The Best Way to Make Cold Calling Work

Throughout Dunlap Marketing’s 22 years, there is one question we are very accustomed to hearing – what is the best way to make cold calling work? While this sounds like a simple question, it’s not always a simple answer.

The Best Way to Make Cold Calling Work

The truth is, cold calling absolutely works; however, as with any marketing campaign, cold calling works best when used in conjunction with other forms of marketing (ie: email, social media, etc.).

To dig deeper and to get more specific, cold calling works best with a strategic plan. Let’s play a quick game –

Would you rather spend your marketing dollars calling into random companies who may or may not (likely, not) be interested in your product / service OR would you rather spend that same money calling a customized list of companies who match your target prospects? I think I can guess your answer to this question.

Hungry for more on how to build a database?

How about this – would you rather spend money and time calling into prospects without a clear direction for your call OR would you rather spend time and money having productive conversations with prospects, always having a defined next step? Again, I’m going to assume you’d prefer the latter! And if not, why in the world are you wasting your time reading this article?!

Trying to figure out how to write a telemarketing script? We can help with that! 

In a nutshell, the two best ways to make cold calling work are to incorporate it as one component of a larger marketing campaign and to approach it with a strategic plan.

For more information, please reach out to Dunlap Marketing.

Contact form

Mike Dunlap – miked@dunlapmarketing.com – 281.496.9870 x. 140

Kaitlin Dunlap Cuevas – kaitlind@dunlapmarketing.com – 281.496.9870 x. 180

Measuring and Analyzing

ARTICLE #6 IN A 6 ARTICLE SERIES

Congratulations! You’re at the point in your telemarketing campaign where it’s time for measuring and analyzing the results. It’s taken a lot of work to get here – you have identified your database, written your script, role played with the script, started calls, and followed up as necessary with your prospects.

Now, it’s time to take a step back and revisit the goals of your campaign. What were you trying to accomplish? Most likely, you were trying to uncover actionable events that can help you grow your business.

At the end of a calling campaign, it’s helpful to analyze your progress throughout the campaign.

Note: You don’t have to wait until the end of a campaign to analyze – it’s helpful to look at results and productivity at other points as well. For example, a few checkpoints are:

  1. After the first few hours
  2. The halfway point
  3. As you’re nearing the end
  4. Once you’ve completed the campaign

Keep in mind, if something needs to be adjusted, it’s better to know sooner versus later. This is why we suggest multiple checkpoints throughout the duration of a campaign.

 

To begin measuring and analyzing, first, compare your results with your goals. Did you achieve, exceed, or fall short of what you were hoping to accomplish? Why? What will you tweak for the next time?

If you have technology, you can pull reports that show exact numbers – the hours called, calls connected, the number of actionable events, etc. Analyzing and understanding these data points will help you with the success of future campaigns. However, while it’s important to look at these numbers, do not undervalue the callers’ thoughts and opinions. Reports show you numbers, while the callers can tell you more about how the calls were received and what they heard from the prospects.

The most effective analysis will include the data and feedback – this will paint the clearest picture of the campaign as a whole and give insight into the meaning behind the numbers.

In summary, most prospects make buying decisions when their timing is right and they have a need or pain with their current solution. The best way to capitalize on good timing is to establish the discipline to be calling on a consistent basis. Remember, a day you do not prospect will create a day in the future when you won’t have something to sell.

For questions and more information on telemarketing campaigns, contact Dunlap Marketing.

Mike Dunlap – miked@dunlapmarketing.com

Kaitlin Dunlap Cuevas – kaitlind@dunlapmarketing.com

Applying Salesmanship 101 Principles

An international oil and gas company, a 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 business 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 inquires, contact Mike Dunlap at miked@dunlapmarketing.com, 281.496.9870 x 140 or Kaitlin Dunlap Cuevas at kaitlind@dunlapmarketing.com, 281.496.9870 x 180.

Follow Up Best Practices

ARTICLE #5 IN A 6 ARTICLE SERIES

Now that you’ve gone live with calling (Article #4 – Getting Your Telemarketing Campaign Started), there is a good chance you have found there are many different results from the calls. Next steps with clear actions or an appointment are the best results. However, not all calls are as easy as that! Other results could be:

  1. Request for more information
  2. Request for a call back
  3. A question is asked that requires research on your end, then a call back

More Information

Often, there is a fine line between a prospect who is genuinely interested in receiving more information and someone who is trying to get you off the phone. As you spend more time teleprospecting, you will learn how to discern possible interest. Do not be afraid to “test the waters” in an effort to qualify interest. Your time is important – spend it wisely.  In our opinion, if a prospect asks for information to be sent, they should also be willing to share why they are asking. If you still feel unsure, and you have tried to validate the reason, err on the side of caution and send the information – you never know when they might need your product or service.

It is very important to accurately capture the prospect’s email address and/or physical address.  Obviously, email is a more desirable and economical way to send information.  Also, the more specific the information is to the prospect, the better. It will take more time to send a tailored message, but it is worth the extra effort.

And of course, after you have sent the additional information, don’t forget to call back in a few days! Your follow up at this stage becomes very important.

Call Back

Keeping in mind that your prospect was not waiting by the phone for your call, you will frequently find that you have caught them at a busy time. In this instance, ask what day and time is best for you to call back. It is important to make it a priority to call your prospect back at their requested day and time – this will show you are respectful of their time and will start building trust and respect.

When you make the follow up call, remind the prospect you recently spoke with them and are calling back per their request. Refresh their memory of your previous conversation by restating something they told you. Be prepared to have a productive conversation with them about your product or service!

Often, voicemails will get in your way; use it as a tool on occasion. A message that is brief and informative is not a bad outcome.

Research and Call Back

Sometimes, a prospect will ask you a question you do not know the answer to.  This is okay and generally a sign showing the prospect has a level of interest in your product or service.  When this happens, never feel like you need to make up an answer, as this can lead to confusion and make the prospect feel you are not creditable.

Instead, let them know they asked a great question! Tell them you do not know the exact answer and would not want to lead them astray. Ask if you can call back with the correct answer – let them know approximately how long it will take you to get back with them.

Complete the necessary research and follow up with your prospect. This is another example of building trust and credibility. If you are unable to get them back on the phone, leave a voicemail or email with the answer.

Speaking with prospects and following up as promised is how the sales process gets started. It is important to show your prospects that you are credible and reliable as these first phases of the sales cycles are the foundation of your relationship with future clients. Do not get discouraged if you are asked to call back at a later time – it is a natural request and allows you the opportunity to show you respect their time and requests.

Follow up is all about timing, good planning, and being prepared.  If you are diligent and committed to the process, positive results will happen.

Be sure to read the final article in the “How to Implement a Telemarketing Campaign” series – Measuring and Analyzing.

For more information, contact Mike (miked@dunlapmarketing.com) or Kaitlin (kaitlind@dunlapmarketing.com).