Seven prospecting rules that produce leads
By Brian Carroll
Roughly 92% of b-to-b buyers are open to cold calls if the sales person’s pitch is relevant, according to MarketingSherpa. That means that despite all of those poorly trained prospectors in sales, picking up the horn can still be a very effective lead-generation tool. In fact, if you follow a few simple rules you can tremendously improve your tele-prospecting efforts.
Step 1: Sustain the calling – This means that you have to be in it for the long-haul. You can’t pressure your prospects to make a decision on the first call. Take your time and follow up with more information. Listen to what they’re asking and if you don’t know the answer, just say so and then follow up to provide the answer.
Step 2: Make every call count – Teleprospectors should never end a call upon hearing that the targeted individual is unavailable. Take time to be helpful to the assistant, or update and verify your database by working to share information for this source. Always ask if there is an alternative decision maker available.
Step 3: Lose the scripts – Telemarketers use scripts. Teleprospectors use call guides. Scripts leave little room for conversation. Call guides are simply strong outlines designed to perpetuate conversation with suggested areas to be discussed and questions to be asked. They must be built with flexibility and assume variable outcomes while still staying on message and promoting key relevancies to the customer.
Step 4: Respect Executive Assistants – Don’t view the Executive Assistant as a barrier to initiating dialogue. Don’t treat anyone as lesser and don’t be afraid to develop a relationship with people with the title “Assistant.” EAs can occupy a significant place in the sphere of influence, not to mention the boss’ ear.
Step 5: Be relevant – When you’re making a call, the worst thing you can do is to call someone and know nothing about them. You must have a sound, working knowledge of each potential customer and the company. Perhaps more important, know the issues they face and how your product can help solve them. This step goes a long way in establishing meaningful dialogue.
Step 6: Gain opt-in – When you are speaking with a prospect, it is proactive to request permission to e-mail subsequent helpful information. Most folks won’t mind receiving an e-mail from you to follow up the phone call. This will provide another building block for staying in touch.
Step 7: Always follow up – It is crucial that you follow up in a way that is precise in terms of promptness and relevancy toward your prospect’s needs. And, when you follow up you need to do so in the manner requested. If they decline a follow up phone call and ask that you email them instead, make certain you do as asked.