Machiavelli, the original adviser to princes, could have the answers to a ubiquitous telemarketing challenge. How can you show leadership in telemarketing calls and influence a prospect to change their buying behaviour in favour of your product?
In a paper for the Harvard Business Review, Amy Cuddy (associate professor of business administration at the Harvard Business School), Matthew Kohut and John Neffinger (authors of Compelling People: The Hidden Qualities That Make Us Influential) have pondered the question introduced by the political philosopher over 500 years ago –
“Is it better to be loved or feared?”
Machiavelli decided on the latter. However, the modern-day hypothesis is that emphasising strength, competence and credentials in your work environment is the wrong approach to influence people. Rather, warmth is the conduit of influence: facilitating trust, and the communication and absorption of ideas.
So what does this mean in the context of your next telemarketing calls?
The key is creating a foundation of trust – encouraging people to adopt the values, culture and mission of your organisation. In other words, making the sale, generating an appointment or starting a positive conversation.
Furthermore, trust facilitates the exchange and acceptance of ideas, allowing your prospect to hear your message, and to boost the quality and quantity of ideas that are produced within a new business relationship. “Cold” leads needn’t remain so for long!
Most importantly, trust provides the opportunity to change people’s attitudes and beliefs – not just their outward behaviour. In terms of your next telemarketing campaign that means more “warm” leads who will convert to high-value contracts with you or your client; all thanks to the initial rapport which developed through a sales call.
So, here are some top tips for projecting warmth and building trust over the phone.
Find the right level
It is easy, when attempting to project warmth, to come off as fake. This is particularly troublesome when connecting for the first time over the phone, without the support of body language.
When people attempt to project warmth over the phone, they sometimes increase their volume to convey delight. While this can be effective in the right setting, the person on the other end of the phone has no context for this adulation. This will often lead to you coming across as inauthentic and wooden, and render you unable to respond to the prospects reciprocal mood. Which in turn will provoke stoniness or silence from their end.
Instead, try generating vocal warmth by speaking with lower pitch and volume, as if you were comforting a friend. This tone suggests that you’re “levelling” with people; not invasively attempting to ingratiate with them in order to make a sale. This not only encourages the prospect to trust you, but shows that you trust them to make the right decision about your proposition; by framing it as a non-threatening, common-sense option.
Know your audience and validate their feelings
Before people decide on what they think of your message, product or service, they decide what they think of you. This is where “intelligent sales” come in. While you probably cannot decipher a prospect’s worldview in the first few seconds of a conversation, you can be prepared to demonstrate empathy with their organisation or sector view. Intelligent sales encourages telemarketers to dive into the product or service they are selling; taking on the personality of the client, researching the market place and getting to know industry priorities, challenges and news.
A prospect receiving a sales call will automatically feel distrust towards the seller – but it becomes easier to break down this distrust when you can validate the prospect’s anxieties through your own knowledge of their industry, and demonstrate how your product is the common sense solution to their need.
Smile like you mean it
Pretty hard over the phone, right? Well, yes – but if you can convey real happiness to be speaking to the prospect at every opportunity then those endorphins will be reciprocated. “Facial feedback” is contagious, and you can achieve this without setting eyes on the person you’re talking too.
Find some real reason to be happy, allow that feeling to translate to your expression; maintain that smile every time you are on the phone. This will help you channel the sense of comfort that you feel with friends and family. A real, natural smile will transform your demeanour and tone of voice, enabling you break down the barriers to communication thrown by gate-keepers and busy decision makers.
If you enjoyed this post,you might find value in this one about how to make the most of your sales call or read this page to find out more about how Broadley Speaking’s telemarketing services can bring value to your business. If you would like to get in touch with us, fill this form and we will call you back.