How to Increase Your Prospecting Odds for Success

August 4, 2014

15673605249_05b530952d_m A telemarketing campaign is not really all that different from what goes on behind the scenes to produce a full-blown Hollywood movie. Of the movies that make their way to the silver screen, some do great, while others go into a tailspin. Even though a ton of research and investment dollars are put into the nuts and bolts of making a movie, its success ultimately depends on the fleeting interest of a fickle audience.

The interest of any audience is notoriously capricious. This is an absolute given whenever you are investing in anything, whether it be a movie, a political campaign, the stock market, or a telemarketing campaign. There are simply no guarantees, but with each effort, you can get closer to getting a decent return on investment (ROI) more reliably. This is a point of fact that drives the movie business in spite of what some would consider failures. Silver screen investors understand that every step they take is simply that: a step toward seeing an investment pay off.

Take a stroll down memory lane and look at the top 20 Hollywood box office bombs. As you can see, even with the best of intentions (and investment dollars), nothing is guaranteed to be successful.

So what do we do with this information?

I sometimes hear the question from my potential clients, “What can I expect from a telemarketing campaign?” The good news is that you don’t have to dig as deeply into your pockets as a movie conglomerate. Unlike a movie where the makers have one shot at capturing an audience’s interest, you can take steps to ensure that your telemarketing campaign is far less risky than that of major movie investors. You can limit your exposure by ensuring that you have adequate resources in place and that you’ve done your research on your target audience and on your competitors. Such steps will make sure that you are maximizing your efforts to that fickle audience. You can learn how to alter your prospecting strategy so that you stand out from your competitors.


Here is an example of what I mean by having solid research: Portland and Seattle call campaigns for data center service (a disaster-recovery service option, also known as a colocation facility). Data is essentially stored off-site of a company to prevent its loss in the event of a catastrophe.

The object was to get prospects to tour their respective facilities. The outcome was that Portland did significantly better than Seattle, but why?


  • Portland’s call list was 65% accurate, while Seattle’s list was only 33% accurate. It is essential to start with a current call list that has emails, phone numbers, and a 60-70% accuracy rate, or a list that has been called within the previous six months.
  • Portland had only 12 competitors, whereas market-saturated Seattle had 36. We even heard from one prospect in Seattle, “If I had a quarter for every time a salesperson called me up about colocation facilities, I would be a rich man.”It’s important to ask the question, who are your competitors? What are they offering, and how can you differentiate yourself?

If your market is saturated, differentiate yourself with an event
Saturated markets require you to do something different than your competitors. Usually, you can differentiate yourself with a unique event at a noteworthy place. We did another call campaign up in Seattle for several months later. This time it was a networking event at the Space Needle instead of inviting people on a tour of the data center. Host a lunch or dinner event where you are going to entice people to do something special versus just what everybody else is doing to make those calls. (Then ask if there is any interest in a tour. That’s where telemarketing people come in. They support the event by making those calls).

Additional call campaign in Santa Clara
Prospects were invited to a barbeque and networking event at the colocation facility, but this did not go over as well in Seattle, mostly because prospects were not as excited about going to a colocation facility as they were about going to the Space Needle. If you must do an event at your facility, try to feature a premier catering company or an enticing giveaway.

Additional notes to create success
Making sure that you understand who your audience is, what their common pain points are, and their current interests. Always lead with your most popular offering; you can offer other services and products later when you schedule the appointment, but best to not overwhelm prospects on an unsolicited call with too much detail.


  • Have a good list.
  • Take steps to differentiate yourself in a competitive market—movie advertisers try to do this all the time with eye-catching previews and glitzy premiers. With telemarketing, this might mean doing an event or something else more creative than your competitor.
  • Your facilities—in many cases no one gets excited about visiting them.
  • You have less likelihood of getting people to visit you when you have a lot of competition.
  • Do a noteworthy event to a good list and separate yourself from the competition.
  • Monitor progress frequently so you can make timely and necessary changes to your campaign.

Need help with prospecting calls? Contact Lead Savvy.

As a virtual extension of your sales team, we help you identify and cultivate qualified decision makers who can purchase your product or service. Lead Savvy allows you to delegate the tedious, repetitive tasks of B2B lead generation and the rejection that comes with preliminary prospecting efforts. In other words, we do the initial filtering so you can spend your valuable time focusing on your profit-making operations.

Independent assessments available. Would you like to learn how to add momentum to your existing sales team’s prospecting performance? Our strategy consultation service assists appointment setters in navigating the communications, training, and strategy components of prospecting in such a way that their teams are productive and energized versus being dis-empowered and distracted.

Photo by Pol Turrents, Flickr


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