Today I’m going to discuss calling over the phone to set appointments or payment processing telemarketing. One of the top producers, Juan Alvero, usually has 20-30 new accounts per month. In Juan’s interview he told me that one of the secrets of his success is calling on the phone to set appointments. I want to address this topic today since this is a strategy often used in our industry but not very effectively. Most of our sales partners walk into businesses “cold turkey” without any prior contact. However, if you want to make use of this method, there are two important considerations.
1. Don’t make the mistake of using an ordinary opening pitch on the phone. Realize that EVERYONE else also makes phone calls to set appointments. You’ve got to do something to differentiate yourself as a professional if you want to get an appointment. When you call, use local search terms – words that are going to get the prospect’s attention – words that might work on a Google search. For instance, I’m in the city of Altoona, PA. So if I’m calling, I’m going to say, “Hi, my name is James Shepherd. I’m a local business owner here in Altoona. I have my office right downtown across from the post office. I was going to be in your area tomorrow to visit Bill’s hardware store, one of my clients right around the corner from you. Would Thursday be a good time for me to introduce myself and talk about the free tablet point of sale system I offer?” You get the idea – use lots of local terminology to catch attention. You’re not from a call center in India or the Philippines; you’re actually a local person who is going to be in the area in person.
2. Don’t make the mistake of trying to actually set a “solid time” appointment or ask to speak to the manager on the phone. This is a HUGE mistake! On the phone you’re only trying to schedule an introduction for yourself. Try to find the best time to visit the business when you might meet the business owner. Juan uses this approach on his calls: “The reason I’m calling is that I want stop by and drop off some free marketing materials for you and introduce myself.” That is very effective.
The idea is to say something to which everyone will say “yes.” Pitch that rather than, “I want to take a look at your processing statement” or “I need you to have ______ handy.” Just work on getting the prospect to agree to meet with you and get some free information. In this way you can increase your contact rate in the field because you’ll know you’re going to places in which there will actually be someone to whom you can speak.
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