I am fascinated when salesreps tell me they have a great offering and they know exactly whom to call and what to say. Their enthusiasm is a major plus. Their confidence is essential. But their focus is just far too narrow.
The New Math of Prospecting
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Here is an age old topic telemarketing companies struggle with and how they go about their business.
Are you using script reading sales-types, or professional-level executive callers? In today’s day and age, 99% of executives notice and will spot out the difference. What kind of telemarketing do YOU want to represent your company?
Think about it for yourself just a moment here. When the phone rings and you don’t immediately identify that number on your caller ID screen you generally will think to yourself ‘Who is that calling?’ .. ‘Is it a SALES call?’ .. Your mind is already preparing itself to be pitched and you pick up the phone with your standard greeting only to be hit with.
“Hello, My name is XXX and I’m calling on behalf of company YYY. We have a very special offering right now and would love for you to be a part of it. The ZZZ product is 50% better than …….”
WAIT WAIT WAIT JUST A SECOND HERE! Do these people ever come up for air? I’ve had phone calls like this where I’m keeping them on speakerphone just to time how long they will talk before taking a breath and letting me speak on the other end. Guess what? I ALWAYS SAY NO. I’m not going to give information to a telemarketer approaching me this way. It says nothing to me about them bringing a value-add to what we all know they are just trying to sell me.
Executive-level callers make an enormous difference in getting results. They call to have a conversation and not just to pitch you on an item. You might not be a fit for the product/service, or host of other reasons that right now may not be an optimal time. That telemarketer? They hang up <click> and the auto-dialer takes them to their next inevitable rejection. Executive-level calls stay on the line, and converse. That’s what true telemarketing means to us at OMAI USA. It’s about hang meaningful conversations that drive your brand to more revenue, larger market share, and our nuanced approach has proven itself for going on 20 years now.
I could not tell you how many times one of our associates did not get a lead from a call attempt on the spot, but it turned into a referral for another company they know needs the solution, future business because they appreciated the tactful approach, or re-direction to the proper people internally that no bought list could have provided.
That’s the difference between a professional in marketing and telemarketing.
The word telemarketer has been watered down over the past decade with technology. Companies can set up call centers faster and cheaper than ever before and it shows in the final product, their outbound calls. No longer to people think of telemarketers as sales men and women building contacts. It has unfortunately become this nasty phone creature looking to bother you, read you a terrible script, waste your time, and ultimately try to get your personal information. We’ve been fighting that battle for 20 years now with tremendous results.
One of the big misconceptions people get with telemarketing and professional-level telemarketing is the goal. Do you want to contact 1000 people are just blurt out a 1 line message and more on? Then that call center is best for you. Chances are you’re going to get zero business out of it and waste everyones time. You don’t react to those calls right? Why on earth would your target audience. In professional-level telemarketing the goal is to have successful interactions with decision-makers. 1000 calls is never going to happen on the same size/budget campaign as the call center people, it’s just not realistic. Getting a list back of 1000 calls where 95% of them were little more than “call attempt” is useless. On the other hand getting a list back of 200 calls where 60-100 of them had conversations with people of influence in the companies reached? Golden. That’s true market intel that will benefit your company and internal sales staff. It’s also the biggest difference in our marketing approach compared to the call centers.
We measure success by building intelligent connections for your company that can be leveraged today, tomorrow, and in the future. High quality, expertly trained, executive-level callers who are having true dialogues with a target audience that matters and understands your value prop. It’s what OMAI USA has done for 20 years and will continue to do over the next 20. Building brands, building business.
2012 is well into Q1 now and Vendors are having their sales and marketing teams hammer their hopefully well developed lists to generate new business and reawaken existing clients for 2012. Software firms, hardware sales, professional services; you name it and they’re out selling it. And if you are someone who is the recipient of these marketing calls, you are receiving it.. in a big way! Your phone is ringing off the hook from sales and marketing people of all skill levels. Rookies and seasoned marketing pros alike are vying for your time, for just a brief moment so they can give you their pitch and determine if there is any level of interest at all.
Now when that phone rings, or that call is transferred through from your admin there is a brief moment from a psychological standpoint; of wonderment. What awaits on the other end of that ringing phone? Or you are so up to your neck in Q1 work of your own you have just that rushed 30 seconds to hear a quick elevator pitch and either blurt out a ‘Not Interested!” or quickly say “Send me more details.” Either way that person on the other end of the phone is coming in cold with absolutely no idea how you the target exec is going to react to their message. Will they have success the call? Only if the target + messaging is a fit.
