Applying Salesmanship 101 Principles

Updated – December 2019

Since this article was originally posted in March 2017, much remains the same with our five-year client. The program has continued to grow in the United States – Dunlap Marketing also has the pleasure of supporting the Canadian team now. The process is unchanged, but has been further refined and additional database files have been built and added to the program.

Defining your target marketing, tactfully and respectfully reaching out to them, then making appropriate follow-up steps are the epitome of salesmanship 101 principles. Nothing fancy, just effective.

Original Article – March 2017

An international oil and gas company, and two-year Dunlap Marketing client, has proven when it comes to selling, salesmanship 101 principals still remain. Dunlap Marketing provides an integral function of making prospecting telephone calls into businesses around the US that have large and medium fleets of vehicles. The objective is to schedule phone or face-to-face appointments with interested prospects and our client’s regional sales managers.

“You guys are on fire in my area! Two proposals went out this week from your leads.” – Mid-states region

Process:

  • Before calling began, Dunlap researched and built a national database consisting of our client’s target prospects, based on industry-type and fleet size
  • Once the database was built, Dunlap called to identify the person responsible for decisions relating to fuel card programs
  • Through tactful persistence, Dunlap makes ongoing telephone calls to communicate with this person – the goal being to learn how their company’s current fuel card program works and identifying potential interest in meeting with our client’s regional sales managers
  • Upon request of the prospect, the Dunlap team will email additional information about the program to prospects who want to learn more before scheduling an appointment
  • Throughout the course of calling, Dunlap adds additional database records to the master list. New records can come from either our client’s CRM or through additional research
  • The ultimate goal continues to be scheduling appointments, with a major focus on new business development

“Thanks for the leads Mike. I sang your company’s praises last week at our national sales meeting. I think your staff does a great job.” – Southeast region

Additional Value-Adds:

  • Maintaining CRM application to properly track/manage appointments we set
  • Blitz programs isolating certain events or markets that include a targeted initiative around selling more fleet fuel card programs
  • Internal, weekly product training for continuous education of the Dunlap staff

“Our sales manager was able to speak with all of the calls scheduled! AND one of them is likely to close a deal with us! Nice job! – Marketing Manager

The success of this campaign is based on applying basic salesmanship 101 tactics. Proper planning, messaging, cold calling, strategic follow up calls, and use of email correspondence are the building blocks of selling.

For questions or inquiries, contact us online. Or, reach out to Mike Dunlap at miked@dunlapmarketing.com, 281.496.9870 x 140 or Kaitlin Dunlap Cuevas at kaitlind@dunlapmarketing.com, 281.496.9870 x 180.

How to Implement Smart Calling with a Smart Plan – Plus: A Case Study from Mike Dunlap

What is Smart Calling

Smart calling is the act of making prospecting sales calls with a plan. In this instance, having a plan entails utilizing a known process and systems you can trust.

Dunlap Marketing has been in the business of conducting smart prospecting calls since 1996. Over the years, we have developed a smart plan that we utilize with every campaign we work on.

The following are crucial steps, developed by our team, that should be followed as you and your team prepare to make smart calls:

  1. Data Records – clearly identify the businesses you want to call (ie: current customer list, idle customer list, specific industry categories, specific sizes (revenues and/or employee count), defined geography
  2. Identify the Decision Maker – know who the right person is you want to talk with; if this information is not available to you, know the proper title and/or department
  3. Messaging – prepare a message that is brief, quickly gets to the reason for your call, asks good qualifying questions, asks about current satisfaction levels, and defines next steps
  4. Utilize Technology – have a data-capture tool that allows you to properly document the valuable information you gather, a tool that allows you to define and schedule next steps, and might allow you to send follow up emails
  5. Schedule – develop and commit to a schedule for making your smart calls; create a schedule that is reasonable and achievable, then follow your plan and be patient
  6. Commit – trust your plan

If you follow the above steps, you will be implementing a Smart Calling campaign with a Smart Plan, a plan that is targeted specifically to a group of companies, some of which might become your future customers. There are common industry phrases that describe this type of work such as cold calling, telemarketing, teleprospecting, or lead generation. No matter what you call it, when it’s done properly, it is an excellent way to fill your pipeline with qualified prospect opportunities.

