One of my favourite motivational speakers, Zig Ziglar, once said: “Your attitude, not your aptitude, will determine your altitude.”
This is true in most situations but I think it is particularly important to remember when attempting to use the telephone to follow up on sales leads, also known as telemarketing, telesales and cold calling.
In a previous blog I attempted to persuade you to outsource your telephone follow-up. I still believe you should. Whilst you and your team are the best people to represent your brand, your time is much better spent speaking and meeting with actual sales opportunities. If you spent five minutes reading any sales success books you will know all about sales funnels and pipelines. Here are two main things to remember about lead generation:
- When it comes to developing new business, your marketing campaigns represent the very start of the journey. Creating interest is great but there are still quite a few stages to go through before you can call it a sales lead
- The more touches you add to your sales process the more likely you are to develop the kind of relationships you are after
- The more information you uncover about your target market the better
So where am I going with this? Well, I would recommend that you consider all of the above when it comes to arranging your next telephone campaign, be it in-house or outsourced. Most business owners get so caught up with measuring results that they narrow the desired outcome to making appointments. Here are a few reasons why it does not work:
- Most telemarketing campaigns are done as a follow-up to a number of communications, typically done by e-mail, often to new contacts who may have not heard of you or considered your product before. This means that when they are called they are not in buying mode so pushing for an appointment is a little premature.
- Due to a lot of product information being found online, most buyers are less keen on sales meetings per se and feel they would benefit more from speaking to a product expert who can answer their questions
Is telephone follow up a waste of time then? No, not at all. It is a great tool and an important touch, which adds value to any marketing activity as long as you understand what it is best used for:
- As a tool to clean up your database and identify broad opportunities and dead ends
- As a way to speed up your understanding of your target markets and how they perceive you
- As a relationship building tool
If you are interested in learning more about effective use of telemarketing strategy, you might want to come along to a joint seminar I am holding with my friends at MacArthur Davies on Friday 3/03/17 covering the secrets to telemarketing success. Click here to find out more and register.