The Art of Small Talk
The importance of rapport building
It’s no secret that being an outbound telemarketer is not an easy job. There are many challenges we face in this role: from getting past the gate keeper to the decision maker, to obtaining an appointment or lead. We will often be faced with answer phones, dial tones, the people we need to speak to not being available and endless call backs. When we do get through to someone we need to engage in conversation in order to gain leads and appointments. There is nothing more important than rapport building and the art of small talk.
Away from work we all know how to talk and have conversations with friends and family- the most natural thing in the world. At work this can be a whole different challenge and at times we can struggle to strike up a conversation in the right way, from the gatekeeper upwards.
How can we overcome those blank moments, awkward silences and ensure we are professional ambassadors for MarketMakers?
Here are some tips and hints to help build a strong and positive rapport:
1. Always be polite, professional and confident on the phones. If you are not the person on the other end will not go out of their way to help you- game over, hang up and start again. Whether you are dialling consumer or B2B customers, you are representing MarketMakers and your clients. The last thing you want is someone making a complaint against you.
2. Take an interest in the company you are dialling. A quick search on Google can reveal invaluable information about a company. If the opportunity presents itself try and use this knowledge to your advantage as a conversation starter. Companies like it if you have done your research.
“Companies and consumers alike will engage with you more because you have shown an interest in them or a product. It makes you more memorable and builds trust.”
3. Small talk and humour. This is all about judgement, but humour and general chat about something simple like the weather, music, or holidays can build an instant rapport. Humour can be used to good effect to break the ice. Keep it clean and don’t criticise the person you are speaking to.
4. Read previous notes on the system to familiarise yourself with previous conversations. This is great for gate keepers, if you have spoken to them before and they have revealed something about them, try and remember for future. People love when you remember them and it makes them feel good and important. This also works for a people in authority as well. Remember them and they will in turn remember you.
5. Keep your voice natural and upbeat. Sound positive and keep your introduction or pitch evenly paced. Try and find a natural balance of pace and your natural voice.
If you can grasp the art of rapport building, life on the phones will be much more enjoyable and rewarding. The better the conversations we have, the better your results will be. Take the time to get to know your clients and the rewards will be plentiful.