By Jon Cunningham, Consultant, Hob-Nob New Business

Cold calling or Telemarketing can sometimes been seen as old hat, ineffective or unpopular – but done right, it’s incredibly effective and a very powerful way to meaningfully connect with and engage senior decision makers.

So, if you’re considering it, here are “13 Telemarketing Tips” that should help you on the journey.

  1. Be yourself. When I started out doing B2B Telemarketing I thought I had to be a certain way on the phone. You don’t. You are the best at being you. That other you is harder work to be – and whilst the people that like the fake ‘you’ may not like that real you; the ones that like the real you won’t like the fake one… Make sense? So take the easy route, be you and accept that some folk won’t like you…
  2. What do you want to say? Now forget that. Focus on what the prospect will likely want to know.
  3. Be honest. If point 1 (‘Be yourself’) means lying, then ignore point 1; instead be you but lose the lies – lying is for fools – are you a fool?
  4. Do what you say. If you say you’ll do something by a certain date – do it. If you forgot, hold your hands up to it.
  5. Differentiate your offering. Taking point 3 into account of course, folk aren’t stupid. p.s. being really good at design/IT/whatever is NOT a differentiator, being customer focussed is NOT a differentiator. Perhaps if you can learn more about what your competitors do and how you’re different, why people choose you, then you can share that with future folk?
  6. Differentiate yourself. Sometimes you’ll work for a painfully undifferentiated business – that’s life – you could get a new job? In the meantime, differentiate yourself – within the confines of point 1/3 of course.
  7. What worked what didn’t, where did things go well, or badly, what could you do next time round?
  8. Don’t argue. Objection handling is NOT saying ‘you’re wrong’. It’s about explaining an alternative view, perhaps another client’s experience, or sharing knowledge. You may win the objection battle, but you’ll lose the relationship.
  9. Listen – and not just to the words, listen to the tone, to the inference, to the level of engagement – is this a good time for you to be speaking to this person?
  10. You could gabble on about your thing – but wouldn’t you rather catch this person at a convenient time?
  11. Ask questions – what works for you, how would I be best to stay front of mind, what pains do you feel?
  12. It’s a numbers AND a quality game. Make one exceptional call or hundreds of awful calls and you’ll likely get nowhere fast, you need to blend the two – positively!
  13. Oh, and embrace your regional accent (as long as it’s understandable)!
These tips are based on two important assumptions: 1: You like calling people; 2: You believe in your product and company. If you don’t then maybe something needs to change!