There is much to gain when discussing the fundamentals and good practices that make for a successful teleprospecting and lead generation campaign.
Often the basics can get lost amongst too much creativity or “quick fixes,” so it is important to revisit them. These practices have proven very successful for me over the years, both on a personal level, and for those who work for me.
In this second installment of my “Secret Sauce” blog (part 1 can be found here) I will discuss more best practices that lead to success in teleprospecting and B2B lead generation.
How Much Research Is Necessary Before Calling a Prospect? As Little As Possible.
As little as possible is the right answer?
In Part 1 of the blog, I discussed the need to research a prospect before cold calls are made, and to make sure you have a targeted list that is in good order, so calls are being made to the right people within an organization.
This is necessary research, and I certainly don’t advocate picking up the phone until you have become familiar with your client’s business solution, and the prospects that you are calling.
However, there can be too much research because time spent researching is time not making calls.
After you are prepared and have a targeted list in hand, it is time to stop researching and pick up the phone.
Remember, the goal of the teleprospector is to get in front of the decision makers or key evaluators at the prospective organizations. This can only be accomplished by calling.
In teleprospecting, we want get to a person who is at the right level, and have a meaningful interaction to find out if there is an opportunity. This requires listening and understanding their business need or pain in order to determine if you have the right solution, product, or service for them.
Vast research will not uncover the opportunity; that requires a conversation.
Should You Leave a Voicemail Message? Yes, If It’s An Effective One.
There is a whole school of thought that it’s a waste of time to leave messages, because no one will return your call. In my last 13+ years with JMS Elite, and in my sales career before that (since 1994), I have a lot of evidence to the contrary.
Half of our leads come from people who do return the call.
If you leave an effective message, people will respond. Admittedly, it is a low percentage, however, If you’ve bothered to make the call, it makes sense to leave a message.
Leaving a message gives you a chance for a return call, or your message may get passed on to others within the organization who might return the call.
If you don’t leave a message, there is NO WAY anyone will return your call.
There is another opportunity that comes with leaving a message; this is one for a building effect. If you leave 2-3 messages, and you’re doing that with multiple people in the same organization, that increases your chances of penetrating the organization. When your goal is to get in front of the decision makers, taking more than one route to get there increases your chance of success.
Not leaving a message is a wasted opportunity. There are many out there that believe no one returns calls or listens to messages – I can tell you the opposite is true. But it has to be an effective message.
The Rules of an Effective Voicemail Message
The shorter and more succinct the better. Your message should be:
- Easy to understand
As opposed to:
- An attempt to be all-inclusive
Your message should give the listener just enough to entice them to pick up the phone and return the call, or pass it along. If you attempt to explain everything in a voicemail message, no one will listen to it, and you are giving them every reason not to call back.
A laundry list of info that drones on and on and will get deleted and forgotten. Make it compelling and brief, and you have a better chance that your call will be returned.
Timing is Everything – Successful Techniques for Cold Calling
If your list is less targeted, and you are tasked with a cold calling lead generation campaign with a large number of companies that you are trying to penetrate in a small space of time, it is important to remember that timing is everything.
Imagine a calling list of 1000 companies on it, and your goal is to get in front of each and every one of those. Your time is better spent if, after calling the first 200, rather than continuing on, you go back to the top of the list and call the first 200 a second time. Then start on 201-400 with a first phone call, then go to the top of the list AGAIN and revisit 100-400.
This technique allows you to make contact with prospects more often, and blend in fresh calls in a timely manner. In my experience, this practice overall will get you better results than if you went top to bottom and called 1000 prospects one time each.
Multiple attempts to multiple contacts over a tighter time frame is more valuable than going straight down the list and calling everyone once.
This practice can be modified and applied if you are working on a smaller, more targeted list by remembering that timely calls make a difference. If you call someone on a Monday or Tuesday – they should hear back from you before the weekend. The third contact should then be by mid-week the next week. If you do that, you will get return calls.
Hearing from you consistently, and in a timely manner, will stir the pot and rally things in your direction. Too much time between phone calls and you will be forgotten.
Whether you have been in the business for decades or are new to the field, revisiting the basics that have been tested and proven successful is time well spent.
What framework works best for you in your sales experience? Do you have any well- practiced techniques that have proven time and again for you? Please leave us a note in the comments.