Telemarketing Tips, From The Pros – Part 2

Have you checked out Telemarketing Tips, From the Pros – Part 1 yet? If not, go catch up before continuing with this article!

It’s common for us to hear “does your team have any tips?”. As a matter of fact, we do! In Part 1 of our series, we reviewed tips on call preparation. As a continuation, Part 2 carries on the discussion and hits on tips you can use during your call sessions.

During your Calls

Congratulations, your call campaign has launched! Now you have a prospect on the phone – what do you do now?!? The Dunlap team is here to help you make the most of your phone conversations with prospects!

  • In the same vein as re-reading your script before you start a calling session (as mentioned in Part 1), keep your script in front of you while making your calls so if needed, it’s easy to reference.
  • Avoid overloading the prospect with too much information early on in your call – quickly get to the point and let them know the reason you are calling.
  • When asking for an appointment, be upfront. Try by suggesting a date and time as a starting point.
  • Be a good listener – remember we have two ears and one mouth; sometimes it’s appropriate to speak half as much as you listen!
  • While on the phone, speak to the person on the other end as if they were seated right next to you. This will help you come across as more approachable.
  • If a prospect asks you a question you don’t know the answer to, that’s okay! Use it as a way to get your foot in the door by saying, “That’s a great question and I actually don’t have the answer right now. Can I schedule a time to have John come to meet you next Tuesday so he can answer it for you? He’s the expert!”
  • If the decision-maker says they already have a solution set in place, say, “That’s okay! Most people already have something set in place. We’re just calling to let you know what we have to offer so you can compare it to what you have now, or maybe even add us to your current solution.”

Stay tuned for part three of our “Telemarketing Tips, From the Pros” series, where we’ll discuss tips you can use while trying to reach the decision-maker.

Telemarketing Tips, From The Pros – Part 1

The team at Dunlap Marketing has an average of 12 years of experience working in business-to-business prospecting. Working with customers to help grow their sales through appointment setting and lead generation is something that not only drives our team, but also keeps us dialing!

It’s common for us to hear “does your team have any tips?”. As a matter of fact, we do! If you’re on a cold calling journey, check out our four-part series outlining various tips from the Dunlap Marketing gurus.

Call Preparation

To kick off our series, we’re starting at the beginning. Before a call campaign goes live, you need to prepare for it. Here are some tips from the Dunlap team specific to call preparation:

  • Trim the fat and avoid using fluff words when preparing your message – stick to the details that are relevant during an early stage call. Remember that you’re not trying to close a deal on an appointment setting call.
  • Be prepared to answer questions the prospect might have before agreeing to an appointment. This might mean doing additional research on your product/service or preliminary research on the company you’re calling into.
  • Before you launch a call, know who you need to speak with. This could be knowing which department, a specific title, or even the decision maker’s name.
  • It’s common for a prospect to tell you “no” before they understand the purpose of your call. To be prepared for this, practice using rebuttals that will help get your call back on track.
  • Re-read your message each time you start a calling session. This will help get your brain “in the zone” and remind yourself of key details.

Stay tuned for part two of our “Telemarketing Tips, From the Pros” series, where we’ll discuss tips you can use during your cold calls.

Tips to Protect Yourself from Robocalls

With robocalls being in the news so much lately, we want to share these tips to protect you from illegal calls and scams. The tips below come from the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) website, and they serve as very good advice to follow.  Robocalling is far more reaching than unreputable companies in the United States, as this type of unethical calling often originates in other countries around the world.  In general, the American population seems to be a prime target internationally. 

protect from robocalls

Consumer Tips to Stop Unwanted Robocalls and Avoid Phone Scams:

  • Don’t answer calls from unknown numbers. If you answer such a call, hang up immediately.
  • You may not be able to tell right away if an incoming call is spoofed. Be aware: Caller ID showing a “local” number does not necessarily mean it is a local caller.
  • If you answer the phone and the caller – or a recording – asks you to hit a button to stop getting the calls, you should just hang up. Scammers often use this trick to identify potential targets.
  • Do not respond to any questions, especially those that can be answered with “Yes.”
  • Never give out personal information such as account numbers, Social Security numbers, mother’s maiden names, passwords or other identifying information in response to unexpected calls or if you are at all suspicious.
  • If you get an inquiry from someone who says they represent a company or a government agency, hang up and call the phone number on your account statement, in the phone book, or on the company’s or government agency’s website to verify the authenticity of the request. You will usually get a written statement in the mail before you get a phone call from a legitimate source, particularly if the caller is asking for a payment.
  • Use caution if you are being pressured for information immediately.
  • If you have a voice mail account with your phone service, be sure to set a password for it. Some voicemail services are preset to allow access if you call in from your own phone number. A hacker could spoof your home phone number and gain access to your voice mail if you do not set a password.
  • Talk to your phone company about call blocking tools they may have and check into apps that you can download to your mobile device to block unwanted calls.
  • If you use robocall-blocking technology already, it often helps to let that company know which numbers are producing unwanted calls so they can help block those calls for you and others.
  • To block telemarketing calls, register your number on the Do Not Call List. Legitimate telemarketers consult the list to avoid calling both landline and wireless phone numbers on the list.

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.