The dream call = You get through the first time, speak to the decision-maker, they need what you provide, you meet with them, they become a client.
It can happen. But as all sales and marketing innovators know, it’s not always that straightforward!
Typically, you need to nurture the contact through a combination of email activity and calling, before you get the chance to pitch.
The world of marketing and sales never stands still and there have been several trends that have emerged in recent times. Increasingly we’ve found that the most effective approach to phone-based lead generation is to take a two-pronged approach.
Step 1 – The fact find.
Call to profile your target market (read more here). Find out key decision-maker information, the best time to call, their direct dial, and the status of their buying cycle – are they currently reviewing their suppliers?
In addition, use these calls to get an idea of their current suppliers, whether they’re happy with them and when would be a good time to resume the conversation so you can tell them more.
Usually at this stage the contact will ask for more information about you and your product. It’s key to have relevant collateral you can send, ideally a case study for a company in their industry or from a business that’s well respected.
As much as it is tempting to not consider these contacts as leads, surprisingly, you’d be amazed at how many of them convert to a deal. Moving away from a sales call and simply trying to prequalify in this way, changes the tone of the conversation. It becomes more exploratory and feels not too dissimilar to a survey, without the pressure on the contact to commit.
Nevertheless, do make sure you’re ready to pitch, just in case the time is right!
Step 2 – The pitch.
This is where you yield the fruits of your labour. It’s unlikely that all the records you called initially will be due a call back at the same time, so make sure you factor in time each month to allow for this activity.
The purpose of these calls is to build on the intelligence you have gathered, and to use it to shape your pitch. Remember to make it bespoke and concise, with a clear focus. For example, if you’re pitching for a meeting, keep that your thread.
This stage in itself might require several calls if the decision-maker is unexpectedly unavailable, but the conversation should have a different tone and take on a new focus. It stands to reason that because you have more familiarity with the decision-maker, it should again feel more like a conversation rather than a pitch, even though that’s what’s actually happening on the call.
We’ve found that using the “deadly duo” helps move the telemarketing aspect of a marketing campaign away from the connotations of “stack ‘em high” and a “battery farm”. It takes it more to a place of a considered, measured, intelligent approach and one that’s much more accessible.
Ultimately, a conversation can uncover a treasure trove of valuable information and opportunity, and having a smart, pinpoint approach to your calling should be integral to your strategy.
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