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American Direct Marketing Services Blog

The Daily Dozen: A Sales Prospecting Strategy (Part 3 of 3)

by Scott Casson | Feb 12, 2013

HOW TO DEVELOP A TELEMARKETING SCRIPT:

So here you are, looking at your prospect list about to make your first call when you ask yourself: 
“What in the heck do I say when I call these people?”

I get this question a lot too.  Some of my clients have been in their respective industries for years and still ask this question…mainly because they’ve never truly prospected before.   The quick answer is to say whatever you’re going to say efficiently and effectively.  By that I mean don’t beat around the bush and immediately get to the point.

*THE FIRST 10-15 SECONDS OF THE CONVERSATION IS CRUCIAL!!


Listen, you’re a busy person….I understand that.  We all are.  But so is your prospective client.  So give them the same respect of their time that you would want if it were you on the other end of the phone.

Neither of you need to get in a long drawn out conversation about how the Dallas Cowboys need to fire their GM.   You’re wasting valuable phone time unrelated to your sales effort, especially if the prospect turns out to be a poor candidate for a sale.  Regardless, Jerry Jones won’t fire himself so it’s wasted effort all around.

One key telemarketing sales strategy is to control the conversation.   What does this mean?  Controlling the conversation is making sure you don’t get away from the initial purpose in calling:  Converting the prospect into a client by selling your product and/or service.   But it’s more than that...it’s addressing your client’s questions; it’s staying on topic and most importantly maintaining a professional demeanor on the phone.

Here’s a script that I developed for one of my clients :
______

Prospect:  Hello?

You: Yes, John Smith please. 

Prospect:  “This is John…”

You:  Hi John, my name is Bill Jackson with Smart Money Financial Services here in Dallas.  How are you today? 

Prospect:  “I’m fine thanks….”

You:  “Good.  John, I wanted to follow up on that letter I sent to you about Smart Money Financial.  We’re a boutique financial services firm that specializes in long term wealth creation and preservation for high net worth individuals and I wanted to set up a time this week to introduce myself and my services and show you how my company could double your portfolio before you retire.  

Are you available to meet with me for coffee this Wednesday?”
________

As you can see, this intro script is not extremely detailed.  It’s short, sweet, efficient, effective and relevant.  In about 15 seconds you’ve said who you are, what company you are with, what your company does (wealth management),  the reason why you are calling (following up on a letter you sent and wish to set up a meeting) and a little about what you can do for that individual (double their portfolio)…all within 10-15 seconds. 

Listen, I’ve been pitched on the phone hundreds of times and I’ve helped an equal amount of my clients develop an effective script for various products and services across multiple vertical markets.  The template is the same.  Just insert a different name, company and the reason why you’re calling that is most appropriate to your particular business and objective. 

Now there are some important things to remember:

1) Always use the prospects first name when addressing them (whenever possible).  One reason is that you should always put yourself on the same level as your prospect or client.   I can’t think of any instance that I’d put someone above myself or vice versa from a socio-hierarchy standpoint.  If I am addressed as Mr. Casson one the phone that immediately tells me I’m in control of the conversation and I begin to grill them on why they called.  So don’t set yourself up for someone to do that to you.  You need as much control on the initial conversation as you can get from the start.

Another reason to use their first name is because you’re cold calling.  And when one is addressed by their first name on the phone, they may think they already know you, or should know you…and thus, won’t hang up on you in the first 3-5 seconds of your pitch.  And every second counts. 2-3 more seconds can enable you can get to the relevant point in your pitch (why you’re calling) that conveys to that prospect why your particular product or service is of benefit to them.

2) Use the letter as a tool: 

In the real world, not every conversation is going to go the way I just presented.  Even though our targeted direct mail letter will have a high probability of being opened and the prospect will know who you are when you call, there are ALWAYS going to be variables that change the game…or in this case the conversation.

Let’s look at an example: 
____________

Prospect
:  Hello?

You: Yes, John Smith please. 

Prospect:  “This is John…”

You:  “Hi John, my name is Bill Jackson with Smart Money Financial Services here in Dallas. How are you today?” 

Prospect:  “I’m fine thanks….”

You:  “Good.  John, I wanted to follow up on that letter I sent to you about our firm.  We’re a boutique financial services firm that specializes in…

Prospect:  “Wait….what letter?” 

You:  “I sent some information earlier this week about my company’s services. We’re a boutique financial services firm that specializes in long term wealth creation and preservation for high net worth individuals and I wanted to set up a time this week to introduce myself, my services and show you how my company could double your portfolio before you retire.”  

