There’s a small damned sentence that telemarketing amateurs often say on the phone when they finally succeed in talking with their interlocutor.
A short sentence, just 4 words, but absolutely deleterious. Four words that make you halve the chance of success.
There are many reasons why it’s pronounced:
– years of customs;
– cultural heritage;
– personal education;
– bon ton;
– unconscious attempt to ingratiate himself with the interlocutor;
– and the list may continue…
It’s a very common mistake, which everyone makes.
I remember stumbling into it myself when I was making my own amateur phone calls to make appointments before I started working on telemarketing professionally.
And still many junior operators make the same error because it comes from a legacy that is part of our DNA as social animals, and it’s therefore difficult to eradicate it.
Here it is, the damn sentence:
“Am I disturbing you?”
Of course, we’re disturbing him!
Just try to imagine the scene.
Our interlocutor was there minding his business in his office. He was replying to an email from a customer or colleague, or preparing a document for the boss, or he was about to go for a coffee because he was angry and preferred to take a moment off.
At that very moment his phone rings.
He doesn’t want to answer, but then he decides to do it because maybe it’s the school telling him that his daughter is running a temperature of 39.
And instead here we are, at the other end of the phone, asking him if we are disturbing him?
What kind of question is that?!?
This is not the usual spiel that we have been offered for decades in the courses of sales techniques, on closed questions and open questions.
You must avoid this question not because it’s a closed question, but because it’s useless! (instead of useless I was going for “fool”, but the cultural legacies mentioned above have prevented me from doing so …).
Of course, we are disturbing him. You and I would also feel disturbed.
If we aren’t disturbing him, it means that he has nothing to do, and so he’s probably not the corporate decision-maker we are looking for, the right person for us.
If, on the other hand, we are really disturbing him, and he doesn’t want to be interrupted, he’ll tell us himself. Better then to leave it to him to dismiss us, instead of offering him the chance on a silver platter.
And if instead his cultural heritage and his education prevent him from closing the conversation immediately, we have 15 seconds to engage him and to win the next 3 minutes of his attention.
That’s how appointments come about.
If you want that gentleman to become your next new customer,
don’t make any amateur mistakes and go to telemarketing professionals.
Take your next step now: