Telemarketing can be a valuable component of your overall marketing strategy, but only if you avoid some of the most common and dangerous mistakes in this space.
There are many potential benefits waiting to be gained from telemarketing. When used effectively, this method can help you:
Achieve immediate engagement with customers and nurture them along their purchasing journey
Build more interactive and personal relationships
Provide detailed answers to specific customer questions and objections
Expand your geographic reach
However, all experienced marketers will know there are certain pitfalls in telemarketing that can pose a risk to your results and ROI.
Avoiding these mistakes will help you achieve the best outcomes in this space:
1. Not being prepared
Thorough preparation is essential before any interaction with a customer. It becomes particularly important when you’re talking on the phone and any lack of awareness or understanding on your part will be instantly obvious to the person on the other end.
Coming across as if you haven’t done your research on subjects like the customer’s background and their key pain points could instantly kill your chances of getting any positive results from the call.
This is a key issue for B2B marketers, who need to prepare for every telephone engagement by refreshing their knowledge of the business they’re targeting and its top priorities and concerns.
2. Being too aggressive
One of the most common reasons why people have a problem with telemarketing is that they don’t like being put under pressure by overly aggressive or pushy marketers.
To get positive results from telephone engagements, go into every call prepared to simply have a conversation, rather than trying to get instant answers or results. Your team should always remember that marketing calls need to focus on the customer and how you’re able to meet their needs and answer their questions.
3. Failing to listen
Nothing is more likely to annoy a customer and give them a negative impression of your brand than the feeling that they’re not being listened to.
When someone raises an objection or asks a legitimate question about your product or service, your marketing team needs to be ready and able to respond with a satisfactory answer. Simply sticking to a script or giving a formulaic response that doesn’t really reflect the question makes you look unprofessional and gives the impression that you don’t truly understand – or just don’t care about – the customer’s needs.
4. Speaking to the wrong person
Most marketing professionals will have experience of this problem: dedicating energy and resources to building a relationship with a customer contact, only to find they have no purchasing authority or control over budget.
To avoid your marketing team wasting their time, make it a priority to identify the decision-maker as early as possible in the process.
B2B marketers often face the challenge of getting past gatekeepers before they can engage with someone who has the power to make a final decision. It’s worth preparing for this by thinking about strategies to get past gatekeepers.
5. Talking too much
Talking too much or too fast are common mistakes in telemarketing. This often results from eagerness on the marketer’s part to get their message across and make a positive impact on the customer, or sometimes just nervousness.
While it’s understandable that telemarketers are keen to make the most of their time on the phone with a contact, it’s vital to remember that a crucial part of this job is listening.
If the marketer is dominating the call and not giving anyone else a chance to speak, the customer is likely to feel that their points and concerns aren’t being acknowledged.
6. Using closed questions
Since successful telemarketing calls depend on constructive, two-way conversations, your marketing team should be giving the customer every opportunity to speak. One of the best ways to do that is by asking open-ended questions that encourage them to open up and engage.
Asking questions that can be answered with a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’ makes the job of striking up a healthy discussion much more difficult, especially if you’re talking to someone who’s far from convinced about the value of your product or service.
7. Being robotic
Some companies use scripts in their telemarketing, which can be a useful strategy when used appropriately. However, your team should be cautioned against being overly reliant on a script, especially if it results in them sounding robotic.
Customers want to feel that they’re having a natural conversation with a human being, not that they’re simply the latest target on a very long list of marketing calls being made that day.
If this is becoming a problem in your telemarketing strategy, consider providing some training on how your team can use scripts to their advantage, without having to depend on them for every call.
It’s impossible to predict how any call will unfold, so telemarketers must be prepared to adjust their tactics based on how the customer responds to them.
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