Personal Case Study

At Dunlap Marketing, we like to make a habit of practicing what we preach. The following case study, dictated by Mike Dunlap, Founder and President, tells the story of Dunlap Marketing’s marketing and advertising journey over the past 7 months. While utilizing various modes of marketing, such as PPC and social media, we wanted to see what would happen if we included smart prospecting calls in the mix.

For the last 7 months (July 2018 through January 2019) our company, Dunlap Marketing, has been focused on a growth plan. As part of the plan, we implemented a few initiatives to assist in our growth. We committed to launching multiple PPC and social media campaigns, along with an internal calling campaign. The results have surprised me.

We began tracking the monthly activity, expenses, and ROI associated with our PPC and social media campaigns. Having committed significant dollars and time, and learning a great deal along the way, we have been amazed at our findings. The world of PPC, Google Ads, Bing, LinkedIn, and Facebook advertising is expensive and very difficult. It is also constantly changing, and we find ourselves competing for keywords with companies that provide differing services. For our company, each and every marketing dollar is important to us and we are not in a position to compete for relative, yet high dollar keywords.

I mentioned earlier that we also maintained an internal calling campaign. (And for the record, we followed all the steps listed above as we ran the campaign!) Below outlines the findings of our growth initiatives thus far:

Budget / Time: Over the past 7 months, approximately 74% of our budget has been allocated to PPC / social media efforts and 26% has been assigned to internal Smart Calling. Something far greater than 74% of our management time has been devoted to work associated with PPC and social media .

Measurement: At the end of the day, we track our sales progress based on the number of proposals delivered to qualified prospects.

Results: Over the last few months, virtually every proposal delivered was the result of our internal calling campaign. Our overall ROI is overwhelmingly in favor of sales activity resulting from Smart Calls. We remain committed to PPC and social media, primarily because we feel over time, these methods will reach prospects that we cannot connect with via Smart Calling efforts.

Utilizing a smart plan while implementing smart prospecting calls has proven to be a successful addition to Dunlap’s overall marketing strategy. Being a low cost, positive ROI-producing solution, consider adding smart calling to you company’s growth strategy.

Quick Blitz Utilizing Telemarketing

Telemarketing, Prospecting, and a Smart Business Trip

When was the last time you had a spur of the moment thought that required immediate implementation, otherwise the thought was useless? In today’s business climate, this scenario happens more and more frequently. Dunlap Marketing has the ability to execute large, quick blitz projects with immediacy.

Quick Blitz Case Study

Late Monday, Dunlap received a very specific appointment setting request from a Regional Sales Manager of one of our largest customers.

I’ll be in the Seattle market this week. If you guys have anything for me in this area, or anything you’re working on there, please let me know. It will be great to fill my free time making sales calls if you can set some up for me.

 

On Tuesday morning, Mike, owner of Dunlap Marketing, replied, confirming action. With the size of this customer’s database, Dunlap Marketing quickly turned on this targeted blitz project. The beauty of blitz call campaigns is being able to touch a large quantity of prospect opportunities in a short period of time.

We can zero in on the Seattle and Bellevue areas for a couple days in hopes of setting appointments for you this week.  Realistically, calls today and tomorrow will probably yield events for Thursday or Friday. Does this work for you? – Mike

The Quick Blitz Process

The setup and programming moved swiftly. On Tuesday morning, after action was confirmed by the client, Dunlap set filters inside our CRM that allowed our staff to only make calls in the specific markets around Seattle. Next, a call script / message was developed and a few key staff members were trained. Within a few hours, calls were going live.

Not only were calls being made, but appointments were being set.

By the end of Tuesday, Dunlap had scheduled appointments for the Regional Sales Manager and sent them off to him. The efficiency of our internal telephony systems and staff members trained on blitz projects were vital in the success of this request.

