Why No One Calls You Back

While looking through Facebook today I came across this article about why people check their voicemail and I had to laugh because it’s so true.  I don’t check my email to get the message (most of the time) I check it to make the blinking stop!  So the question is, how are you reaching out to clients and prospects?  Do you think they really listen to your voicemail?

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/02/04/voicemails_n_4723562.html

Let’s face it gatekeepers and phone systems have become better at keeping you from speaking to your “target” so how do you reach your prospect, how do you let them know all the awesome things you can give them?  I get emails every day from people who found me on Google, looked at my website (yes I know it needs work) and are reaching out to me to tell me how great they are at SEO, web design, blogging, etc.  and yet they found me in a search so it can’t be THAT bad, right?  Do these emails annoy me, you better believe they do.  I didn’t ask for them to send me a proposal (yes some actually send proposals), some get frustrated with me for not responding as if their frustration will make me respond, right?  So no one wants your voicemail, no one wants your email, how in the hell are you supposed to find prospects?

While part of the issue is the means by which you have chosen to communicate the real issue is what you are communicating.  Please don’t do the features and benefits vomit on me.  I don’t care that you have “x” number of years experience, went to such and such a college, are cheaper than the competition, have the best whatchamacallits…I just don’t care.   I want someone who understands my business, understands my challenges, has solutions that really work for me and understands that I don’t have the time or desire to do things because they want me to.  So what’s it really about:

  • You need to demonstrate that you understand your prospect’s industry, challenges, how they do business
  • You are flexible in communication style and frequency
  • You recognize that it’s a buying cycle and not a selling cycle and if you don’t do your job you are not permitted to go to the next step
  • You have a legit solution for me and can show me how I will receive tremendous value with your services
  • Prospects still value relationships – they need to feel like they know you and trust you, they buy on emotion (unless its a commodity then its price first) not  features and benefits.  To get to the right prospect you need to be where they are, get introduced, be viewed as an asset first and a sales person last.

Don’t forget to ask your prospect how they prefer you communicate with them.  It’s all about them.

 

 

Telemarketing: Is it an effective Sales Method?

If you are looking to increase your company’s sales you’ve probably considered telemarketing.  It’s been a viable option for as long as you can remember but is it still viable?  Will you get business opportunities or just throw away money?  Here are a couple of things you need to ask yourself first:

  • Who do we typically target?  Are they easy to reach?  Do they have a gatekeeper?
  • What do we sell?  Is it a commodity where it’s all about the latest and greatest or lowest price or is it a service based on trust and relationships?
  • How long is your sales cycle?
  • What are your expected outcomes?
  • How will you be paying for such a service?

Challenges of Telemarketing and Cold Calling

  • Battling Perception:  According to a Nielsen poll, less than 10% of consumers trust telemarketers.  If you are selling a service based on trust and building relationships using a telemarketer creates a major conflict for your prospect.  If your sales pitch is, “I can save you ‘x’% on something you buy everyday” – that might get you in the door but be prepared to do battle with internet pricing.
  • Time vs. Reward: The goal of the average telemarketer is to call 100-125 people a day with the hopes of generating 8-10 interested parties. That’s right, 8-10 people out of 125. Cold calling is a numbers game with no real winner. If any other aspect of your business had a success rate of less than 10%, would you continue with it, or would you pull the plug?
  • The Internet: Telemarketing and cold calling were effective methods before the advent of the Internet. Back then, consumers needed someone to tell them what products and services were out there. Now, consumers have all of this knowledge available to them at the click of a mouse. Because of this, today’s customer is more knowledgeable than ever before. They know what they want. They have done all their research online. They don’t necessarily want a telemarketer giving them a sales pitch over the phone.
  • Building Relationships: Effective sales representatives are all about building long-term relationships. Telemarketers are all about quick turnaround. One of these salespeople has a higher probability of multiple transactions. We will let you guess which one we are talking about…
  • Do Not Call Lists: The National Do Not Call Registry allows consumers to remove their names from marketing lists, thus shrinking the overall reach of telemarketers. Millions of people have already added their names to the registry.
  • Caller ID: Ask yourself the following question: do you pick up the phone when you’re home at night and you don’t recognize the number? If not, then why should you expect a prospect to?
  • Weak Leads: How do you keep from getting appointments set simply because the prospect wants a telemarketer to stop calling them?

Telemarketing used to be highly successful but the way people buy has changed.

Springboard Business Development: Our stand on telemarketing

We aren’t telemarketers: we don’t believe it works – but then again, our clients are service providers who make sales based on building trust and relationships. To us, Business Development is about building long term happy client relationships.  It’s our job to help you increase your name recognition and exposure in the markets you serve, create partnerships that feed opportunities for years to come, open doors to the decision makers that need your services, and of course, help you to close the deal.  We believe relationships are the key to growing a service type business; we believe in making our connections face to face.

If you do decide to give telemarketing a go, here are a few things you need to ask:

  • Who will be training the telemarketing team?  How often will they call and when do they stop calling?  You’d be amazed to find out how many appointments are given just to get the telemarketers to stop calling.  The problem comes when you arrive to meet the prospect and they tell you they aren’t interested in anything you’re selling – they just wanted to the calls to stop.  You’ve wasted time and money.
  • What are you paying for?  Is it total calls, time, appointments set or qualified prospects?  Most likely you are calling for total calls or time so there’s no need to qualify the prospects or ensure they truly want to meet you

Ultimately your decision is about value of time and money, the type of sale, and your typical buyer. Don’t forget, this isn’t a selling process – it’s a buying process.  It’s not about you or what you’re selling, it’s about the buyer, the problem they need to solve, and what solving it means to them.  In a call focused on scheduling an appointment you just can’t get what’s necessary to move the buying process forward…at least that’s our opinion. We’d love to hear yours.

If you have any questions about Outsourced Business Development, please contact Springboard Business Development by calling 410-832-7560 or click here today!

Located in Baltimore, Maryland, Springboard offers outsourced sales solutions for businesses in the professional services arena. Our approach to business development makes it easy to find new clients without the financial burden of an in-house business developer.

At Springboard we know sales!

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