Monthly Archives: March 2017

Monopoly v. competition, or why do new start-ups need a business development strategy too?

I have made two, great new discoveries recently. Audible (old hat I know) and Peter Thiel’s recent book, Zero to One.  Peter Thiel, who famously created and sold Paypal, states in his book that new technology of all types is more important than globalisation. This is because the latter is based on taking a product that was successful in one place and making a success of it in wider geographic markets. Doing this at the expense of progress says Thiele, is unsustainable based on existing resources.

The book goes on to say that vertical growth, which defines creating a new product from scratch is much harder and can be described as moving from zero to one, whereas improving an existing product can be described as moving from one to ten.

Having recently joined NatWest’s Entrepreneurship mentoring program, E-Sparks, this really struck a chord with me. Having met so many people, young and old, who are trying to make their new concept a success, has made me think hard about developing new products. Listening to Thiele’s book has actually given me a new understanding in terms of which ideas are an improvement on existing technology and which are new technologies.

I always enjoy learning new ideas and concepts and I highly recommend that you read (or listen) to Zero to One for this reason. However, I wanted to draw your attention to a particular concept which is key to any Entrepreneur;

In the book, Thiel describes a common mistake many start-ups make, which is to describe their market so narrowly that they dominate it by definition. I could not agree more, we all want to prove that our product is unique because that means that we have a monopoly over our market. Still, sometimes we get so caught up in telling our story of uniqueness we forget to consider if our niche market actually exists at all.

Let me leave you with one last killer quote from the book: ‘If you lose sight of competitor reality and focus on trivial differentiation factors, you are unlikely to build a successful business’.

So let’s bring this back to business development strategy, how is it connected? Well, a big part of it should consider your opportunities in the market place and how your product actually fits in with the existing market. Ask these questions early enough and you will avoid making the said common mistake.

I am currently developing a start-up business development plan and looking for Guinee Pigs to work with. So, if you own a start-up or you know someone who does, get in touch.

Telemarketing scripts-why are they useful?

You have probably never heard of him, but Alan Lakein, the writer of several self-help books on time management from the 1970s, once said that ‘Failing to plan is planning to fail’. This is true about most things including your telemarketing campaigns.

Due to the fact that I run a lead generation company, I am increasingly developing my experience in running telemarketing campaigns and a big part of the planning of such a campaign is creating a script. Telephone scripts have a bad name because people generally associate them with call centres and disengaged telephone operators. Despite that, I can categorically say that having a script is key to a successful telemarketing campaign.

However, there is a caveat to this statement: we are not talking about any old script but a good one. So what should a good telemarketing script consist of? Here are a few points:

  • It identifies the best approach for the campaign, depending on your goal and target market
  • It highlights the outcomes you are looking for
  • It contains an opening statement, stating the reason for calling, as well as a hook to capture attention and help start a conversation
  • It details the questions you would like to ask, covering the information you are most interested in finding out from your prospect
  • It includes a closing statement to leave the right impression and agree next steps

Having this kind of script would ensure that you are more likely to get a positive, useful outcome to your telemarketing campaign because it is geared towards growing your target market understanding. In addition, there are a few additional key factors you should consider including:

  • Using a positive tone in cold calls: It doesn’t matter what you say if you say it without conviction or passion. A study found that human behaviour was only influenced by words to the tune of 7% whilst tone accounted for 38%. Therefore, a fundamental factor in your successful telemarketing script is the way it is delivered to the prospect.
  • Objection handling techniques: it is inevitable that buyer objections will arise and you need to deal with them. Questions are key to qualify and clarify objections. If you do this, some will simply dissipate. If you’ve identified a valid objection, you then need objection handling skills to manage the situation. Consider and plan for the most common objections and your response. That way, you won’t be caught out and you will be more confident of success.

If you read my recent Blogs you will have hopefully gathered that I am not a massive fan of measuring success by the number of appointments made. Telemarketing is a great tool and if used correctly it will save you time and money.  It might even get you some leads.

If you have not had much success with telemarketing in the past whether you run it in-house or outsource it, why not get in touch to see if we can help make it work better for your business.