Greet; Listen; Ask; Follow-up.
I once was asked to improve the already admirable selling skills of two-dozen professional (incoming) telemarketers. My challenge was to help telephone call specialists develop meaningful relationships during a single phone call. The ideal scenario would have this initial call resulting in future business. This is what is known as a tough assignment.
Was it even possible? What could I have suggest, recommend, or share with these people that would result in an attractive financial outcome?
I recalled a number of my personal experiences and remembered how some calls with strangers seemed effortless while other conversations with faceless voices managed to raise my blood pressure.
What made the difference? Luck? Communication skills? Price? Happenstance? One’s Zodiac affiliation? Whether you were a Met or Yankee fan?
The bare bones honest-to-goodness truth is that you may not be in position to connect with everyone you speak with. But I can say this: Without much preparation, sweat, or hard work you can definitely disconnect with anybody at any time.
After thinking this through I suggested that they would be doing themselves a huge favor by adhering to a few time-proven communication “tricks.” There is nothing new here.
- Greet the caller like you are genuinely happy they called.
- Listen to the caller like your life depends on it, because it does.
- Ask questions, then don’t interrupt.
- Follow up the call with additional information or feedback.
As logical as these four reminders are, they do not guarantee success. But failure to adhere to any one of these items could definitely sabotage your chances of building and establishing any kind of relationship.
As elementary as this may sound, all you can do is all you can do. So greet, listen, ask, and follow-up. Then let the chips fall where they may. Then you can do one more thing. You can go out into your personal world and make more people glad they know you using this very same approach.
Mike Marchev freely shares his experiences, strategies and observations with travel professionals in an effort to keep them on top of their game. For a complimentary copy of his 12-Word Marketing Plan send him an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mike’s daily column is made possible by AmaWaterways.