.
Then, finally, came the point of the call: a special 24 hour, 50% off wine offer. Which would’ve been great if I’d been interested, but the real reason I hadn’t ordered wine for ages was we only buy it for other people, at Christmas, since we don’t actually like it.
With my consumer head on, I’d do things very differently.

  • Empathise – Acknowledging that most people don’t appreciate evening telesales calls I’d ask, straight after confirming the customer’s name, whether they had time to chat
  • Streamline – I’d explain that I only needed 30 seconds of their time, max. Then I’d launch straight into the special offer… and I’d keep it brief: “Are you interested in our special 50% off wine offer? It ends at  midnight tonight and I can take your order over the phone – it’ll only take a few seconds.”
  • Close – If they expressed interest in the offer I’d close the sale without further ado
  • Research – If they baulked, I’d try to find out why
  • Convert – If it turned out they’d been having customer service issues, I’d explain how things have changed as regards the specific issue they encountered. Which is much better than giving people a blanket explanation of every damn thing that could’ve gone wrong!

The overall point is this: Great telemarketing is not about what you want to say, it’s about what people want to hear. Simple.

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