Lead Generation: Essential Strategies for Introducing Your Product or Service by Phone
Lead Generation: In 20+ years and over a million telemarketing calls along the way, I have uncovered strategies that increase my productivity in B2B lead generation. Of all of these, there are several key concepts to keep in mind that will improve your return of investment (ROI).
The point of telemarketing is to sort the qualified from unqualified and schedule follow-up to those in between to generate sales. If, when someone asks you what it is you sell, it takes you five minutes to get your point across, you are a likely candidate for the method I will describe in this article. Condensing your explanation into short but compelling sentences in small doses helps hold your audience’s attention.
The difference between a "widget" and a "concept" sale
A "widget" is a product or service that requires no explanation as to what it is. Examples include a copier or a cleaning service for the office. A "concept" is a product or service that often requires follow-up explanation for the prospect to understand what it is you are offering. These days that might include cloud infrastructure (which is off-site, virtual data storage) or a new marketing strategy such as internal/external market alignment.
When I make a cold call to a business to generate sales, I know that I have about six seconds to get my point across and solicit an action from my prospect. Especially with the added explanation required in a concept sale, it is often difficult to get the point of your concept across in this short amount of time. Many salespeople make the mistake of pushing through a call with their agenda items, not leaving room for feedback from the prospect, much less give the impression of a low-pressure approach. Widgets, however, can often be delivered in this amount of time on the phone, as there is no added time needed to offer an explanation to generate sales. For this reason, stay simple. Don’t try to put all of your offerings into your sales pitch. A prospect is already distracted when taking your unexpected call. Keep your offering simple by keeping it to one or two items. If you are unsure which ones to pick, follow two rules:
Lead with offerings that have the highest probability of the most demand. Once you get in the door to speak with them about one item, you’ll have more time to offer other options when you schedule a longer call.
Utilize offerings that are in alignment with existing rapport. If you just met someone, would you ask to borrow their car? Obviously no, but many times people doing B2B lead generation make the mistake of adding in a call to action that far exceeds the trust level established on an initial call. One recent example that came across my desk was a client that wanted me to offer a free, independent scan onto a company’s computer network, which would generate a report for potentially harmful viruses and bugs. Trying to put myself into this scenario as the receiver of the call, I knew that there was no way I would let some random firm who was calling me have access of my network to run a report that I am not even sure is valid. As an appointment setter, building rapport and credibility are keys to success in moving a prospect through your sales funnel to generate sales. I shared with my client that unless there is an obvious or immediate need, initial call offerings and subsequently the prospect call to action should start out conservative and build as the trust increases. Example of conservative first steps are an option to:
Read through the material with follow-up from a sales rep.
A scheduled phone appointment for a presentation.
Asking the prospect if there is a perceived fit with your offering.
As you build your connection, you will be better able to assess further commitment, rapport and the ability for action from your prospect.
Read your script aloud
Once you have established what you would like to say, read it out loud, get feedback from others, or record your presentation and listen to the playback. The written word and spoken word come across very differently.
Don’t use industry-specific language
Make sure that you speak the same language as your prospects. Be careful to not use words or acronyms that might be only understood in a limited number of industries.
Don’t try to force-feed your prospect
While the ultimate goal is to get your prospect to buy your product or service, you need to take it in steps. Many people go right for the appointment close. Sure that is you trying to get your foot in the door with the decision maker, but everyone else does it this way, too. Remember your distracted prospect? If he or she is fielding calls like this all day, when an appointment comes up at the end of the pitch, they just say no because too many people ask. If you ease into that question first with asking if there might be a fit between your product or service and their needs either now or sometime in the future, you open dialogue. You can gauge if now is a good time for an appointment and ask for one (avoiding finding out there are no needs during an appointment), you might have an opportunity to ask what they are currently using to manage their need. You might get redirected to someone else. The point is to ease into your conversations, not trying to shove all of your agenda items into one or two calls. It takes time for people to know who you are and what you have to offer—they are more likely to accept and engage you in a lower pressure interaction, rather than being force-fed or drinking from a fire hose of information.
At Lead Savvy we offer a compelling delivery of your message: Communicating a new idea or product in the time constraints of a cold call can be challenging in B2B lead generation. Education, awareness and rapport building are all necessary prospecting components to generate sales. Lead Savvy can identify where a sales cycle begins and where follow-up is necessary with each unique company