There was a time when telemarketing was all about going in with guns blazing, hammering through a pre-written script and asking for the sale, while barely pausing for breath, and then moving on to the next call, ad infinitum. The received wisdom was that you were playing a numbers game – if you made enough calls and delivered your tried-and-tested sales pitch to enough people a predictable number of them would part with their money.
Now, to some degree, this still holds true today, depending on what you’re selling, but in a much more limited sense. Telemarketing remains, at least in part, a numbers game, but in the 21st century, it demands a more sophisticated approach. It’s about building relationships. People no longer succumb as readily to a naked sales pitch as was once the case. As a species we’ve become hardened to the cold caller; we’ve ‘heard it all before’.
To counteract such cynicism it demands a complete change of mindset. And the first thing to jettison is the need to succeed. How does this work in practice?
One of the reasons many people find telemarketing daunting is a fear of rejection. Now, nobody would argue that telemarketing has ever been an easy job. But you don’t need to make it harder than is necessary with a dread of failure. The trick is to make up your mind to enjoy yourself.
Your first step, then, is not to approach each call with the mindset that you MUST make a sale or generate a lead. Instead, go in with the attitude that you’re simply raising awareness of your product. View cold calling as an awareness-raising exercise and nothing more. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you materially change anything about the way you make the call, or what you say to a prospect. It’s all about taking the trying out of it.
Armed with your new mindset, your next step is to re-visit your metrics. If, for example, you make 100 ‘awareness’ calls in a day, you’ll quickly build a body of data that will enable you to measure your performance in relation to your new approach.