The use of telemarketers is a subject about which I am passionate. Although our industry is still quite dependent on telemarketers, I don’t like the way they are most often used today. Please have an open mind as you read and listen to the episode today.
I’m sure you would agree that things have changed in the last twenty years! I believe this is the time to rethink how telemarketing is leveraged in our industry.
There are three reasons to use telemarketing.
This is probably the most common reason. Although sales people would make more sales by walking into fifteen businesses each day, a telemarketing appointment lends some accountability.
Knowing there’s an appointment scheduled gives motivation. It will get you off the couch and in the field.
If that’s the reason you’re using telemarketing, I suggest you lower your expectations for the telemarketers. Too often the telemarketer is asked to get every possible detail, including a specific time and an agreement from the merchant to have a statement when the agent arrives for the appointment.
Do we really need that much from the telemarketer? Have reps in the industry forgotten how to sell? “High quality” appointments are not really very high quality anyway! The owner isn’t just anxiously awaiting your appointment time, ready to buy.
When I used telemarketers for accountability, I only wanted the owners’ names and for them to know I might stop by. That’s all l got! Maximize the number of appointments instead of trying for super “high quality” appointments. Get reps in the field to walk into twelve “lower” quality appointments rather than just the three “high quality” appointments.
You’re hired for sales. Sales means prospects who aren’t interested when you walk in will become interested when you talk. That’s sales!
#2. You don’t want to do the dirty work of prospecting.
My objective here is not to shame you. But if this is your reason for using telemarketers, there are some things you should expect.
· You need to have a lot of money. To get one sale from “solid” appointments, you’ll need to invest several hundred dollars.
· You’ll be driving a good bit.
· Getting higher quality leads means the saturation rate goes down in one area. Telemarketers will burn through many contacts much faster, which means more driving for you.
· You need levels to schedule strong appointments. Having two telemarketers is best. The less experienced telemarketer will make the initial call to find interested prospects. The next will call the interested prospects to schedule an appointment. Learn more about the first telemarketer’s approach in #3.
#3. Maximize sales performance.
This should be the reason for telemarketing. People in our industry should have patience and do normal marketing stuff that many other industries have been doing for years.
Leverage telemarketers to do something very simple with a high probability of success.
For example, you could write an eBook concerning your value proposition. Then hire an army of telemarketers to advertise your eBook and offer a free download. This process will close as much as 15-20 times higher than scheduling an appointment.
Send the eBook download via email, then you’ll need to resend to those who don’t open the email. Use email software to be notified as soon as someone clicks on the eBook, or even just opens the email. That’s a new lead for you.
Leverage technology when someone takes action. Then and only then would be the time to get sales people out there.
Every month create a new piece of content. Send it to the email list which you’ll be growing exponentially at pennies per email. I used to pay $2 per email.
Understand this is NOT buying email addresses in list form. Rather, this is paying telemarketers to get the email addresses from folks who opt to receive the email, because they perceive value in what you are offering. Paying $4 per hour for a telemarketer to make “high quality”, solid appointments is not realistic. Why would you even want someone on that level calling to represent your brand? Instead, use someone on that level to offer a free eBook. This is a realistic goal that requires minimal training.
I’m beginning to wonder, “Do we still know how to sell?” If you have the name of a prospect who opened your email in the last day, but that’s not enough for you to make a sales call, you need to do something other than sales!