“We’ve tried Telemarketing before and it didn’t work” – a phrase that I, and I’m sure many others in my industry hear from prospects on a very regular basis and an objection which it’s very hard to handle without sounding facetious. I recently used the line “well, maybe you used the wrong company” and immediately wanted to kick myself in the backside but refrained, partly because since I stopped the yoga classes I can’t stretch my leg round there and partly because, although there’s clearly an element of truth in that statement my comment kind of suggested it was the prospects fault for picking the wrong company.
In my opinion, one of the main reasons that Telemarketing campaigns fail is the lack of preparation put in at the start. Too often, companies will promise the earth (to get the clients business in the first place), will launch at the calls like a bull in a phoneshop, taking a scattergun approach with very little thought or strategy put behind it and have little or no focus on the main reason that the campaign has been launched in the first place – to get results!
We’re here to generate business for our clients and unless that’s the primary reason the phone is being picked up, you might as well not bother.
So, in light of that I would like to offer some brief suggestions as to how you can ensure that a Telemarketing campaign gets the results you/your clients need. These are in no specific order but are all as important as each other:
Data – ensure you identify your “ideal customer” and ensure that you have relevant, current, clean data specifically for that campaign – it’s no good pulling out a spreadsheet that you’ve generated from google searches 3 years ago – it’ll be out of date and just wastes time having to clean it
Call structure – anyone that says they don’t use scripts is not maximising the chances of success. Yes, you don’t to be sitting there robotically reading out a list of questions but you do need to ensure you have a strong structure to how you intend the calls to go and need to ensure you absorb that structure to a degree where the contents sound natural and unscripted
Practice – once you’ve written your call structure, with lots of lovely interest-generating questions on it – practice it. It’s like learning lines for a play or, in my instance, a stand up comedy routine. Understand your offering, practice your objection handles, say it again and again and again until you believe in your offering and your ability to sell it
Voicemails – lots of decision makers, particularly in larger companies live on voicemail – have a strong, enthusiastic pitch to leave on voicemails, back this up with an email to further outline your offering, state that you’ll call them back to discuss once they had chance to read it – that way the email isn’t unsolicited.
Emails – put together email templates outlining why you’ve been trying to reach them, what the benefit is to them of continuing the contact. Personally I compile 3 different templates, 1 detailed email for those I’ve spoken to and 2 very concise ones for instances where I’ve left voicemails or not actually spoken to the prospect. Keep them brief – people are too busy to read long emails from sales people they’ve not yet spoken to
Options Make sure you’ve numerous options available should the initial call not result in a lead/appointment. Is there someone else it might be relevant to? would you like to see some information first? if it’s not suitable now – could we agree on a time to talk in the future? etc etc – I always believe that “no” is rarely an absolute. Unless you’re calling completely the wrong industry (go back to the point about data) or the person has died (how selfish when I’m looking to sell you something), there’s always another option
Targets set yourself (or your team) high (but achievable) targets. At it’s most base level, sales is a numbers game – the more calls you make, the more chance of success. If you’re not making the calls, you’re not going to get the results
In some circumstances, Telemarketing (or any type of marketing for that matter) wont’ get the results you’re after but it’s important to maximise the chances of success and, hopefully, this train of thought blog, written at the end of a particularly challenging day, will help!
Keep smiling and dialling folks!
Inspired Business Development
Unit K9 Cradley Enterprise Centre
T:01384 566 078