One popular telemarketing fear is getting a raging response on the other end. If you think that this is only common among consumer telemarketers, studies are hinting that B2B healthcare marketing is constantly under that same threat. And the top source of blow ups? Doctors!
At least, that’s what this Businessweek article is indicating. And if your telemarketing targets are primarily medical professionals, the prevalence of flaring tempers is all around:
“In one study, published in American Journal of Nursing in 2002, 90 percent of hospital workers, including doctors and nurses, reported “yelling” and “abusive language,” along with “condescension” and “berating colleagues.” A quarter of the 1,200 people in that survey said they witnessed such behavior weekly. “There isn’t a doctor alive who hasn’t seen it,” says William Norcross, executive director of a program at the University of California at San Diego that uses anger management to treat irascible physicians.”
Despite that, there is still no room for fear if you want to generate health leads. There is only awareness and then action. Now that you’re aware of this anger epidemic among professionals, what are you going to do? Well first, what you should not do is fight fire and with fire. Instead, keep the following things in mind when you’re contacting a doctor:
- Time to call – Depending on the particular practice, are you calling them at the right time? Is the number listed on your CRM connected to their desk phone or are you taking risks with mobile? Sometimes it’s better to send a polite email first before making the call. Take note, don’t just stop at email. Not finding some other means of following up could result your message in being completely ignored.
- Staying calm – This doesn’t just apply to outbound calls but you could also end up getting the heat from an inbound complaint. In either case, stay as calm as possible because you’ll only contribute if you or your agents end up losing their own temper. It’s even more important if you’re outsourcing your call center to telemarketing companies.
- Resolve objectively – Keeping calm is not the same as holding the handset (or headset) as if you were holding some rabid species of vermin. Despite all that rage, listen for the actual problem. Be objective when analyzing their response. If it’s clear that you called at a bad time, briefly apologize and hang up. If they’re calling you instead, strictly follow basic inbound protocols on what to expect in spite of all the heat.
If you or some of your agents think this is too much, then reread this portion of the article before you all say you should expect a little more professionalism:
“Their hours are brutal, the stakes are high, and the threat of malpractice suits is ever-present. The life-or-death nature of the work wears at steely nerves even on the best days…”
You may be right about them getting more help and keeping their composure but be a little more sympathetic as well. In B2B telemarketing, being aware of your prospect’s temperament is the best way you’ll attract sales leads. It shows you to be more understanding and has been applied in all kinds of successful marketing practices.