How to Write Quality Notes While Teleprospecting

 

[We] were just discussing how invaluable your team’s discussion notes were to understanding what’s going on with our target attendees. Very insightful. – Rebecca, Los Angeles, CA

 

Knowing how to write quality notes while teleprospecting is a necessary skill required to achieve positive outcomes from your calling efforts. Frankly, cold calling is a waste of time if notes documenting the conversations are not a factor. If you have a list of 1,000 prospects to call, how can you expect to remember the conversation you had with Mr. Smith at 123.456.7890? It’s nearly impossible!

The good news is if you keep the following tips in mind, it’s simple to take useful notes while teleprospecting.

How to Write Quality Notes While Teleprospecting

Brief, yet thorough

Remember that these are notes; therefore, they do not need to be overly extensive. Keep them brief and to the point. To help make sure you don’t leave out any pertinent information, keep in mind the 5 W’s and 1H – who, what, when, where, why, and how. For example:

  1. Who did you speak to / who do you need to speak with next time / who is the decision maker
  2. What did you speak about / what are your next steps (ie: follow up call, send email with more information, etc.)
  3. When did you call / when is a good time to reach the decision maker / when did the decision maker ask you to call back
  4. Where is the decision maker located (important to note time zones when a follow up call will occur) / if a face-to-face appointment was scheduled, where are you meeting
  5. Why was the prospect interested in your product or service
  6. How did the prospect sound – very interested or somewhat interested? This can be defined as a hot, warm, or cold lead, depending on interest level

Easy to read

While reviewing notes, it is easier to read short blurbs or bulleted lists as compared to long paragraphs. The eyes can quickly skim when the information is spaced out. This is not the time to see how many words you can fit on one piece of paper!

Quick to write down/capture

Shorthand is a great tool to use while taking notes. Dunlap Marketing’s president, Mike Dunlap, is a fan of using shorthand and frequently uses it himself. Here is his shorthand key:

  • TT – talked to
  • SIT – still in touch
  • CB – call back
  • TA – try again
  • LVM – left voicemail
  • DM – decision maker

Need to “spark” your memory

The bottom line is your notes need to be able to jog your memory or inform the person you’re passing them along to of the conversation you had. They also need to clearly state what the appropriate next steps are.

Don’t waste the time you dedicate to cold calling – take quality notes to make sure you achieve the best possible outcome of your teleprospecting efforts.

Getting Your Telemarketing Campaign Started

ARTICLE #4 IN A 6 ARTICLE SERIES

feet running

When you sign up for a marathon, or any athletic event, there is a lot of planning that goes into training and the day of the event. While the planning is necessary and will help your marathon go smoothly, there is one fact: the only way to cross the finish line is by taking one step at a time. When doing appointment setting and lead generation, the same approach holds true.

This “one step at a time” principle can be used in many different aspects of work. Similar to running a marathon, looking at a prospect list that needs to be called can seem like a difficult task to complete. However, if you make one call at a time you will eventually get through your list and cross the finish line!

Making cold calls is not what someone puts first on their “to do” list. Human nature usually drives people to do everything else on their list before making telemarketing calls. Commonly, they hope that time runs out before they have to make the calls. Or, they hope their boss assigns them other work before they have to get on the phone. This type of behavior is exactly why many call projects either never get started or they are started, but are never completed.

When assigned the task of telemarketing, try to designate specific times of day to make these calls. Treat the assignment like it’s an appointment. Everyone is willing to stop what they are doing to honor an appointment. Schedule specific blocks of time in your calendar each day, over an extended period of time. Each block of time should be approximately two hours long. Additionally, set reasonable and measurable expectations, such as:

  • Number of calls made
  • Number of actionable events identified
  • Number of appointments set

Two-hour segments each day is enough to settle into a rhythm, but not so much time that someone gets burned out. Two hours per day over four or five days per week results in 32-40 calling hours per month. This much time will typically yield very positive results and selling opportunities.

Do not let yourself get stuck on trying to make the telemarketing campaign perfect before going live with your calls, as this is rarely possible. If you seek perfection, there is a good chance the calls will never get started. Accept that there might be shortcomings (ie: possible unexpected questions, questions you don’t have answers to, missing contact names). This is okay, but if you have followed steps 1, 2 & 3 there is a good chance you are prepared to start calling. You can refine and optimize as you go. Keep in mind these calls simply get the sales process started; this should be your primary goal. There will be future steps as you advance through the sales process to address questions that you were unable to answer during your first calls.

When someone asks, “how do you run a marathon?” the answer is “one step at a time”. Now it’s time to pick up your phone and get your appointment setting and lead generation campaign started, “one call at a time”!

Stay tuned for our next article discussing follow up best practices.