Beware defensive patterns

Last week on a train, I caught myself running a defensive pattern. The refreshment trolley was approaching, “teas, coffees, hot chocolates?”

No thanks mate”, I muttered, and many other passengers were doing the same. But as he passed along I thought the Cherry Bakewell looked nice, but by then it was too late, he’d gone.

We all have patterns in our lives. We all follow procedures which get us from A to B, help us move on in our worlds and many of us have patterns which try to save time or quicken things up.  Just like I did with the trolley.

One of the most dangerous places where this theory is at play is in telemarketing or prospecting. We’re all wired to get rid of pesky telemarketers as soon as we can. As soon as we hear one on the phone, every excuse and reason flows from us to terminate the call.  Sometimes we’re even rude.

And you can spot a telemarketing call straight away can’t you?  The other day I answered one with my name as usual and the first thing he said was “Is that Paul Archer?” I knew it was a call, my defences were up and I wanted to get rid of him. My defensive pattern.

So the secret here is to not sound like a telemarketer when you’re making your prospecting calls.  Script yes, but make it unusual, stand out from the normal style of calls. As soon as you sound like a telemarketing call, you’ll get zoned out and rid of.

No, think of ways of making your call sound different.

Here’s an idea, you’re phoning prospects and rather than say, “hello my name is, my company is, we do…” try instead.

“Hi, I don’t know if I’m through to the right person but I help people retire without relying on state help, might that be you?”

So beware of customer’s defensive patterns, I wish I was because I still have visions of that voluptuous piece of Cherry Bakewell I missed out on…mmmm!