Dunlap Discussions: Prospecting Tips from the Pros – PART 3

The time has come to wrap up our three-part series, Dunlap Discussions: Prospecting Tips from the Pros, with the grand finale.

(Did you miss part one and two? Find them here and here!)

The intention of this series is to help salespeople and marketers who are tasked with prospecting. The tips and suggestions from this series have been captured from our team of appointment setters, who have an average of more than 15 years of experience in the industry.

In parts one and two, we covered tips on 1) preparing to make prospecting calls, 2) connecting with the decision maker, 3) speaking with the decision maker, and 4) asking for an appointment. In part three, we will wrap up with tips on closing out a call and general prospecting calling tips.

Closing a call:

It’s the finish line – the way you close your conversation will play a part in the impression you’ve made on this decision maker, which ultimately plays a part in the decision maker deciding if he/she is going to follow through and attend the appointment you just scheduled.

As a whole, the Dunlap Marketing team feels strongly about two things when it comes to these final moments of a call:

  • Be gracious
  • Review all appointment details

Gratitude is always appreciated – the small effort it takes on your end can positively impact the receiver monumentally. In fact, it might just be what sets you apart from your competitor. One thing that’s guaranteed: you won’t regret being gracious.

Reviewing all appointment details is a quick way to solidify the agreement the decision maker just made. Quickly verify the pertinent information such as time, date, location, email address, and phone number, if applicable. While you’re at it, if you’re going to send a calendar invite following the phone conversation (which we highly suggest), let the decision maker know to be on the lookout for it.   

General tips:

This final round-up of tips falls into a “catch-all” category. Many of these tips are some of our favorites, so don’t pass them up!

  • Confidence is key
  • Always be respectful – no matter who you’re speaking with
  • Tactful persistence – don’t give up after the first few “nos”
  • Gatekeepers are not your enemy – they can actually be your ally
  • If a prospect asks you a question, first answer their question, then follow up by suggesting an appointment

And that’s a wrap! If you have any follow up questions, please feel free to email us at either miked@dunlapmarketing.com or kaitlind@dunlapmarketing.com. Happy prospecting!

Common Lead Generation & Appointment Setting Questions in 2022

As we talk with companies who are seeking guidance about outbound teleprospecting and lead generation services, the following 4 questions are the most common ones we hear.

1. How has the pandemic impacted prospecting behaviors? – Our world and our “back to normal” is evolving back to the way it was before the pandemic.  Not everything will go back to the way it was, but in business, most human behaviors seem to be going back to, or get close to, normal – “normal” defined as pre-pandemic.  In our office, we are as successful today as we were before the pandemic with scheduling appointments.  Things were confusing during the pandemic, mostly trying to determine if a target contact person was working in the office or working remotely.  People are still working remotely, but they have become reachable via phone calls.


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2. What do you mean, multiple call attempts? Persistence – we are firm believers in “tactful persistence is the key to success”.  If someone tells us they are busy and asks us to call them back, we call them back.  Most often we feel like a non-response to a phone call simply means the person is busy and is unable to talk, or they are not ready to talk.  This is fine.  We do not assume that they are not interested in what we are calling about.  We do a very good job of balancing persistence with politeness - with this balance we will continue to develop a prospect over time until they are ready to talk to us, and hopefully earn a scheduled appointment.

3. Does cold calling really work?  There are many terms for it – cold calling, outbound prospecting, teleprospecting – no matter what you call it, the question remains the same. Does it work? This is always a very good question and there are several key elements that factor into the answer.  The answer can be different based on these key elements: 

  • Outbound teleprospecting works if you have a good plan and process in place for making calls and managing the data (CRM)
  • It works if you have a sales team that hustles and goes after new business opportunities
  • It is a beautiful way to cover lots of territory and geography without having to travel
  • Lastly, and often overlooked, historically we have learned that there are fewer competitors involved when you generate opportunities through teleprospecting.

4. Why cold calls rather than social media or other digital approaches? – It does not have to be one or the other. Incorporating multiple methods can complement rather than compete against each other.  Both do a very good job of generating sales opportunities and together, you end up with more prospects to sell services to.  Both social media and teleprospecting have the ability to overlap and impact a larger group of people, where separately, they both touch people who respond to either digital approaches or phone calls, but not both.

There is a process that needs to take place when building a campaign – whether we coach you on building your own or build it for you. There is also a frame of mind that needs to be present.  You can do an outstanding job building your campaign but if you do not have the correct frame of mind, it becomes difficult to succeed with the campaign.  We will teach you both: the process and the frame of mind.

