Category Archives: Telemarketing

How many cold calls have you had this week?

In Barking Up the Wrong Tree, an excellent book about success, Eric Barker mentions some interesting research into insurance sales. The project concluded that sales people could actually be hired on their level of optimism alone. Apparently, agents who scored in the top 10% of optimism, sold 88% more than the most pessimistic tenth.

Reading this made me think about telesales consultants and how their job must require the biggest reserves of optimism compared with any other sales job. Considering what I sometimes say to some of them when they ask me yet again if I want to sell my business…. You must be very resilient, optimistic or desperate to be able to pick up the phone and do it all again.

Thinking back to that piece of research, I wonder if optimistic telesales consultants sell 88% more than their cynical colleagues. Moreover, considering the negativity that surrounds telephone sales I wonder if they sell anything at all. I don’t mean to be rude to telesales consultants, some of whom are very good at their job. At Your Business Development Team, we use telemarketing as an important tool in our operation. I also spend a lot of time talking to clients about the importance of picking up the phone and not hiding behind their computer screens.

What is the problem then you might ask, and what is the difference between telesales and telemarketing anyway? The best way to explain It, is to liken it to the difference between cold calling and warm calling. I believe cold calling is just another way to try and achieve a quick sale through cutting corners. It is often connected with a poor strategy and hasty action to try and pull quick results; now I am all for results and quick ones where possible but if you are looking for real results they often take time to achieve.

Consider your buying preferences; would you rather:

  1. Get some relevant information first, allowing you to engage with the company and consider its product then get a phone call following up to get your feedback and build a better picture of your needs?
  2. Have someone call you out of the blue asking you how you are today or telling you they are just conducting a survey…

No strategy is perfect or offers guaranteed results but I know which one I would prefer to be the receiver of.

As a business owner, a marketing manager or a sales director, it is important to consider this, particularly in the light of GDPR which is bound to bring about a surge in cold calling. I would hesitate a guess that many companies who used to spam you with loads of sales e-mails because it was easy will migrate to cold calls instead. So, even if it sounds really tempting, don’t go down this route, consider your target markets and how to contact them appropriately. Take the time to build an intelligent lead generation strategy and you will get real results much quicker.

As always, I will be happy to discuss your requirements in person. Click here for more information on setting up a telemarketing operation.

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.

 

 

Telemarketing tips: Forget making appointments, build your target market knowledge

 

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.