#1 – Monitor Your Tone of Voice
When talking to prospects over the phone, your tone of voice can have a huge impact on the prospect’s willingness to participate in the conversation, and ultimately how the call turns out.
It’s important to monitor your tone when making lots of calls to different prospects; using a low and flat tone of voice can make the prospect feel uneasy and can cause disengagement in a heartbeat. Not only can it be unsettling for the prospects, but it also gives them the impression that you aren’t interested in having a genuine conversation and can make you seem unprofessional.
Going too far in the other direction, and speaking in a high-pitched, overly confident tone of voice can also have a negative impact. Although some prospects may not be phased by this tone of voice, it could certainly irritate others which could make it difficult to build relationships with those prospects.
The right tone of voice should be a middle ground between the two explained above. Think of it as a Goldilocks tone – not too low, not too high, but just right. With this tone of voice you need to be confident and assertive, but still keep that vital level of professionalism.
Your tone of voice and your ability to be assertive are especially useful for getting past gatekeepers. Gatekeepers have to deal with marketing and sales calls every day; some of the callers will try to get through by being polite and speaking very softly, but this just makes it easier for the gatekeeper to assume authority and turn you away. Other callers may take an overconfident and pushy approach, but the gatekeeper could misconstrue this as arrogance and rudeness and turn you away.
Going into a call with a professional, confident, and assertive tone (one that is tried and tested within Inspired) is often far more effective at getting the gatekeeper to put you through to a decision-maker. Even if you are just starting out and you aren’t entirely confident on the phone yet, or you aren’t particularly good at being assertive in your day to day life, training yourself to use this tone on your engagement with your prospects will naturally help you to become more confident and assertive!
#2 – Mirroring the Prospect
Still staying on the topic of your tone of voice, in some situations it can be useful to mirror the prospect’s tone of voice if you feel it will help to build rapport.
Mirroring is where you adjust your tone of voice to match the prospect’s. This is a simple way of building rapport which can help to relax and get them to open up more about the topic of conversation.
However, you need to be careful with mirroring, as trying to assume a negative tone could end up destroying rapport and following the prospect’s tone too closely could come across as mocking their tone of voice.
Just as with the point above, try to find the right middle ground and only ever mirror a prospect’s tone if it doesn’t impact your professionalism.
#3 – Use Open Questions
Your first interaction with a new prospect is vital and should be about gathering information just as much as it’s about delivering information.
On the first interaction, you need to try and gather as much information as possible that will help you to qualify the prospect and tailor further interactions to help you secure their interest. A fatal mistake that many inexperienced telemarketers make is asking too many closed questions on early interactions and finding that they haven’t gathered the information that needed.
Questions that lead to either a “Yes” or “No” response from the prospect doesn’t encourage them to open up and expand on their answer. Remember, decision-makers are busy people and they get telemarketing calls every day, so asking simple questions isn’t going to cut it.
Asking open-ended questions encourages more of a response from the prospect and helps to keep the conversation flowing. Afterwards, as long as you have been asking relevant questions, you will likely come away from your first interaction with a prospect with a lot of valuable information that you can use to your advantage.
Another benefit of open questions is that when they get a conversation going between both parties, it can help to build rapport as well!
#4 – Focus on the Quality of your Leads
Another mistake that a lot of businesses make is focusing too much on the quantity of leads that they are getting rather than the quality of leads that they are getting.
Although having a good number of leads is a good thing, if those leads aren’t qualified, you more than likely going to waste both time and resources trying to convert them. Even if those leads do convert, if they aren’t the right fit and the partnership doesn’t work, it could be damaging to your business’ reputation.
The reality is that just a few fully-qualified leads will provide more value and increase your ROI far more than 20 unqualified leads – so why settle for mediocre leads that’ll end up with mediocre results?
To focus on your lead quality, you first need to identify what your perfect lead looks like; what type of business is it? What size is the business? Where is the business located? What is the business’ budget?
By first defining what you are looking for in your leads (your lead qualification criteria) you can begin to focus on securing the opportunities that fit the criteria.
Once you’ve developed a strategy that can help to effectively secure those quality opportunities, you can then work on increasing your efficiency and your output to increase the quantity of those quality leads.
#5 – Create Targeted Content
Content should be an essential part of your lead generation strategy.
Whether it’s proof point content like Case Studies and Testimonials, email content like newsletters or prospecting emails, or other content like articles and blog posts, targeting this content and tailoring it to specific segments of your target market can help to generate more leads and increase their quality.
If you have a rather broad piece of content that isn’t particularly made for a specific audience, it won’t apply to appeal to everyone. This is especially important to remember with email marketing.
If you are sending out an email to your prospects about your product or service, don’t just send it out to your entire database of prospects. Segment these prospects based on their industry, and then develop a tailored email message with content that focuses on the benefits of your product or service for each of those industries e.g. why your product is perfect for the education sector, why retail businesses love your product, how the product can benefit medical organisations.
By tailoring your content so that it is relevant and compelling for each of your target markets, you could see not only an increase in lead quality but also quantity.
#6 – Make Use of Social Media
In today’s heavily digitalised world, there are a lot of online platforms that you can utilise to reach your target audience and generate leads. To do this effectively, you need to identify and be consistently active on the platforms that your potential leads are active on, whether it be on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or more.
Linking this point with point #5, it’s important that when you are posting on these social media platforms that you are posting content that is tailored to your audience and that will provide the most value to them.
It’s also important to include relevant call to actions on your social media platforms too, whether you’re encouraging them to get in contact with you, visit your website, view more of your posts, or follow your other social media profiles, you want to encourage them to follow those next steps!
#7 – Develop a Professional Website Design
Your website should be the main hub for all of your online activity and is where you want to direct potential leads to present them with more information about your business and your offerings. Because of this, it’s important to make sure that your website design and structure, particularly on the main landing page that traffic will be directed to, is as professional, clear to read, and easy to navigate as possible.
Your website design should be in keeping with your brand aesthetics and shouldn’t be overdone. With website design, sometimes less is more; having a website that is really in your face and has lots of animations and wacky features may seem like a good way to stand out, but if it’s all bells and whistles, it’s not going to help generate leads.
Having a clean and professionally designed website that has an eye-catching colour scheme in keeping with your brand identity is, and that actually provides a pleasant user experience will help to widen your reach to more customers as you climb the search results and generate quality leads.
Does your business need help generating fully-qualified sales leads or appointments?
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