How to Improve Your Phone Conversations

Based on a case study done at ThinkLogic Marketing, calling is still one of the most effective forms of lead generation so it’s not going anywhere, at least not yet. So sit back, take a deep breath and get ready to make better phone calls for better lead generation.

If you’re currently involved or ever been involved in any call center or tele-sales activities, then you’re most likely familiar with this expression “Smile & Dial”. As cliché as it sounds, the truth is that it does indeed work.

Since we are talking about telemarketing in general, let us first talk about the elephant in the room, COLD CALLING! What is cold calling exactly? This is the most basic and primitive form of tele-sales or tele-lead gen where the sales reps makes an unsolicited call on someone by telephone or in person. Cold calling in general really sends a negative vibe across. It makes the respondent feel uneasy with a lot of questions or doubts in mind (Who are you? Where did you get my number? etc) This negativity is then transferred onto the sales rep doubling their nervousness which in term cripples their confidence making the overall phone call a “bad experience”.

1. Research before you dial.

Organizing a list of pre-qualified names is not enough. Instead, prepare yourself before each call by taking time and researching them through Google or LinkedIn, and then organize them in order of quality. In other words, determine which contacts have better potential. Your quick pre-qualification efforts should uncover information about whether they may have any interest in your offerings. This may sound tedious for those who need to hit a specific number of calls target per-day but trust me, the better your research, the better the conversion.

2. Practice proper phone etiquette.

Although you may sound perfectly polite on the phone, and your prospect may appear receptive when they take your call the fact still remains that you have interrupted this person’s day with your phone call. How either side handles this interruption can make or break the entire opportunity.

At the beginning of any call, make sure you do the following:

  • Introduce yourself and your company
  • Be completely honest and straight to the point
  • Ask for at least 30 seconds of your prospects time

3. Know when to STOP TALKING.

Regurgitating your entire pitch and interrupting your prospects are true rookie mistakes. But it’s something we have all done before – at least once. Listen to your prospects responses, learn to shut up. One of the fastest way you can burn a lead is by not acknowledging what your prospects are saying. Let them do most of the talking. Ask open ended questions and build on that.

4. Be time conscious.

You did it – you actually got someone on the phone! Now what? Now you now have approximately 30 seconds to do three things:

  1. Gain your prospects attention;
  2. Eliminate (or at least not create) a reflex rejection;
  3. Gain your prospects trust and get into a dialogue.

If you successfully accomplish these 3 things in those first 30 seconds, then he or she will probably give you more time. Make sure you give him or her sufficient time for asking their own questions, as well as answering your questions, while you listen (as we mentioned above).

When you do talk, make sure you have and answered your prospect’s questions and acknowledge any of their concerns.

5. Ask permission for continued contact

Unless your prospect completely shuts you down or hangs up, you have succeeded in converting him or her into a warm lead. Whether your contact is interested in moving forward or not, you should still ask if you can keep in touch at the end of your call.

Offer follow-up calls and/or emails with them at a later time that they prefer – and then make sure you hold up your end of it. As well, you should let your prospect know how to get in touch with you should he or she have further questions. Keeping your communication lines open helps build trust and credibility with your prospects – and contributes to more effective lead generation overall.

These 5 tips are mostly known to all, but sadly taken for granted. Whether you have just started your telemarketing journey or are a veteran, it is very important to keep such things in mind. This will definitely improve your phone conversations hence improving what-ever your goal is on the phone whether lead generation or even sales.