When you think of telemarketing, it’s all too easy to think of large call centres filled with people reading from a script and calling as many people as they possibly can. However, successful telemarketing isn’t just a numbers game, of course, you have to make plenty of calls but the key, according to Paula Bates, Managing Director of Toucan Telemarketing, is much simpler than most people realise.
“Nobody wants to pick up the phone and do what they think is a cold call. But we do because we don’t think of it as a cold call – we think of it as an opportunity,” Paula explains. Toucan Telemarketing is an appointment setting agency, which means their team make calls to potential and prospective customers on behalf of their clients.
“We’re like introducers, or matchmakers if you like. We phone the businesses on behalf of our clients and say: ‘this is who we are, this is what we do, and we’d like to talk to you.’ If it goes well, we book an appointment.”
The lost art of conversation
We don’t want to be the ones talking, we want the prospects to be talking and yet we still need to engage with them in a conversation. It’s a fine balance and pulling it off takes real skill.
“You need to let people talk,” Paula explains. “Although a prospect is never going to tell you exactly what they need or lay it on the line and go into lot’s of detail, they will usually give a sign that there is something that we can help them with. The trick is being able to see the signs, but when we do, we book it.”
Calls that count
“We’re a small company, we’re not full call centre fodder. If a new client said we need you to make 10,000 calls a day, I’d turn them away because that’s not us,” Paula explains. “We’re a small team but what we lack for in size we make up for in output in terms of getting people in front of people, which is the main thing people struggle with.”