Blog

The Golden Minute

One of the things that you will find telemarketing professionals seem to focus, even fixate on, is how to open a call. We sometimes use the term ‘The Golden Minute’ which is the 60 seconds (maximum) during which we have to overcome inbuilt reluctance and natural resistance to taking a ‘cold call’

Kevin Byrne, Senior Business Development Manager

It is too often the difference between a successful and unsuccessful campaign, and it is probably the area where we come closest to ‘scripting‘ a call. It’s so important, that we have compiled a list of what we think are the dos and don’ts of that, potentially golden, minute…

DOs

Concise 


It goes without saying that the message has to be brief. It is worth a couple of people reviewing and testing this.

Compelling


Why would the prospect want to continue this call? They may have never heard of you or your product, so what will make them want to keep listening? We generally say there needs to be a ‘hook’ or ‘differentiator’ what, in old fashioned terms, might be called a Unique Selling Point.

Tell them why you are calling


It is useful to let people know it’s a ‘sales qualification’ call and that you probably need to talk to them for 60-90 seconds. Do this politely and people will be more inclined to agree. Having done a fair amount of calling myself, I tend to say “Sorry to disturb you, I am calling about a product that I think could be of benefit to your business. I have a couple of questions that could determine this, which shouldn’t take more than a minute/minute and a half”.

From time to time when I am calling, I even say “this is a sales call”, which generally disarms people and even makes them laugh in surprise, but I wouldn’t necessarily recommend this…

Benefits, not Features


You haven’t got time to tell them everything the product does, only time to tell them what great things it will do for their company. When you break through the minute barrier, they will have committed to hearing how it actually works but, launching into a detailed description in the call opening, is a sure way to turn people off.

Slow Down


This one is a bit counter-intuitive, haven’t we only got 60 seconds after all? Actually a calm assured voice will give people listening more assurance, as you will sound confident. Someone who knows their brief, talking at super speed and talking in an excitable tone suggests overzealousness, desperation (or both).

 

DON'Ts

Don’t (PLEASE!) say “How are you today?”


It is a sure sign that you are in some sort of ‘sales-coached’ environment and are likely to involve them in an unwanted conversation, and of course, you are wasting precious seconds of your Golden Minute. Politeness is great, meaningless enquiries about the health of someone you don’t know, are not.

Don’t ‘hector’


When extolling the virtues of your product, you must stop short of implying that it is for everybody, or that you are stupid if you can’t see the benefits. It is easy to get carried away by your own spiel but, nearly always fatal to the call.

Don’t get overfamiliar 


It is our view that you should NOT start using the person’s Christian name or, worse still, (and I have had both) abbreviate the person’s name, call them ‘mate’, or something similar, unless invited to do so.

DON’T sound scripted


Using a script is another warning sign for your prospect. Even with a very refined script and carefully chosen words, speech has a natural cadence and rhythm and scripted language will sound forced or unnatural.

Stay polite


It’s a myth that you get a lot of rudeness when telemarketing but some people may show irritation or impatience. After all, you may have called them at an inconvenient or busy time and - surprise, surprise - they haven’t been waiting around for your call. If you maintain your professional attitude and stick to the DOs above, you will get a second chance with many of these people.

 

To quote the UK’s best loved poem,

IF Poem

you can fill the unforgiving minute

With sixty seconds' worth of distance run,

Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it


 

Unforgiving minute is the perfect phrase to describe the opening of a telemarketing call…

As Kipling suggests, making the most of that minute is critical, and the same applies to the start of every call - make yours a Golden Minute.

Related articles

Weathering the storm in times of uncertainty

Weathering the storm in times of uncertainty

Friday, November 8, 2019
Find out more
You know your audience, but do you understand them?

You know your audience, but do you understand them?

Thursday, October 17, 2019
Find out more
Artificial Intelligence – a force for good or bad?

Artificial Intelligence – a force for good or bad?

Tuesday, October 1, 2019
Find out more
Telemarketing, Telesales, Inside Sales: what's the difference?

Telemarketing, Telesales, Inside Sales: what's the difference?

Wednesday, September 18, 2019
Find out more

Our full range of telephone services

Data Services

Do you want to improve data quality, increase marketing ROI, and ensure GDPR compliance?

Data Cleansing
Data Cleansing
Expert data cleansing creates clean, accurate and compliant data that matches your target audience
Read more
Data Enrichment
Data Enrichment
Data enrichment delivers the insight needed to connect better with your target audience
Read more
Email Opt-ins: GDPR
Email Opt-ins: GDPR
Boost engagement and ROI with consent based communications
Read more

Pre Sales Research

Do you need actionable insight to inform your sales and marketing strategy?

Pre Sales Research
Pre Sales Research
Arm your sales and marketing teams with clear customer intelligence and accurate data.
Read more

Telemarketing

Want more opportunities to drive revenue?

Lead Generation
Lead Generation
High-quality lead generation at every stage of the customer journey
Read more
Call Handling
Call Handling
Professional outsourced customer service. We can provide your customers with an expert, personalised service – making every interaction count
Read more
Appointment Setting
Appointment Setting
Successful appointment setting requires meaningful human interaction with senior decision makers
Read more
Lead Management
Lead Management
Drive value by improving lead flow, quality and conversion
Read more
Event Marketing
Event Marketing
Strategic event marketing can generate higher demand and deliver greater value.
Read more
Lead Qualification / Nurture
Lead Qualification / Nurture
Move leads through the funnel more strategically with our expert lead qualification and lead nurturing services
Read more

Sales

Is your sales strategy driving the results you need?

Telesales / Inside Sales
Telesales / Inside Sales
The quality of your Inside Sales skills can be a key differentiator in a competitive market.
Read more
Account Based Marketing
Account Based Marketing
Smart account based marketing helps to increase profitability, reverse churn and increase customer lifetime value.
Read more

Post Sales Research

Is your customer intelligence keeping pace with your business goals?

Welcome Calls
Welcome Calls
An effective welcome call helps to create a foundation for a lasting relationship. Retaining customers costs less than acquiring them, so it makes sense to have a robust retention strategy in place – starting as soon as a prospect is converted.
Read more
Customer Satisfaction
Customer Satisfaction
Measure customer satisfaction and gain a more nuanced view of your customers’ experiences through phone-based surveys.
Read more
Treating Customers Fairly / Compliance
Treating Customers Fairly / Compliance
An FCA authorised and regulated business, our expert team can help you meet your TCF compliance needs with greater confidence and increased customer insight.
Read more