Use of First Names when Telemarketing

I am sure we have all come across cringe-worthy telemarketing or telesales calls where the use of the first name is overdone.

The call goes something like “Hello Bob, Is it OK to call you Bob, I want to speak with you Bob about …Does that sound good to you Bob?”

Now, the telemarketer may think that this is OK as they have asked permission and created rapport by using the first name but from our experience this usually puts people’s backs up immediately due to over-familiarity.

On the other hand calls that do not use the first name at all can come across quite cold and impersonal so the trick is to get the balance right. 

Using the first name as you would in real life without it being over-done can be powerful by way of having a comfortable, genuine, conversation without coming across like an over the top tactics.  It shows that you have listened and have made an effort to remember their first name.

Our in-house split testing shows that very careful and delicate use of first names is the right zone to aim for whether that is the first call or any subsequent follow up calls. It has consistently been more fruitful than using Sir/Madam or nothing at all.

On balance just once or twice is enough but certainly no more than three.  Generally at the beginning of the call, at the end of the call, and possibly somewhere in between but only if it is appropriate. Like most of our telemarketing tips this is centred around judging the call properly and doing what works for that particular call.

An important exception to this however is if you have data where the prospect has referred to themselves as Mr, Mrs, Ms then refer to them this way instead unless they volunteer for you to refer to them by their first name.

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