“Are you available to meet with me for coffee this Wednesday?”

Prospect:  “Oh yeah…that letter! Thanks for the call.  You have perfect timing… I’ve actually lost 20% in the last 3 years and I’m looking for a new wealth management firm….
________________

Let’s dissect what happened.  The prospect just interrupted your sales pitch to ask about the letter he most likely opened but maybe forgot your name or the company that sent it.  Now what do you do?  First thing is not to stumble.  Being verbally versatile in how you get back to controlling the conversation is what makes a good salesperson.  The solution is to use the letter as a tool in order to get RIGHT BACK INTO YOUR PITCH. 

We controlled the conversation by addressing the prospect’s question, “What letter?” with a response:  “I sent some information earlier this week about my company’s services. We’re a boutique financial services firm that specializes in…” And then we went right back into our sales pitch immediately after we addressed that question.  That’s controlling the conversation. 

Moreover, even if your prospect didn’t open your letter, it’s a tool that can be used in order to get that prospect to stay on the phone and pitch your product and /or service or achieve a specific purpose: secure an appointment, schedule a time for an online product demo, provide a proposal, etc.

FOLLOW UP SALES STRATEGIES 

The benefits of implementing the Daily Dozen strategy are going to become very apparent quickly and you’ll need to be effective in managing this new flow of prospects as well as your new clientele (again, what a great problem to have, right?!?).   I suggest you either A) Hire someone who can take over this prospecting strategy while you manage your clients or B) Rein in your prospecting to 6 a day while re-touching 6 of your existing clientele with a phone call or an email. 

The unique thing about this strategy is it can be automated and in certain respects, scalable.  Once you’ve established your target market, created the template for your direct mail letter, obtained the list and have a script prepared, it’s relatively easy to get an admin or new salesperson to take it over.   And if the pool of prospects within your target market is large enough, who’s to say you can’t have a 2-3 or 3-5 sized sales team executing it on a daily basis?  However, if hiring new employees is not an option, then I recommend the 6:6 ratio of daily prospecting to client management.  Or, whatever ratio seems to be the best fit from a time standpoint based on your own analysis: 9:3 or 3:9…etc.

Listen, the Daily Dozen can be very effective in jump starting a sales campaign because you can initiate it on an individual or institutional level.  But it’s not a be-all end-all strategy that will totally negate the use of social media, SEO or a digital campaign. This is why it’s important to have a solid back end advertising and marketing strategy (a proper website, Facebook, Twitter, Linked-In, weekly or monthly blogging, a corporate newsletter or a dedicated email campaign) in place to continue advertising to your customer base and/or to capture any new organic interest from Facebook, Twitter or a Google search. 

For example: Maybe 1/3 of your clientele wishes to follow you on Facebook, 1/3 on Twitter and 1/3 via your corporate newsletter.  Giving your clients the option to choose the way THEY wish to be reminded of your services, or new offers, will determine which channel of communication from an advertising and client retention standpoint is best for them.  This not only enables you to be far more effective in how you communicate with your clients but it also eliminates the type of advertising that turns off your clients or that they would deem annoying or intrusive.   

A well diversified marketing strategy that doesn’t put all your marketing eggs in one basket will always be suggested by any good strategist.  When used properly, they can collectively introduce your brand to a new prospect, reinforce your brand to your current clients as well as generate an action to buy from either a prospect or a current client. 

The thing is, you won’t close a sale every time you touch someone with your backend advertising/marketing strategy.  But what you are doing is selling all the time…which is what people mean when they say “ABC” (Always Be Selling).  Furthermore, these new digital tools can give invaluable customer feedback on you, your company and your company’s products and services for quality control purposes.

My intent with this blog series was to provide a two pronged solution for individuals who need some assistance in jump starting a sales prospecting strategy as well as doing so within a realistic and efficient time frame on a daily, weekly, monthly basis.

Furthermore, understand that The Daily Dozen strategy isn’t totally set in stone.  Think of it as more of a benchmark.  If you feel that you can send out 15 or 25 or even 50 pieces of mail a day and follow up on them appropriately then by all means do it.  Furthermore, it’s ALWAYS good idea to test and re-test different direct mail packages, the copy, various envelopes sizes and colors as well as the lists you use.  You’ll be amazed how dramatically different response rates can be generated when you tweak the copy or script or even use a different colored envelope.  Good luck and happy prospecting!

If you have any questions or wish to pick my brain, feel free to contact me: scasson@dmlist.com
      All ADMS lists are guaranteed to be of the highest quality in the industry. Lists are updated quarterly, NCOA'd twice a year and certified to be 93% accurate.