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My Telemarketing Colleagues’ Superpower


March 22, 2018

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My Telemarketing Colleagues’ Superpower

It was a weekday evening. I was busy getting dinner ready when the telephone rang. “Private number,” I read. Some telemarketer, no doubt. And because my respect for people working in the field has grown steadily over the last few years, I answered.

A growing respect, yes, but not for all of them. Just for the men and women who really know their topic and are 300% committed … like the pros from our very own call centre at Atypic.

And it was in fact a colleague calling me that night, without recognizing it was me she was talking to. Because after 6 p.m., she knew me only as a Montreal SPCA supporter whom she might possibly convert into a monthly donor. And it would be best for me to take my potatoes off the burner if I intended to resist her efforts!

She’s really good, that Lucie. Outstanding!

Out of admiration for her work—a front-line position, unlike my behind-the-scenes job—I decided to help shed a little light on the work of our call agents and pay tribute to a media that is too often forgotten and overlooked: the telephone.

So what exactly do we use the phone for at Atypic? To secure donations, of course, but also to collect information on the people we speak with, which we can then use to enhance our campaigns on other platforms. We also use the phone to take assess individuals’ interest in various topics, to fine-tune initiatives in progress and to measure their impact. It also comes in very handy as a way of thanking them.

What kind of qualities do our agents need to do all that? Interpersonal skills, for sure. But they also have to be able to size up a situation quickly, they have to be smooth talkers, and they need a healthy dose of humour.

Most of all, though, they need solid preparation and ironclad commitment. Without that, it’s impossible to speak on behalf of a cause with sufficient confidence and drive.

Speaking of causes, the ones that involve diseases are the most sensitive. Our telephone agents often end up becoming confidants and even first-line support for the people on the other end of the line. Because in return for opening up their private lives to callers, donors and supporters often expect to find a sympathetic ear and maybe even a little comforting. It’s a role that can be very demanding, but one that my colleagues pull off with great success every day.

When it comes to their relationships with their favourite organizations, every donor is different. Good call centre agents are able to pinpoint and capitalize on that unique quality during their conversations, and that’s what makes their work so invaluable.

Marie-Solenne confirms it for us. “I remember one donor in particular. During our initial conversation, he started calling me “my dear” right off the bat. For the duration of our phone call, I had become an adopted grandchild for him! We came to an agreement on an amount for his monthly donation, and he asked me to call him back a few hours later to get his bank information. When I called him back, he answered on the first ring, calling me by my first name. He had clearly been waiting for my call! ‘I spoke to my wife …,ʼ he said. Right off, I recognized the universal code that usually means ‘I’ve changed my mind.ʼ But no! On the contrary, he reiterated how important the cause was to both of them. And when it was time to confirm the amount, I heard his wife behind him say ‘No, double it!ʼ For this couple, donating to the foundation had a special meaning, in memory of their granddaughter.

“That day, I was just a link in the chain between their generosity and the organization’s beneficiaries, but those are the times you sign up for!”

And to anyone who questions how much you can accomplish with a phone call, I would definitely hold up our super agents at Atypic as an example!

– With the collaboration of Marie-Solenne Percolides