I am going to reveal some trade secrets. Not because these are huge trade secrets but because they aren´t secrets at all. Most cold callers know this information for the most part but sales managers and small business owners don´t really take to much time considering these cold calling trade secrets. So just keep a few of these not so secret tips in mind when putting together your next campaign.
Secret 1: Cold callers like to make money.
I´d like to know when it became acceptable to pay the person helping to build your business little or no money, yet expecting big profits from them in return. By paying a cold caller less than nothing or a commission only rate, you run the risk of shooting your campaign in the proverbial foot and loosing your cold caller to a higher paying more financially stable job. And speaking of which"?¦
Secret 2: High commissions don´t equal money in a cold caller´s pocket
I often get calls from prospects wanting to pay me a high commission theorizing that if I am as good as I say I am, making good money based on commission will be a snap. They usually go on to tell me that so and so made about $100,000 a year in commissions (of course they aren´t with the firm any longer). Here´s the thing. Just because an appointment is set doesn´t mean the sales person is going to show up for it. (I´ve worked with a lot of sales people who have blown off multiple appointments because they were too busy). If a cold callers financial success is tied to someone else showing up for an appointment then both are in for a rough time. Equally so if the cold caller´s so called" big money" is tied to the sales person closing the deal(keep in mind the sales person may not be a great closer so there´s another problem). Assuming the sales person closes the deal, a cold caller may not see payment for months. A customer could also break the contract or change his/her mind which in turn affects everyone´s pay. While there isn´t a guarantee to a cold calling campaign, there also isn´t one for sales, or marketing or customer service or collections. All run the risk of not delivering as planned. The bottom line is that cold callers want security, just like everyone else so don´t insult them by offering "big money" they may not see for months.
Secret 3: Don´t confuse lots of appointments with lots of sales
I´m often amused when a prospect asks the number of dials that a cold caller should make or assume that 100 appointments a week will guarantee sales. Always go for quality, focusing on good appointments instead of a lot of bad or so-so ones. If a telemarketer is giving you lots of appointments per week, be wary, more than a few of them will be bad. Here´s the thing. Appointments take time to set up. An appointment must be pre-qualified and that means that you need to (all together now) ask probing questions. Setting quality appointments is about making certain that the prospect is someone you want to do business with (not everyone you speak with is a good prospect) not just about someone wanting to do business with you. My classic statement to my clients? "I would rather give you 3-5 qualified appointments per week rather than 20 so-so appointments that don´t know who you are or why you´re in their office to begin with".
Secret 4: Don´t expect a cold caller to know the outcome of a booked appointment
Big pet peeve of mine here folks. Setting an appointment is hard work. No if´s ands or buts about it. If you do it right it can bring about big changes and revenue for your business. However if an appointment doesn´t go well it´s important to know what happened and where things went wrong. Either way it´s a good idea to keep an open dialogue with a cold caller. If you spend most of your time trying to set appointments wouldn´t you want to know what happened on them? Cold callers do, so tell them. It´s the only way they´ll know(and you´ll know) how a program is working, particularly if you´re paying them by appointment (yikes-stop doing that)
Secret 5: Don´t expect a cold caller to build/save your business for you.
Working with a cold caller is a partnership. Meaning, you need to communicate exactly what you´re trying to accomplish with the call (appointment. sale etc). Hiring a cold caller isn´t a cure all for a failing business. Here´s a tip: A cold calling campaign works best when used with a combination of other marketing campaigns (direct mail, e-mail etc). So build your business around a diverse marketing campaign not just cold calling.
Tomorrow: More Secrets