Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Appointment Setting – There's More Than One Way To Communicate!

First off, communication is important for generating business leads. It's the process that obtains valuable information about possible clients. Here are just some of the important kinds of information that play a key role in successful sales.

  • Time – You obviously need to know when they can be available for a business meeting.
  • Needs – This is another vital piece. It will help you long after the sale is made and when you're well on your way to providing the product or service.
  • Budget – You'll also need to know if they can afford to give you your sale.
  • You – A bit strange? You see, while you're gathering information on the prospect, that prospect is also gathering information on you. You also have to give information they want if you want to convince them to meet up.

However, one common mistake among lead generators is that they stick too close to just one form of communication. They would even go so far as to persist despite the obvious signs of ineffectiveness. This doesn't just apply to older methods like telemarketing and direct mail. The same also goes for social media, email, and other new forms of online marketing that are trending in the business world today.

An unhealthy dependence on one form of communication never bodes well in any process that requires you to be considerate of the prospect. Different people prefer different ways to communicate. When one person scoffs and says, “Who uses the phone these days?”, another person will say, “I don't need Facebook. Just give me a call.”

You never know what kind of medium your target decision makers and business owners would like to use. Maybe you can look up research studies and start coming up with generalizations but that's not enough. There are already differences just between industries with regards to how people would like to be contacted. You might also encounter exceptions.

Communication must be flexible in order to meet the desires of a diverse selection of prospects. A lead generation campaign is only a success when it ultimately delivers quality information on potential clients. The kind of communication you used won't matter as much.

It also implies versatility. When one method fails to reach them, use something else. For example, if you can't get through to them on the phone, try to look up their business on the internet. If they don't want to talk much via social media or email, then convince them to have the conversation on the phone. These are just some of the ways you can combine several forms of communication in order to establish a connection and take you closer to a set appointment.

Now if you're worrying about costs. That's not a problem either. Try outsourcing some of the other forms if you can't afford more than one. You want email? Try outsourcing email marketing companies. You want telemarketers? Outsource telemarketing services. What's important will always be making that connection, engaging in a conversation, and coming out with beneficial information. There's more than one way to communicate and set an appointment!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Pick A Lead Generator That Knows What It's Getting!

These days people are saying that the business world is now being driven by an entirely new resource. It's not just money. It's not just raw materials. It's not simply property. Today, businesses are being driven by a need for information.

And you have to admit, knowledge is proving to be really powerful. The speedy acquisition of data and its abundance now on the World Wide Web has enabled new ways for companies to determine demand and study their markets. Despite how the complexity of research, you can't deny the simple logic: If you know what your customers want, you'll know what to do.

However, this wealth of information isn't all gold. In fact, not all of it is even valuable!

That is the danger that is present in the new online frontier. Not all acquired data can necessarily serve the purpose that it is being researched for. One of the best examples of this danger is found in B2B lead generation.

Information overload is definitely a negative for all lead generation professionals. Your prospects want information but you need to first ask yourself: What kind of information? See, this is where all the enchantment with data starts to disappear. You'd be surprised at how specific potential clients can get when asking questions. And since this is B2B, decision makers certainly rank high when it comes to making critical evaluation. Whatever your industry, targeting businesses means you'll be speaking with them and you will answer to them. If you want your company to be of any service to theirs, you need to pay really close attention to what they say.

From there, you should know that information overload is bad for you too. There are a lot of useful things you can learn about a prospect but there is still the risk of gathering information that's not at all useful for you. Contact information and company name, for example, are only useful to a point. That point is when you call and end up facing the gatekeeper. That still doesn't tell you what you can say to convince the gatekeeper to let you through. If your lead generation comes with an appointment setter, such minimal information barely cuts it! You need to arm yourself with knowledge of a prospect so that the appointments will end well. You can't just get that from a phone number.

This all applies regardless if you're forming your own lead generation campaign with your own marketing team or you're searching for the right lead generation company to outsource. A lead should only give you information that works to your advantage. This ranges from knowing about the opportunity to knowing about the needs you're sure you can fulfill.

Remember, the ideal which fuels today's race for information is that it's supposed to teach your business how to be of better service. It tells you what your markets want, what potential clients want, and what they actually need, all so that you'll know the next thing your company is going to do. Ironically, all this data-hype has only blinded people to that ideal. Make sure you're not one of them and know what kind of information you'll need to get!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Use B2B Telemarketing If You Need To Make Things Quick

Rushing is never a good idea when trying to generate sales leads. However, that doesn't mean you can take your sweet time either. Speed is just as equally important as control. There are times that while you can't rush the prospect, the prospect will rush you!

And of course, there are plenty of good (and obvious) reasons as to why.

  • They may have scheduled a lot of meetings throughout their day so they can't talk for long in between.
  • Paperwork and management duties will always take top priority so obviously you need to have a good reason as to why you just interrupted them in the middle of their work.
  • You also have the possibility of calling them when they're analyzing data and making important future plans. It may not be a good idea to interrupt their train of thought.

At this point, you might wonder why telemarketing? Why not just send them an email or even a real marketing letter? The problem with that is that it's going to the complete opposite extreme. You're avoiding all means of directly contacting the decision maker but at the cost of being completely ignored too. Did you send an email? It might never be opened. Sent a real letter? It's the same thing. The worst case scenario is you'll get labeled as a spammer or a junk mailer and now your messages won't be read at all.

The key here is balance. You need to balance getting their attention while not taking too much of their time doing it. B2B telemarketing can accomplish this (or at least, it can play a significant role in the overall technique). Unlike email or direct mail, a ringing phone is harder to ignore. Once the prospect has answered, you only have a window of a few minutes in order to accomplish what you set out to do and that is get their interest. Take note, there's a difference between getting their interest and trying to make a sale right out of the bat. Getting their interest means trying to get to know them first. It might even help to do some research before making the call. Try to ask questions that will help determine needs and make it as objective as possible. Once that's done, evaluate the response and politely end the exchange as soon as possible.

