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.

Why Cold Calling Does Not Work

If you’re in marketing or sales, you likely have a list of reasons why cold calling “does not work”. Do any of these sound familiar?

  1. I just don’t like doing it!
  2. My list is overwhelmingly large – where’s my starting point?
  3. How do I start a conversation with a cold prospect?
  4. The sales cycle takes too long with cold calls.

Have no fear – each of the above reasons why cold calling “does not work” can easily be rebuked.

why cold calling does not work

I Just Don’t Like Doing It

Often cold calling does not work because it’s seen as an unpleasant task. It seems as if sales people are born knowing they do not like to cold call.  Humans are interesting – if we don’t want to do something, we will find a way to avoid getting it done.

Successful sales people use multiple tools when selling. Phone calls, email, social media, and networking are all examples. Part of a salesperson’s success is the ability to blend and balance these tools and knowing how to sequence them.  The sequence usually changes from prospect to prospect. The tools are applied based on their value and impact.  Too much of one tool and not enough of another limits the ability to maximize success.

Challenge yourself – just because you might not enjoy the act of cold calling, does that really mean it doesn’t work?

My List Is Overwhelming

It is not realistic for someone to sustain a cold calling approach if you have thousands of targeted companies on your list. To see the most success, your list needs to be a manageable size.  If your file is big, try to prioritize it by isolating the best couple hundred.  Large database files lead to exhausting your enthusiasm.

Always keep in mind that this work takes time – you’re building relationships and that does not happen quickly.

How Do I Start the Conversation?

In a business-to-business environment, prospecting via phone calls creates great advantages when done properly.  Here are two examples of how this activity works:

1st – An informative starting point

Assuming you have developed a targeted prospect list (database of who you think is a good prospect), phone calls are a quick way to pre-qualify and prioritize.  You can:

  • Learn who the decision maker is and gather his or her contact information,
  • Learn what their current situation is or when agreements renew,
  • Learn current satisfaction levels.

This is all important information to know while building the foundation for a successful selling opportunity.

2nd – Stay in touch and build relationships 

Once you have gathered key information specific to individual prospects, its smart to stay in touch with them. Along with other methods, phone calls are impactful.  Even if you are unable to get the decision maker on the phone, utilize voice mail messages. Leave your name, remind them that you’re aware of their current situation, and let them know you are interested in earning their business. If you are talking to someone who reports to the decision maker, it’s okay to ask how the current situation is working. Feel free to ask other relevant questions that might help you in the sales process. Again, let this person know your desire to earn their business.

These are smart uses of your time that will advance you through the sales process with prospects.  Blend phone calls with other marketing methods to develop a comprehensive program.

The Sales Cycle Takes Too Long

If you expect to sell your services during early stage development, you will end up disappointed. However, you will certainly experience value in your phone calls if you recognize the importance of capturing key information about your prospects, then advancing through the sales cycle. Again, this is a human-to-human approach – you are building relationships. You will always reap the benefits of the time you put into prospect development.

Why Cold Calling Does Work 

Over time, assuming you apply these disciplines on a consistent basis, you will cash in on wonderful rewards.  These sales activities are very basic and fundamental to selling. They are time tested and complement many other methods such as social media, traditional advertising, email, and networking.

Remember, in a business-to-business environment, often people buy from people they know and trust. Be that sales person the prospect knows and trusts.