Telemarketing techniques: listen more, speak less

Thought Leadership

2nd June 2015

Telemarketing techniques: listen more, speak less.


Broadley Speaking has gained recognition worldwide for helping companies to achieve their new business development goals for nearly 20 years.  This experience has shown the secret to conducting a successful telemarketing campaign is by saying nothing.

This might sound crazy, but what do we really mean?

Of course we are not suggesting that you call your prospects one by one and say nothing.  That would be mad and would not be successful!

What we mean is that it is easy to fall into the habit of selling by speaking, but this method will not change minds, if anything it makes people more inflexible in their decision.  We understand that it takes time to get hold of decision makers within companies, days, maybe weeks or months.  When you do finally get through, it is easy to fall into the trap of telling them all about your great product.

Why wouldn’t you, it’s the reason for your call right?

Wrong. The real reason for your call is to understand your prospects needs and problems.  Then to solve those with your solutions. This is why the best of telemarketing techniques is to listen more and speak less.

Silence is a greatly underestimated source of power within telemarketing.  In silence, we can hear not only what our prospects are saying but also what they are not saying.  Remember there is almost always more substance below the surface of what your prospects say than there is in their words.  They all have business critical issues they are not willing to reveal, agendas they won’t share or opinions too unacceptable to make public.

We can hear all those things and more, but only when we keep quiet.

So how do we do this?

Open Questions! – Who, What, When, Where, Which and How?

Asking open questions will allow you to time to really listen to your prospect, to understand their needs and tailor your solution to their needs.  It’s counterintuitive though and will take practice, but listening is far more persuasive than speaking.  The solution is to be interested not interesting!

Asking the right questions will allow you to gather valuable information from your prospects, which will allow you to tailor your solution to their real needs.  This linking of prospect needs and your solution will generate a greater success rate than telling the prospect which solution they should have.

Words do so often get in the way, silence can help you make connections.  Try asking your prospect an open question and just listen to what they have to say.  It softens you both, and makes you more willing not only to keep listening, but to incorporate each other’s perspectives.

You have to use silence with respect.

There are so many good reasons to be silent that it’s a wonder we don’t do it more often.  The reason we don’t is because it’s uncomfortable.  It requires that we listen to prospect’s perspectives with which we may disagree, but this doesn’t make them wrong, just different.  There’s something else we offer, as persuasive sellers, when we are silent: space for our prospects to step into.

So, how do we do it, in practice?  We all know how to be silent.  The question is: can we withstand the pressure to speak…

If you want to fully understand how Broadley Speaking can help you  be more powerful in your telemarketing campaign, read this page or get in touch.