When you are making outbound calls, you must attract the customer’s interest in the first 10 to 15 seconds of the phone call. Engage the customer in a friendly conversation so that you can build trust and establish a polite inquiry as to the person’s state of mind. Open with something casual, such as “How are you today?” Do not attempt to launch into the sales pitch until you get the customer talking and feeling positive about your intentions.

You Need to Pique the Customer’s Interest Right Away

When the customer first picks up the phone, speak slowly and clearly. Sound upbeat without losing your focus. Remember, too, that the customer’s natural tendency, right off the bat, will be to say, “No, thanks.” You need to get past this response quickly and pique the customer’s interest before he or she hangs up. Once you have the attention of a target customer, you can follow the telemarketing script for the product or service you are selling.

Confirm that you are speaking to the target customer. If the response is “no,” ask if the individual is at home. If the individual is not at home, ask for an appropriate time to call back when he or she will be available to speak. If you are speaking to your target customer, begin “reading” your script, which should begin to introduce the product or service you are selling.

If, during your opening, the prospect indicates that he or she cannot or will not use your product or service, the conversation has ended and you should simply thank the person for his or her time. If the prospect seems receptive, continue with the script, which should contain questions that will help you determine whether or not this is a candidate for your product or service. Remember that at any juncture during the conversation he or she may object or ask questions, such as “Are you trying to sell me something?” or “I’m sorry, we are right in the middle of dinner.” You need to be prepared to handle these objections.

Before you can fully make your pitch, you need to find out more about the prospect’s needs and whether he or she is someone who would be a prime candidate for your product or service. As early as possible, you want to smoothly qualify this individual as a prospect without causing him or her to hang up. You must remember that the prospect is thinking “I don’t want this” and your job is to reverse this thinking. 

Remember, in the United States, you cannot call the many consumers on the national “Do Not Call” list unless you have a prior business relationship with them.

Takeaways You Can Use

  • You have no more than 15 seconds to attract the customer’s interest.
  • Be prepared to handle common objections.
  • How you say it can be just as important as what you say.