As a consultant I make it a point of being very clear what can and can’t happen during a campaign and what I find most often is that clients generally think of one scenario with the reality being entirely different. When I call a prospect I want to know their title, if they will be accepting quotes, how soon, etc. Sometimes they will give me the info sometimes not. That’s if I can get to the right person to begin with and not wind up in voice mail hell. However there are other factors to consider when developing a new cold calling campaign.
1. When calling a prospect for the first time I don’t do the “boiler room” type of call. Meaning I don’t focus on making 100 dials an hour. It’s one of the main reasons for burn out with cold callers. You have to pace yourself or you will run out of energy very quickly. You will also do more of a half assed job in pre-qualifying the prospect because your focus is on dialing and not on quality. Be sure that when hiring a cold caller you understand the difference.
2. When calling a prospect for the first time you’re also asking the telemarketer to in a sense "look for the needle in a haystack". In other words “here are 155 leads to call in 7 hours. Find 2 prospects that are looking to purchase my services, have a need and a budget and ready to make a buying decision within 1-3 months. The reality is that it actually takes weeks to develop a lead. That´s why it´s called business development and lead generation. Rarely do you get a prospect within the first week or so of a new campaign wanting to set an appointment on the first or second call. It takes that long just to get to the right person and past the voice mail.
3. Over the course of the campaign (generally within a few weeks of beginning the campaign) I begin most sessions by starting with people I’ve already made some contact with. For example if someone has said” I’m not sure who to connect you with but e-mail some info and I will try to determine who the right person is” it is my obligation to follow up to see if they have received the info, read it and make sure I have the correct name. Those leads are a lot hotter because they at least have the info. And you NEVER send lit without following up. It’s another reason most sales are lost. Info goes out but no one is diligent enough to f/u on it.
4.Keep in mind that I leave messages and typically call a contact several times to be thorough. The person may be out to lunch etc, in which case I try to reach them throughout the session.
Tony Wilkins is the owner of Telemarketing Consulting Services and author of "Telemarketing Success for Small and Mid-sized Firms´ available in most bookstores and online at www.amazon.com and www.xlibris.com you may also find out about his workshops and services at
http://stores.ebay.com/telemarketing-success via e: mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 415-267-4872 .If you´d like to be notified of a new posting for this column, please contact Tony Wilkins at email@example.com