B2B marketing calls are like no other kind of calling. If they come across as intelligent, useful, and well informed, it’s quite likely that a receiver of such a call doesn’t even think of it as a ‘cold call’. Quite simply, the call resonates in a way where the person who gets it thinks of it as a supplier call or a call from a company that does x. The narrative in their minds isn’t ‘that was a cold call’. At Blue Donkey, we’ve been creating these calls for the past two decades so we’ve learnt a thing or two about how to stack our messaging, and our thinking, so we touch potential buyers with the right kinds of sentiments. In other words, if the calls we make come across in the right way, they’re welcomed, and we generate engagement.
The methods used by telemarketing experts to create these warm ‘cold calls’ are competencies that anyone can learn. The trick is to cultivate them as habits, so quite naturally you learn to do things in a certain way. And like any workplace habits, if you don’t practice, review and relearn them, they stop working. Read on to find Blue Donkey’s top 3 tips to help you avoid having your B2B marketing calls hung up on.
Short call opening
We’ve all been there. You get a call out of the blue, and someone just talks and talks, you don’t want to hang up, but you can’t seem to get a word in. Mankind is a strange beast, when we get nervous, instead of zipping it shut, sometimes we just talk, absently and inanely. The best way to avoid that kind of painful opening is to be mindful about what your first few seconds need from you. Your call opening needs you to say who you are, the business you are calling from and the reason for your call. That’s it. 5 seconds max!
Ask open questions
Once you’ve completed your 5-second call opening, you need to draw the decision maker you’re speaking to into the call. The best way to do this is to ask a question. Open questions are great for this because they can’t be answered with a simple yes or no. The question also needs to be relevant, so your B2B marketing call does the job of brand building, database creation, and lead generation. Open questions such as ‘how are you’ or ‘how’s business’ are therefore not good ones to ask, as they’re not relevant to the purpose of your call. Importantly, do ask the question that you actually want the answer to, not a question that’s designed to get someone talking in broad terms. Get to the point, that way you’re not wasting anyone’s time.
Speak less listen more
Again, we know it can be hard to manage the urge to speak when you’re feeling a little nervous. However, taking a moment to reflect on the answer your open question is generating is pretty mission critical, otherwise, why bother going to the trouble of using the telephone at all. Listen to hear – don’t listen to respond. There are often lots of subtle details that can easily be missed if you’re not listening deeply enough to hear them. Occasionally, these subtle indicators can even be non-verbal. When people communicate, they’re continuously giving and receiving signals that aren’t in their words. Whether it’s a tone or awkward gesture that you hear, it’s worth taking a moment to reflect, and gently probe, for example, with a statement such as ‘you seem frustrated with that’. If you’re not listening attentively, or you’re filling every silence because it’s uncomfortable, you’ll fail to get rapport, and your call is likely to come to an end before you uncover a need you can meet.