Maybe this article answered the question(s) that you have, if not, we are happy to talk to you. 

Dunlap Discussions: Prospecting Tips from the Pros – PART 2

We’re back at it with part two of our three-part series, Dunlap Discussions: Prospecting Tips from the Pros!

(Did you miss part one? Find it here!)

This series is intended to assist any salesperson or marketer who is tasked with prospecting. We interviewed our team of appointment setters, who have an average of 15+ years of experience in the industry, to learn their top tips and advice for prospecting, getting through to the decision maker, and scheduling appointments.

Last week we kicked off the series with tips on 1) preparing to make prospecting calls and 2) connecting with the decision maker. This week, we are diving into the next two phases of a prospecting conversation – speaking with the decision maker and asking for an appointment.

Speaking with the decision maker:

You’ve gotten through the gatekeeper and now you’ve found yourself on the phone with the decision maker (woohoo!). Now what do you do?

Three tips from the Dunlap Marketing team are:

  • Be confident, professional, polite, and brief
  • Know your material
  • Qualify to make sure there’s a fit/need

Remember that first impression we talked about last week? Well, now that the call has been transferred to the decision maker, you’re now back at square one. When speaking with the decision maker, be professional and quickly get to the point. Be confident with the material and message you’re presenting (practice, practice, practice). And before moving too deep into the conversation, make sure there is a need for what you’re calling about. This will save both you and the decision maker time!

Asking for an appointment:

You’ve presented the information to the decision maker confidently and concisely. You have qualified to verify a need or a fit. Next up, it’s time to ask for the appointment.

Some primary suggestions from the team at Dunlap Marketing are:

  • Ask for the appointment by suggesting a date/time
  • Have a positive mindset

Help the decision maker help you. By asking an open-ended question such as “when can we schedule an appointment”, you might inadvertently turn the decision maker away by putting him/her in a situation where he/she has to suggest the date and time. Instead of this approach, narrow the options and offer up one or two dates and time frames.

And of course, have a positive mindset. Believe that you are capable of setting this appointment – because you are!

We’ll be back next week to wrap up this series by talking about closing the call and other must-have tips from our team!

Four Reasons Daily Prospecting Will Increase Your Bottom Line

Question: How can you get the best results from prospecting?

Answer: By making it a daily habit.

Here are 4 reasons why daily prospecting will benefit you, your sales team, and ultimately, your bottom line.

  1. Prospecting keeps your pipeline full
    • There’s no denying it – inbound leads are usually warm, move through the sales cycle at a favorable pace, and are the lowest hanging fruit in terms of prospects. Unfortunately, for a salesperson who is trying to grow his or her portfolio and increase their number of clients, relying solely on inbound leads is usually not sustainable. There just are not enough of them. A great way to prevent your lead list from running dry is to incorporate a mixture of both inbound and outbound-generated leads. Prospecting = outbound leads. Outbound leads = a full pipeline.
  2. Doing a little prospecting each day keeps the task manageable and prevents it from feeling “too big”
    • Which would you rather clean – one dirty dish or a sink full of dirty dishes? Cleaning one dish is much more manageable than a sink full of them. But, when you stack that first dirty dish in the sink, it becomes tempting to continue stacking and stacking, up until the sink is filled and you have no other choice than to tackle all of them. Wouldn’t it feel better to keep the task small and manageable? Prospecting is no different. By doing a little bit of prospecting each day, you avoid letting the task grow and grow until it feels like a big, time-consuming undertaking.
  3. Repetition will keep your prospecting skills sharp
    • What our parents and coaches told us growing up is still applicable in our adult lives – practice makes perfect. And while “perfect” isn’t necessarily attainable, continued practice will only make you better. Prospecting daily will make you a better prospector – it’s as simple as that.
  4. Consistent prospecting will give you a leg up on your competitors
    • Spoiler alert: just like the thought of prospecting doesn’t make you jump for joy, it also doesn’t make your competitors jump for joy. In fact, tasks that we don’t want to do often get pushed to the bottom of our to-do lists. And we all know what happens to tasks at the bottom of our list – they end up not getting completed! This is a trap that many people inadvertently fall into – and chances are, it’s a trap your competitors fall into. If you want a leg up on your competitors, do not allow yourself to fall into this same trap. Set yourself apart from what others are doing and get ahead of your inbound leads running dry by prospecting every day.   

Prospecting is a tool that will take your sales success from average to great. A little bit of prospecting each day will grow and compound, leading to your future success. In the words of Darren Hardy, author of The Compound Effect, “Small choices + consistency + time = significant results”.