Another technique involves mixing both email or direct mail with telemarketing. Again, it's similar to the first technique. You make a call, make it quick, and then just say you'll send the rest in an email. Think of it as a new way of dropping off a letter. It also tells you beforehand if the prospect would really appreciate the message and won't just toss it in the trash. After that, wait for some responses and don't be afraid to follow-up.

As you can see, you're not rushing the prospect here. But at the same time, taking only a few minutes with a call at convenient intervals shows that you don't want to take up too much of their time. It may not even be an issue if you can't afford to invest in telemarketing yourself. There are plenty of telemarketing services who use similar (if not the exact, same) techniques so can outsource to them instead. It will still always be important to make things quick when contacting busy decision makers.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Defrost Your Cold Calling Approach

One of the reasons why people dislike getting random phone calls is that it's just that: purely random. And when you look at the worst examples, you have to admit that the whole thing sounds a lot like a numbers game. You get a list and start calling. That's it. You don't do research. You don't try and see why these particular companes might make a good business leads. You just dial in, fling your pitch, and expect a Yes or No (chances are, you'll get a No more often).

Why do you think it's called 'cold' calling in the first place? You need to defrost your approach and improve your chances with each call. And as implied above, the key is to do a bit more research. Is it really too much to first look up the company? Maybe it would have been a few decades ago when telemarketers were still scanning phone books.

Today, with internet and social media, you have more opportunities to learn more about who you're calling. This isn't even comparable to B2C telemarketing because unlike consumers, businesses can be quite eager to talk about themselves. It's how they impress their own markets. More and more companies are setting up websites and establishing presence in social networking sites. These places are excellent sources of information that can help you make yourself more relevant to the needs of their decision makers. Another advantage you have with information is that you also know a few things that would make for a good conversation.

Furthermore, information isn't just the only way to boost your chances. Throwing in a bit of email marketing can help too. Try contacting prospects that way and get those who respond into receiving your call. If you're going to insist that you don't have the time to look up a company, then you a list of addresses instead of numbers. At the very least, your emails are going to be less disruptive.

Of course, there are limits to what you can find on the internet. And yes, companies are also taking measures to make sure that the online channels of communication don't get clogged with marketing efforts in the same way that the phone now has.

That's still no excuse to do things far too randomly. B2B leads are defined by the information they have on the prospect. Information is supposed to help improve the accuracy of your marketing efforts. It's supposed to reduce the uncertain factors which lead to randomness. An appointment setter who shows sincere interest in finding out problems and offering solutions has a higher chance of getting people to meet them than those who just try and set the date without showing that same consideration.

Ask yourself, would you rather burn through a whole list by just rapidly calling the numbers on them or would you rather improve your chances with each, single one of them by knowing more about who they are? Defrost your impersonal telemarketing approach and remember that getting information is what you're supposed to do, even from the very start!

Monday, June 4, 2012

A Quick Contrast Between What Scammers Do And What Professional Telemarketers Do

Anyone with even average experience in the telemarketing industry would eventually learn about telemarketing scams. And painful as it is, it's usually when they're hearing someone hold them up as a reason why the industry is dead.

However, if B2B businesses have any say about it, it's still pretty much alive. You see there's a fine difference between what real telemarketers do and what scammers posing as them would do.

Today, telemarketing continues to stay alive because there is still a need for it to contact and engage potential B2B clients. All kinds of decision makers, from managers to all the way up to the CEOs, take a lot of means just to contact. The phone just happens to be one of them.

In the following, you will find just some areas where scammers and telemarketers differ greatly.


Scammers – Scammers typically target the most gullible. These would include people who have no easy access to confirming the things they say over the phone. They would go for areas that they think have low awareness with regards to telemarketing scams.

Professionals – B2B telemarketers target only businesses, and more specifically, certain people in charge of certain areas all in order to generate sales leads. The businesses themselves aren't very easy to navigate because you have gatekeepers and other safeguards to prevent people from wasting the decision maker's time. The businesses must also fit a certain criteria determined by industry, size, and factors that would indicate a need for whatever product or service they're offering.

Goals and information

Scammers – Scammers are basically thieves. The things they steal? Information. Personal information. These could be credit card numbers, bank account PINs, and other sensitive data that would allow access to people's money. And if they can't get that, there's always the classic case of duping people into directly sending them money by making up the same false promises (e.g. tax reduction).

Professionals – Real telemarketers are also after information but this information is only for the purpose of convincing either themselves or whoever is outsourcing them for it. Convince them of what exactly? A need. B2B transactions have their best value when there is a definite need for something and the money spent on the relationship or the project is worth every penny. You're talking about big business here and specific needs have to be confirmed. It's the only way they can get the qualified leads they need to determine who and who is not open to do business. The telemarketers themselves aren't attempting to sell and in fact, the closest thing to that would be when they do additional appointment setting. The sale itself still needs to be made by whoever needed to get the necessary information to act upon.


Scammers – Scammers are cheap or otherwise they wouldn't be so desperate to steal instead of pursuing more honest efforts. This is reflected in their use of low quality communications technology, fellow criminals who obviously never trained to communicate like a pro, and even those who use websites generally don't put effort to make it look convincing enough. That takes money and perhaps more money than what they rip off of people.

Professionals – These people use only the best and more. They're not just limited to the phone. They have a large database that they've built over the years so they don't have to start compiling numbers from scratch. Their equipment is selected to ensure clear, quality communication. Finally, they wouldn't be professionals if there wasn't some time invested in their training.