#1 - Using Poorly/Untargeted Data
Good data is at the heart of every successful telemarketing campaign. When some businesses develop an in-house telemarketing campaign, they often choose to utilise their database of prospects that they have been working from for quite a while. These databases will often be quite generalised and sporadic in terms of targeting and can make it difficult for the business to see generate and quality opportunities within the specific markets they are wanting to target. For each telemarketing campaign you run, it’s essential to identify what you want to achieve with your campaign, and then build or acquire a clean database of prospects to contact – or use an existing list if you are re-engaging with past customers or leads. Before going ahead and building a database of prospects yourself or purchasing a list from a regulation-compliant data house, you first need to establish who it is you want to target. Create an overview of the types of organisations you want to reach out to, for example, listing their attributes is a great way of doing this:
Type of Organisation – are you wanting to target charities? Colleges/Universities? Retailers? Consultancy firms? Care homes? Health clinics?
Size of Organisations – what size of business are you targeting? Sole traders? SMEs with 10 – 50 employees? Large international corporations with 100 – 1,000+ employees?
Location of Organisations – Where are these organisations? Within a 30-mile radius of your business? In particular cities or counties? Nationwide? International?
Even just defining the three attributes above gives you a much clearer picture of who you want to target which then makes building or acquiring a good quality, targeted database far easier. Investing in high-quality data is essential for telemarketing success, and while many people may save money by using older databases or acquiring generalised data lists, they are more likely to waste both money and time chasing up unqualified prospects that will never convert.
#2 - Not Dedicating Enough Time to Your Campaign.
Telemarketing can be a very time-consuming method of generating new business opportunities and patience is key to achieving telemarketing success.
Aside from the planning and research stages, the development of the script/guide, analysing your pitch, and acquiring the data, running the campaign will take up the majority of your time.
Some businesses try to save time and some of their budget by neglecting some aspects of their campaign and cutting corners. Without dedicating enough time and effort to your campaign, it can damage the quality and yield of your results and result in even more time and budget being wasted.
Due to the time-consuming nature of most telemarketing campaigns, many businesses choose to outsource their telemarketing activities to a professional agency; this allows them to carry on with their day-to-day business activities but still reap the benefits of a quality-focused, professionally run telemarketing strategy.
Remember that you only get out the effort that you put it – if you aren’t willing to dedicate enough of your time and effort to making your campaign a success, it won’t be.
#3 - Too Much Talking, Not Enough Listening.
When speaking to prospects over the phone, it’s important to remember that listening more and talking less can often be more effective than just rambling on.
Some telemarketers try to control the conversation too much and do not give the prospect the chance to air their questions and concerns. This can not only leave the prospect feeling frustrated and less likely to use the telemarketer’s services, but it can also leave the telemarketer with some key information about the prospect’s business and needs.
Remember that delivering your pitch is only one aspect of a successful telemarketing campaign. Actively listening to a prospect’s thoughts, questions, and concerns and then responding accordingly can help you to understand their wants and needs in more detail, while simultaneously building rapport.
#4 – Taking an Aggressive Approach
A vital aspect of a successful telemarketing strategy is building rapport with your prospects.
Going straight at your prospects with an aggressive ‘Buy It Now!’ approach can destroy any chances of building rapport and your chances of securing a qualified opportunity with it. It can also have a lasting impact on your business reputation which could affect future deals and growth.
To build long-lasting, fruitful business relationships with your prospect, take a more value-focused and patient approach to build up trust, loyalty, and their belief in your business.
The results you will see between the two approaches will be night and day. As well as seeing increases in lead quality and quantity, you will also be having much more pleasant and memorable interactions with your prospects, which is what leaves a lasting impression of the right kind on your prospects.
#5 - Not Planning for the Potential Conversations
Planning is an essential part of your telemarketing campaign and could be the difference between success or failure. Preparing your script and pitch is one thing but planning for the conversations they will come from the script/pitch is another.
Planning allows you to identify the possible questions that may arise during your conversations, so you can plan the perfect response and feel less pressure to think of an answer on the spot. You can also draft up a few variations of your closing statement that can be used depending on the route the conversation has taken to improve your conversation flow and have the best chance of achieving the desired outcome.
However, things may not always go to plan, so learning on the job and continuing to build up the possible responses you may receive from your prospects will be an ongoing task through the life of your campaign, but will help you to maintain having smoother conversations with your prospects and avoid hitting any walls when it comes to delivering your pitch and receiving objections.
#6 - Not Following Up With Prospects
Depending on your business and your target markets, it can be a rare occurrence to reach out to a prospect for an introductory conversation and fully secure a lead or appointment on the first call.
Some prospects will require more nurturing and will need to gain approval from other departments before going ahead with a deal, which is why staying in contact and regularly following-up with them is essential for maintaining that business relationship.
It’s important to remember not to be pushy though, as if you fall into a more aggressive approach as mentioned previously, you could destroy the rapport that you have worked hard to build up and ruin your chances of closing the deal.
As well as being following-up with prospects who have shown interest, it’s just as important to follow-up with those who haven’t.
Even if a prospect tells you they aren’t interested in your offering, it doesn’t mean they never will be. Taking a step back and re-engaging a few months down the line, their situation may have changed, and your offering might be exactly what they are looking for.
The key to telemarketing success is persistence!
Does your business need help generating fully-qualified sales leads or appointments?
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