People skills, or interpersonal skills, are one of those attributes that you either have or don’t have – there’s no ‘in between’. Some people just have the flair for playing well with others, while the rest are just not good at it.
It is believed by many, though, that people skills are imperative to career success. Makes sense, considering that any job entails interacting with people (unless you’re a zookeeper or a lone astronaut in space, and even then, you’d still need to talk to someone).
A Forbes article says there are at least 20 people skills that we have to learn in order for us to succeed at work. This includes strong communication and negotiation skills, good sense of humor, good manners, and awareness of body language. That’s a mouthful, if you think about it.
When hiring a telemarketer for your B2B lead generation and appointment setting campaigns, would you screen an applicant based on people skills? If so, how is that even measured? Would you hire a person on the sole basis of being an extrovert?
Telemarketing is inherently a conversation-based marketing medium, and it’s only logical to note that being a “people person” is favorable. But remember, we are in the business-to-business sphere.
Is it fair to conclude that someone who is a bit stern and straitlaced doesn’t have the capacity to succeed in telemarketing?
Fact: There are also downsides to being a “people person”.
According to Psychology Today, outgoing and sociable people tend to listen less, because of their innate need to seek attention. They are more susceptible to being self-centered individuals, which makes them find it difficult to genuinely relate with others.
This can also cause them to become intrusive. They have the tendency to cut off a person while talking, because they’d rather be listened to than listen to others. In the world of telemarketing, a short attention span is a no-no.
Wouldn’t you rather hire someone who enjoys listening? Someone who thrives on analyzing things before making an action? Someone who has the ability to focus, making him see things that others can’t? Someone who is very good at one-on-one conversations than talking in front of a crowd?
People skills are useful when you want to entertain your prospect and leave a pleasant impression before hanging up the phone. But if you want telemarketers who truly listen and give full attention to your prospects, you may want to change your hiring criteria.