Nothing is more direct than a phone call. The problem is, no marketing means is more demanding for your employees (or yourself). Bottom line? Not everybody can be good at telemarketing. Effective telemarketing campaigns are targeted to customers and prospects who are most likely to respond. They broaden the names of your products, services, or company to the prospects you want to reach. The campaigns are also designed to trigger a favorable response. The question is, when putting together a telemarketing campaign, what type of program works best for you?
THERE ARE GENERALLY TWO TYPES OF TELEMARKETING PROGRAMS:
> One that generates a sale or close
>One that generates a request for more information.
Which one works for your company, of course, depends upon what type of product or service you are selling. It may be possible to sell your products or services right over the phone. Or it could require an additional appointment for a demonstration with a salesperson.
The type of product or service, its complexity, and whether it is hard to sell or not, will also determine the type of telemarketing program you should develop. So when planning your campaign, keep in mind all these factors.
Generally, if the product or service is relatively inexpensive and can be demonstrated easily, use the telemarketing campaign as a way of “selling” appointments or even, conclude the sale right over the phone!
If the product or service is expensive, the people involved in its purchase generally require more information before they purchase it or even consent to a demonstration. In these cases, you may want to design a campaign that triggers a request for more information.
You must also keep in mind that the more expensive the item you are selling, the higher up on the chain of command the decision-maker will be. That person could be the president of the company, the vice president, or the chief financial officer, etc. A telemarketing program designed to connect with these influencers could start with calls to determine who the proper decision-maker would be, and if they were willing to receive more information on the product or service you are providing.
Then there is the simple telemarketing campaign ostensibly presented just as a method to update your prospect database. By just calling to verify addresses, you remind your customers of the firm, and they took it upon themselves to call in orders. No hard sell involved.
This simple little campaign provide an additional bonus, too. By updating and paring down the prospect database, you are able to save hundreds of dollars in postage and production for your next direct mail or e-mail campaign.
ALWAYS LEAVE A MESSAGE!
You are calling a prospect again to remind him or her of your services. You ended into a voice mail again, just like you were the last time you called. And the time before that. And the time before that. What should you do?
Leave another message? Hang up and try again next week with the hopes of finally getting through to a real person?
Leave a message. Pleasant persistence always wins. Leave a message on voice mail just often enough to remind your prospect of your services or product. But don’t call so often that you actually are making a nuisance of yourself.
WHY SHOULD YOU LEAVE A MESSAGE?
For one thing, you are gaining recognition for your product or services. You may not get through to your prospect this time or next, but the information you leave will.
For another, you are building rapport with your prospect even if you are not making direct contact. Your continued calling will convince your prospect that your are consistent, and persistent.
Finally, you are being informative. One of your products or services might be a sales item. You need to let your prospect know this so he or she has an opportunity to take advantage of the discount.
KEEP YOUR MESSAGES SHORT
Otherwise, you may very well be perceived as being the intolerable nuisance you think you are becoming. Instead, keep your message short.
Tell most of the important information first. Mentioning the benefits your services or product will provide first and then how to contact you.
At the end of the message, leave your phone number and/or web site address. Repeat your name, company name, and phone number one more time out of courtesy to the prospect so he or she doesn’t have to repeat the message… In case your prospect finally decides to pick up the phone and return your call. And they will!
WHAT SIZE OF DATABASE DO I NEED?
Normally, an agent can make 15-20 attempted call in an hour and you want to plan to make phone calls for at least 3 hours but no more than 5 hours a day. So for each day, plan to have 60 to 100 contacts to call.
WHAT IS TELEMARKETING SUCCESS?
Usually, telemarketing has about a 5-10% success ratio. To track your success keep record of your phone calls (use the Telemarketing Report included in Business-in-a-Box). How many calls were made. How many no’s. How many yes’s and how many call backs. From this information, you will be able to draw your own conclusions about what approach is the most profitable for you.
MAKE “NO” A POSITIVE EXPERIENCE
It is difficult to accent the positive when you are telemarketing your own services/products. Telemarketing can be a frustrating task. Statistically, a 10% response rate is an outstanding result – even when it is being performed by professional telemarketers. So you must prepare yourself to hear “No thank you” a lot. Here’s how:
1. Don’t Overwork Yourself
First, and most important, don’t get on the phone more than five hours a day. Any longer than that will make the experience frustrating (even if you incorporate the following proven tips).
2. Give Yourself A Break, Or Two, Or Three
1. Take a 10 minute break after the first hour of calls.
2. Take another 10 minute break after the next hour and a half. And so on.
Structuring breaks into your phone schedule gives you a much better edge psychologically. Not only can your mind, to say nothing of your voice, use the rest, you will find yourself compartmentalizing your work schedule into three or four goal-oriented phone sessions a day, rather than view it as one, long, exhausting day on the phone. (See the difference?) Also, if you’re behind schedule or want to get home early, don’t try to tough it out and skip a break or two. You’ll be much more effective on the phone if you allow yourself time to rest on a regular basis.
3. Each ‘No’ Is Another Step Closer to ‘Yes’
We’re not talking about turning each ‘No’ into a ‘Yes.’ We’re just putting the negative response in proper perspective. Always remember that it’s a numbers game!
Like we said before, telemarketing yields a 5% to 10% positive response rate. Two wrongs don’t make a right, but nine ‘no’s do statistically yield a ‘yes.’ Every ‘No thank you’ you hear is an expected response that you can mark down as part of an ongoing process. If you dial the phone knowing that, on average, every tenth person you talk with will respond positively. You then eliminate the frustration and have a goal to work towards.
It will also make you a more confident and effective telemarketer. How? Simple. When you do talk with the one-in-ten respondent who replies with a, “Sure, I’ll be glad to schedule a meeting with you (or buy your product),” you won’t be or sound surprised. Just professional. And when you’re on the phone conducting business, you definitely want to sound confident and professional.