Flip that standard ho hum marketing script and be engaging and knowledgeable
Flip the phone around and you have the sales or marketing rep on the other end of the line. They have just navigated your complicated phone system, or possibly are staring at a screen that auto-dialed you with your name/title up in big bold letters with the top of the script loaded into the monitor. Most calls will begin the same with some sort of general salutation, personalized if their list has the contact information available. Using your marketing skill to divert any lapse of data is always critical, lead people to the knowledge you seek for conversation flow. Don’t just drop questions like bombs from the moment you get on the phone, that’s sloppy marketing.
This is where all similarities END. Poof! Now you are into the call itself and it’s where you as a caller need to separate yourself from the pack of marketing professionals out there. Are you working in a telemarketing cubicle in a boiler room with a cowbell being rung every time a light RFI type lead or better is obtained? If so you probably don’t care much beyond getting stats to pad your weekly numbers hoping to be the person winning the TGIF’s Gift Certificate. You will be identified by the target executive and either passed down the chain quickly, or discounted altogether as a waste of his/her time. Are you blindly reading through a marketing script just to get your work done? That’s not marketing either and is helping nobody in the process.
How will your marketing separate you from others?
Separation is key. But how do you as the caller separate yourself from that marketing pack that is constantly calling target executives day in and day out? It’s pretty simple, stop selling and start helping the people you call. Not everyone is going to be a fit for your client or marketing list each call; understanding that is the first key to success, not wasting your own time on non-targets. But when you do find that executive who is a perfect match for what you are trying to sell, help them understand the benefits to their organization more than trying to make a fast lead / appointment conversion will be savvy marketing and pay divedends. Taking that extra moment once you hear a sense of interest from a prospect will make a world of difference in the final result. Barreling in with the usual sales and marketing jargon and catchphrases just puts you back down into the pack. They’ve heard it all before, and if your best “line” is just that… a line.. Why should the target exec care why you have to say?
Understand their business, and in turn understand your offering. Be it a hardware device, software tool, professional service, it does not matter what the item is. What only matters is that you understand it well enough to be able to articulate to someone in under 60-90 seconds how that offering can be a benefit to their bottom line. It’s a rough economy out there for both corporate and individuals still and every business needs to make smart choices that benefit them. Effective marketing strategy will make a difference. The days of lavish spending on technology without a proven track record are over for the majority of companies out there. People put their name, their job, on the line when they start the chain of communication with a new Vendor. What will make them want to say YES! to you in such a short window of opportunity during that first cold call?
Hit them at their PAIN point. If they show initial interest in your pitch they most likely have some sort of pain in their organization that your offering could at least be a point of conversation in the process of them addressing it. Ask meaningful questions. Not the usual “Can I have for email?” that’s not the point of the call. You want to establish that: A) You have a product / service / offering that is of elevated value to the 100s other calls they have received in the past 14-30 days and that B) They truly have a NEED for who you are calling on behalf of. Because if they don’t need what you are marketing in the first place, why are we wasting their time and your clients money?
Your next marketing call will be a success
Think about this on your next cold call. What are you offering the person on the other end of the phone? What is your value proposition to them as much as what is it for your client? How can you help the target exec you are calling?
If your sales and marketing calls come from a true desire to help establish and build business relationships of value, instead of empty leads just to pad your numbers, you will find that when you do make that connection it will be that much deeper. Your clients will thank you in the end for that extra effort marketing on their behalf.
It’s our 20th Anniversary here at OMAI USA and we’re constantly looking to expand our markets reach and let people know about the great services and offerings we provide our current clients, and what we can do to help your business grow.
We are advertising on CBS 880 radio during the News updates and the well established Sunday night 60 Minutes radio program. If you’re in the Tri-State area tune your dial to 880 and let us know what you think of our new radio ad, we welcome the feedback.
The timing couldn’t be better as we are about to kick off phase 2 of our website updates which will include a much more robust Social Media presence with full Facebook / LinkedIn / and Twitter integration. We have just recently completed our iOS 5.0 compatibility process as well. If you are an iPad or any other iType of user, OMAIUSA.com now fits, looks, and runs fantastic on all of your mobile devices!