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Friday, 29 August 2014 00:00

Proven Listening Techniques for Awesome B2B Telemarketing

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“The only way on earth to influence other people is to talk about what they want and show them how to get it,” said Dale Carnegie in How to Win Friends and Influence People. Since business development is all about influence, that’s a statement worth etching into your mind.

But first, how do you know what other people want to talk about? Ask questions and listen.

So, listening is a critical skill for all business-to-business telemarketers. It enables them to understand a prospect’s situation and respond with relevant questions and insightful answers. And because we lose the ability to use body language on the phone, listening is even more important on the phone than during an in-person sales call. When you listen, you can more easily empathize with a prospect. Also, when you listen, you demonstrate respect, enhancing the chances for business collaboration, problem solving and developing a win-win situation. 

Hearing and Listening Are Worlds Apart

There are two kinds of telemarketers and inside sales people:

  • Those who just hear
  • Those who go beyond hearing to listening
  • While listening is an active technique, hearing is passive. It’s dangerous to think that everyone who is capable of hearing is also a good listener.

    Learning to Listen

    Those of us who can hear have rarely been taught to listen well. There are, however, three techniques you can practice to improve listening skills.

    • Parroting
    • Words don’t always tumble out in an eloquent phrase that immediately makes sense. In fact, if you ever read transcriptions of conversations, you will see that sentences often aren’t completed, and thoughts are not fully formed. An effective technique to deal with this problem is parroting.

      Parroting is exactly what it sounds like. You parrot back to someone exactly what they said and, when you do this, two things may happen. By repeating the words, you may comprehend them better. Alternatively, the person you’re speaking with has a chance to hear what they said and fill in the gaps. Essentially, it forces both of you to focus on what’s being said.

    • Paraphrasing
    • Paraphrasing is close to parroting, but it goes beyond the capabilities of a brightly colored bird. Now the telemarketer summarizes what the contact has said in their own words. This technique assures understanding and also demonstrates that you’re taking the time to learn about the prospects’ needs and problems.

    • Feeling Feedback
    • With feeling feedback, you not only paraphrase what someone is saying, you also show that you understand how they feel about it. For example:

      Prospect: “Our company has invested hundreds of thousands in this trade show, and I’m responsible for making sure that the leads flow in and it pays off.”

      Telemarketer: “I imagine that’s a huge weight on your shoulders. Are you interested in exploring some ideas to maximize the number and quality of leads you generate, assuring an increased return on investment?” 

      In this way, the telemarketer demonstrates they are interested and ready to help.

      Start practicing these techniques in your phone calls, or teach them to your call-center staff, and you’ll discover powerful business to business telemarketing results. 

      For a free consultation on how to use business-to-business telemarketing to boost your sales, call us now at 718-709-0900 (Americas) / 39 06-978446-20 (EMEA).