Now that we're all telemarketers

The world has changed a whole heap this year, things we once took for granted have been snatched away and we’re adapting. Whether you’re the CEO or one of your organisations frontline telemarketers, you can’t have failed to notice that the telephone is suddenly our main route to the outside world. Those who embrace the opportunity, hone the right skills, and hit the phone hard will be the superstars that bring a company growth, in adversity.

As expert telemarketers, we’ve gathered together a few of our favourite hints and tips about how you can improve your hit rate and feel great about your phone prowess.

Speak to a person, not a phone

Being on the phone is unnerving because you’re reduced from using your normal five senses to just two. When asked why people dislike telemarketing, they’ll often say it’s because ‘you can’t see a person and read their body language’.

Body language is important in human communication, academics have spent years trying to understand its hidden codes. According to career and management learning experts Mind Tools, body language refers to the nonverbal signals that people use to communicate. It includes posture, facial expressions, and hand gestures. The ability to understand and to interpret body language can help you to pick up on unspoken issues, problems, or negative feelings that potential buyers might have.

No surprise then that the absence of seeing someone’s body language unnerves us enough to make us avoid the phone if face to face is an option. So what can you do to get around the problem, well surprisingly, lots!

Firstly, when you’re in telemarketer mode, make sure you’re somewhere quiet and free of distractions. Take a deep breath as you’re dialling, and visualise a person in your mind as you speak. Most people are happy speaking by phone to someone they know, it is cold calling strangers that have a particularly hard edge. Imagining your buyer will help you direct your message in a way that feels more natural, and more congruent with your normal method of communication. Like most skills in the telemarketer armoury, this one takes practice, but its habit forming so it is well worth getting through the learning curve. Try it for a week – we promise it will pay dividends.

Stand up, look up, speak up

When asked about the problems people face in playing the telemarketer role, they often say it’s demeaning, no one wants to talk to me. These sentiments are not uncommon, in fact, it’s a problem professional communicators at Blue Donkey invest a lot of time and energy in overcoming.

Standing up will help you project your voice so you are understood and more likely to be listened to. People with good projection naturally speak up, have presence, and sound more important. Looking upwards will help you breathe more deeply, use the creative side of your brain so your messaging is more likely to pick up subtle signals, and make you better at overcoming resistance.

Smile

It’s a fact for any telemarketer that feeling good about your work will help your message resonate in a more lively and compelling way. The simple smile will provide your calls with a fast and effective shot in the arm. The great thing about the idea of ‘smile as you dial’ is also that you can ‘fake it till you make it’. So even if you weren’t feeling happy to begin with, you soon will. Just painting a smile on your face does something to the voice that changes how buyers perceive you. Honest! Try it!

Know your stuff

The one sure fire method for coming across convincingly is to be really clear about what you’re offering. Take pride in your organisation, and the difference you make. Have diagrams, lists, pictures, flight cards, flowcharts, mind maps, or anything else that provides a visual cue of all things fabulous about you. Getting fuelled up with all this positive energy will mean you’re bursting to pick up the phone and tell someone about it. Pride and passion are powerful motivators. If you can get into a headspace where you’re continuously reminded how great your business is, it won’t fail to shine through in your manner and words.

The methods above will help you bring incremental improvements to every dial. Some will work for you better than others, but all of them need to be used mindfully and deliberately so you’re working at each call from an entirely new template. Do remember that even the slightest improvement in how you come across will make a difference to your collective outcomes. And like anything, the better you do, the more likely you are to want to pick up the phone and do more.

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