The myths around B2B Telemarketing
Exploding the Myths Around B2B Telemarketing
Telemarketing is not simply aggressive, persistent cold-calling involving young, inexperienced staff. Used as a systematic B2B marketing tool, it is highly effective.
At this level, B2B telemarketing is a specialist skill, which is why, increasingly, many businesses are now outsourcing it to dedicated companies, who can conduct campaigns on their behalf.
“At the right standard, telemarketing is a demanding discipline, and often internal teams struggle to reach the level required to do it effectively,” comments Paula Bates, Managing Director of Toucan Telemarketing. “However, certain myths around telemarketing still persist.”
Do People Hate Cold Calling?
“No one likes to receive a pushy phone call, or one that’s irrelevant to them and their business,” Paula suggests, “but decision-makers in business are aware that they must be open to ideas, through various communication channels.”
What Paula stresses is that many key business people want to keep their channels open, so will welcome the right kind of telemarketing call.
“If the call is from someone who might be able to help them achieve their objectives, then they’re more likely to be interested,” advises Paula. “And if this call is about making an introduction, rather than selling, then engagement is much more likely.”
The call can resonate, if it is to the right person, done in the right way. Cold calling is only cold if that is how it leaves the listener feeling.
“Similarly, skilled calling doesn’t mean being formulaic and speaking from a script,” Paula remarks. “In fact, for relationship-building calls, using a script will hamper the process.”
The emphasis should be on creating a genuine dialogue, based on sound research, and asking questions over the phone sensitively. Crucially, it must involve listening, not just talking.
Are the Callers Inexperienced?
For B2B telemarketing to work, it requires the right calibre of person to be doing it. Paula explains that another myth surrounding it is that it is solely the preserve of young, inexperienced staff.
“What differentiates a good telemarketer is the level of experience they bring with them, and the sort of intensive training they’ve had,” she says.
The best telemarketing companies are committed to the continuing development of their staff.
“It’s also a case that it’s not just a gift of the gab,” says Paula. “Telemarketers are much less about talking and more about listening. They must first understand the prospect to fully engage with them.”
Is it Too Aggressive?
Effective B2B telemarketing is not about getting to the buyer, using pushy techniques and closing hard.
“People have this image of the aggressive caller trying to close the deal,” Paula observes. “But aggressive tactics are counter-productive.
Rather, the emphasis should be on building a rapport and gaining the trust of the person on the other end of the line.
“There’s no substitute for a genuine, two-way conversation,” says Paula. “It works in life, and it works in business too. Investing time and effort into telemarketing can bring real rewards, and set you apart from the competition.”