We just secured a 9:00 AM PT phone appointment for you to talk to a Seattle prospect about scheduling a face-to-face appointment while you’re there. Details to follow. – Kaitlin 

 

With the additional appointments scheduled, the Regional Sales Manager maximized his time in Seattle and spoke with more target prospects. On Friday afternoon, we received the following email from the Regional Sales Manager:

Thanks for the great leads this week. I spoke to the appointment prospect and there is a good opportunity with them. Please tell your team thank you for their quick response for me this week.

 

One of the many benefits of telemarketing as an appointment setting and/or lead generation tool is the ability to quickly direct your efforts to a very specific market. In instances like this, timing is everything!

Are Surveys Your Solution?

Unexpectedly, you just lost a great customer or a great employee. What if you knew why they left or if there was something you could have done to keep them from leaving? Would they have stayed?

This type of information can be priceless. If feedback like this can be of use to you and your company, we have your solution.

For over 20 years, Dunlap Marketing has been assisting companies in developing comprehensive solutions for conducting independent, third party surveys. There are three types of surveys we specialize in: customer satisfaction, employee satisfaction, and research. Phone and email are the primary methods we utilize to conduct surveys. Through years of experience, we have found that an interactive phone conversation allows for openness and honesty without fear or hesitation. As a result, this is one reason a third party, one-on-one conversation is so valuable.

Customer Satisfaction Surveys

It takes a lot of time and money to replace a customer, especially a good one. Being proactive in addressing your customers’ needs is vital to maintaining and continuing a long-term relationship. Let Dunlap Marketing help you by calling your customers and asking satisfaction questions. Using an independent provider to ask these questions allows your customers the opportunity to answer honestly. This honesty yields the most valuable survey results. Interestingly, a common byproduct of customer satisfaction calls is to identify additional business opportunities.

Dunlap Marketing’s level of service, precision, and competence has been outstanding. We were very impressed with the process and the high number of clients who completed the survey, which indicates Dunlap’s professionalism when making the calls. They gave us the flexibility and customization we needed to quickly collect valuable client feedback that will help us continue to improve our growing business.”

 

Employee Satisfaction Surveys

Similarly to customers, replacing an employee also requires a lot of time, effort, and money. Employees are likely to tell a co-worker they’re happy, even if they are not. By using a third party to conduct employee satisfaction surveys, you can ensure your employees are satisfied in their job and work environment. We can help you retain valuable employees.

“We could not be more pleased with the outcome of the employee study and the work that Dunlap Marketing did. Thank you so much. You did absolutely everything we asked and completed the work on schedule! The information you provided about our employees allowed us to implement necessary change, which results in happier staff.”

Research Surveys

Know ahead of time what your customers will want from you. Before spending resources on a project, learn the thoughts and feedback from the end users, allowing optimization to occur before significant dollars are spent.

“Mike and his team at Dunlap Marketing not only get the job done in a timely manner, they are also easy to work with and dedicated to complete satisfaction.  They shine when it comes to logistics.  It is refreshing to work with a firm that seems to consistently under promise and over deliver.”

 “I have worked with Dunlap Marketing for over 10 years.  We consider Mike and the Dunlap team part of our team.  They are always a pleasure to work with, and they deliver quality results on time—the perfect partner for your survey and telemarketing needs. The information they capture during phone surveys is invaluable as we develop services to meet the needs of our client members.”

 

Dunlap Marketing is equipped to not only execute your survey, but also to assist with design and set up. We can help you develop a comprehensive solution for conducting satisfaction or research surveys, including:

  • Developing the questions and answer forms
  • Automation of data capture
  • Methods to capture data include telephone calls, e-mail, land mail and/or web based solutions
  • Report generation
  • Presentation of findings
  • Survey frequency

If surveys will help your company become more productive and profitable, contact us today.

Mike Dunlap, miked@dunlapmarketing.com, 281.496.9870 ext. 140

Kaitlin Dunlap Cuevas, kaitlind@dunlapmarketing.com, 281.496.9870 ext. 180