open questions
Question mark heap on table concept for confusion, question or solution

The psychology of asking open questions: The best telemarketers know exactly how to shape the conversation to engage the contact and create a dialogue. Understanding the psychology behind these techniques can help you to improve the quality of your calls and give your telemarketing campaigns the best possible chance of success.

What is an open question?

Unlike a closed question, an open question can’t be answered with a single word. Closed questions can generally be answered with a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’. They are typically used to garner specific pieces of information rather than to open up a conversation. Although they definitely have their place in communication, they aren’t necessarily useful in telemarketing.

Open questions, on the other hand, require a little more thought. They often need at least a sentence or two in response and so are a great way to get people talking. Understanding exactly how an open question can impact on a conversation and benefit a telemarketing call can help you and your team to get more out of your sales and marketing campaigns.

Developing the conversation

As open questions can’t be answered with a single word, they encourage the prospect to open up a little and to develop the conversation. By beginning a call with an open question, telemarketers can therefore prevent the conversation coming to a premature end and can begin to create a productive two-way dialogue with the prospect. This can provide a valuable opportunity to find out more about a contact, their needs and requirements. It can also help the telemarketer to begin to build rapport with the prospect and create a beneficial business relationship.

Showing an interest

When you ask an open question, it shows that you’re interested in finding out more about the person you’re speaking to. Rather than just ticking facts off of a list or rushing the conversation towards a sale, you’re taking the time to really get to grips with the specific needs of the company you’re connecting with. As well as helping your conversation to get off on the right foot, this can also help your telemarketing call to stand out from the crowd.

Playing on politeness

The vast majority of people will go out of their way to avoid being impolite on the phone. Even the busiest gatekeepers and decision makers will generally take a few moments to answer your open question, giving you the opportunity you need to engage them in the conversation and get them interested in the products or services you’re offering. Although you don’t want to push this politeness too far, using it to get your foot in the telephonic door could help you to win over the decision maker.

If you need help and advice on improving the quality of your telemarketing calls, we can help. Contact a member of our team today to find out more.