To achieve their objective, appointment setters rely on getting face to face meetings. The premise here is that looking someone in the eye is the best way to build trust and long-term relationships. However, these are not normal times and we’re all expected to change the way we live for at least the short term. So how do appointment setters thrive when getting in front of decision makers is no longer advisable?
Organisations still need to function, and sales still need to happen whether we can get in front of prospects or not. Despite its huge potential for building relationships, generating leads and boosting brand awareness, the telephone remains undervalued as a sales tool. Often, this ambivalent attitude is the result of a lack of confidence on the part of organisations about the power of the telephone, because past attempts have failed. At Blue Donkey, we know how impressive telemarketing results can be for appointment setters looking to engage prospects and build new sales pipelines. We also know that it takes planning, skill, and consistency to achieve results. Maybe now is the time to take another look at the role the telephone plays in organisations.
No more eyeballs
Appointment setters may well find that the way we do business in future changes as a result of the current Coronavirus epidemic. Learning to get more of the sales cycle completed by telephone could become the new normal for all of us, and let’s face it, there are some real long-term environmental benefits this relatively short-term pain could bring about. Fewer face to face meetings means there are fewer cars on the road for starters. Additionally, since more of us will be sat at our desks when we might otherwise be out at meetings, the potential to reach people by telephone is possibly greater. Working from home can feel isolating, lonely and at best a bit boring, so again calls may be better received than they might otherwise have been.
Phone is next best thing
When looking to build new client relationships if you can’t get face to face with someone, the telephone is the next best thing. Where email, direct mail and most other forms of marketing cut out the human voice, telemarketing allows you to have a personality. Most b2b products and services are sophisticated and complex, they need the benefit of a human voice to get across their specialness. The telephone enables you to ask specific questions, probe for information unique to each buyer, and respond sensitively and spontaneously. When you’re using the phone to communicate with buyers, you are only one sense removed when you can’t see them, so you’re still able to engage naturally and pick up or tune in to their response. People buy from people, they want to deal with someone who is listening and who shows care, the telephone is the perfect tool to achieve this.
Making limited resources go further is likely to be an issue for many companies as the effects of the current situation begin to bite. Appointment setters will find their sustainability at risk if they don’t adapt by cutting out the need for meetings and instead get more from their calls. The benefit for those who manage to make this transition successfully is you can reach more people, faster and cheaper by phone than you ever could face to face.
Get more from calls
Instead of appointment setters saying just enough in their telemarketing to get a meeting, they’ll need to get more from their discussions. Asking the right questions is key, so make sure your team knows what they need to get out of a call and what they want to give in the call. Use a clean database and have a process for appending additional insight as it’s gathered. The database your appointment setters use for their telemarketing campaign will have a big impact on success rate. Data that’s well-profiled and up to date will help your team hit their goals, and if your data is wrong, to begin with then it will impair the quality of your calls and will make it almost impossible for your appointment setters to achieve their targets.
Manage metrics carefully to ensure your team is working efficiently. Consider free video calling facilities such as Zoom when the face to face element is really essential.
It’s important to remember that one of the biggest benefits of telemarketing is the opportunity it offers to build long term relationships with your clients. The telephone can be used to create and maintain these relationships, making it an incredibly powerful sales and marketing tool. To find out more about intelligent telemarketing and the impact it can have on sales, get in touch with a member of the Blue Donkey team today.