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How Telemarketing Helps You Build & Maintain Rapport with Your Prospects

Updated: Jun 7, 2022

Building blocks with wooden blocks all related to telemarketing and rapport

Building strong relationships with your potential customers is a vital step in the sales process.

Creating a good level of rapport with your prospects can be such a simple task, but there are a lot of salespeople out there that are unsure of how to go about it naturally or they’re just using the wrong channels!

In this article, we’ve delved into how telemarketing can help you build rapport with your prospects and ultimately, create stronger, longer-lasting customer relationships!

The Opportunity for a Real Conversation

Telemarketing gives you a unique opportunity to have real conversations with your prospects.

Unlike other forms of engagement, like social media, conversations over the phone are direct and give a one-to-one experience for your potential customers, which is vital for building rapport.

Despite the rise in online marketing over the last couple of decades, and the birth of marketing automation tactics, human interaction remains a pillar of the sales process.

Most online marketing channels are reactive, which means you distribute posts, content, and ads and you have to wait for a response. Even when you send a direct message on social media, you are still relying on the other person to respond – think of it like baiting a fishing line and waiting for a bite!

Telemarketing, on the other hand, is a proactive method – you actively start direct conversations with potential customers, learn more about them, address their needs and concerns, and handle objections right there and then on the phone.

Another big advantage as opposed to social media where your posts are going out to a wide audience, and it can be hard to build rapport with an entire audience all at once; telemarketing’s one-on-one conversations give you the opportunity to tailor your interactions to suit each prospect.

Sometimes the best way to engage with your prospects, generate interest, and start building strong relationships is to just pick up the phone and have a real conversation!

Real conversation using telemarketing.

The Ability to Adapt and Tailor your Pitch

Following a restrictive, boring script won’t help you build rapport; in fact, it could even destroy it!

Put yourself in the shoes of a potential customer. Would you want to sit on the phone being fed a generic sales pitch that bares no relevance to your business or needs? No, of course you wouldn’t!

A few decades ago, spouting the same old pitch at every person you spoke to would work, because back then telemarketing was just a simple numbers game.

These days, your script needs to allow you to be flexible when delivering your pitch.

Rather than having a script set in stone and reading it word-for-word, use a campaign guide that has all the questions you need to ask, the information you need to deliver, and potential objections that you could face, allowing you to tailor all the bits in between to the individual prospect.

Tailoring your pitch to the individual rather than your entire audience helps to create a more personalised experience and build a stronger rapport with your prospects.

Man writing the word 'Pitch' with a marker on a wall

The Chance to Ask Direct, Open-Ended Questions

Using open-ended questions can expand the conversation and encourage your prospects to be more forthcoming.

When you’re interacting with a potential customer over the phone and you’re trying to learn more about their business and their needs, it’s frustrating to just keep getting one-word answers! So don’t give them that opportunity!

If you phone a potential customer up out of the blue and start asking them closed questions, you’re more than likely to get ‘Yes’ and ‘No’ answers, so instead use open-ended questions that help to develop the conversation and keep a good flow which is essential for building rapport.

For example, in our case when we are speaking to a prospect over the phone, instead of asking “Have you had any experience with telemarketing before?” we often ask, “What sort of experiences have you had with telemarketing?”. This tiny change in the question can make a massive difference from just getting a ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ answer, to having the prospect open up and tell you about their experiences!

Open-ended questions are also really important on the closing part of the call to set up further interactions with your prospects.

Instead of asking “Have you got any time free next to discuss this further?” change it to “When is the best time to give you a call next week so we can pick this up again?” – you’ll be surprised at the difference this small change could make when trying to schedule follow-up calls!

Question marks in a pile with one question being highlighted.

Maintaining Engagement & Nurturing Relationships

While telemarketing used to be a numbers game and securing opportunities on the first call was commonplace, nowadays, telemarketing is all about building rapport and trust, and nurturing leads towards a conversion over several interactions.

With telemarketing, it’s far easier to maintain direct engagement and contact with your prospects when compared to a lot of other marketing channels out there – especially when you make use of a good CRM system!

Your CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system is your most valuable tool when trying to maintain engagement, build a relationship, and nurture your leads towards conversion. When you track conversations and interactions properly with call notes and well-timed callbacks, you can pick up exactly where you left off with a conversation and engage at just the right time to give you the best chance of building on that relationship.

A customer relationship management system (CRM) being used to contact multiple clients.

Keeping Up Engagement Post-Conversion

The value of speaking to your prospects over the phone doesn’t just end once they’re over the line and have been converted into a paying customer, it’s actually when it’s most valuable!

I’m sure you’ve heard this statistic before, but acquiring a new customer can typically cost five times more than retaining an existing customer! So continuing to maintain and nurture that strong rapport and good relationship you have built with your customers throughout the initial sales process can be vital for keeping them on board!

Depending on what your company offers, your frequency of re-engagement can vary massively.

For example, if you’re a telecommunications company and you work on annual contracts that your customers renew each year, re-engaging at the right times throughout their contracts could have a huge impact!

Initially, you could re-engage with them at the end of their first month to make sure everything is running smoothly and check to see if they have any issues that you can resolve.

You could then re-engage with them at the halfway point of their contract to mark them being with you for 6 months and once again make sure they are happy with the service you are providing.

Then finally re-engaging a month or a few weeks before their renewal date to hear about their experience with you and to find whether there is anything you could do to make their experience better.

Just these few engagements to check in on how your customer is doing and to show them that you are on hand to resolve any issues that they come across, can make a huge difference to your customer retention!

Just think, as a customer would you prefer to have a company take your money and then completely forget about you until it’s time to pay again, or would you value it if they got in touch now and then to see if you’re happy and if they can do anything for you? We’re willing to bet everyone would prefer the latter!

Engaging with multiple clients in a database

Final Thoughts

So to sum up, despite the bad rep telemarketing has received over the years and the wildly inaccurate claims that ‘Telemarketing is dying’, it remains one of the most powerful and valuable tools of having direct and personal conversations with your prospects, building customer relationships, and providing value and support to both prospective and existing customers!

What We Can Do to Help.

If you are struggling to build strong, long-lasting relationships with your customers, River is here to help!

At River, our friendly team of telemarketers are experts in developing long-lasting business relationships with customers and building rapport with high-level decision-makers! We provide a range of telemarketing services from lead generation to appointment setting, and help you maximise your business development potential and build a pipeline of nurtured, sustainable sales opportunities for your business!

Want to learn more? Get in touch to speak to a member of our team!


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