Ringing Up Sales

June 1998


Ringing Up Sales

Dialing for dollars is a delicate art

Consumers are getting fed up to the ears with telemarketing phone calls. So fed up, in fact, that telemarketers fear the growth that pushed U.S. telemarketing sales from $135 billion in 1992 to $174 billion in 1996 could soon reverse course. "Resentment has risen to such a point it may be threatening the [telemarketing] industry," says an article in the Financial Times.

Experts say proper telephone technique will be the key to survival when the great shakeup - or should we say hang-up - begins. Some words of advice for jewelers:

  • Be prepared before you call. Make sure you know how to pronounce the customer's name (this may sound elementary, but telemarketers frequently mangle even common names).
  • Try not to sound as though you're reading from a script, even if you are. Robotic monologues sound amateurish and impersonal.
  • Listen to what the caller says and adjust your remarks accordingly. One big complaint consumers make about telemarketers is that they plow ahead with their spiels regardless of the response they get from the caller.
  • Keep meticulous records of your calls so you don't call the same people more than once or ask them questions they've already answered.
  • Accept the fact some people don't want to be called anytime about anything. One telemarketing company puts customers into three categories: the alphas, who like to get calls; the betas, who are annoyed with them but will listen just to be polite; and the deltas, who will not listen. "The deltas should be left alone," the company president told the Financial Times.

Copyright © 1998 by Bond Communications.


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