November 14th, 2012
Often enough marketers find that using telemarketing to perform lead generation does not always yield the results they desire. What could be causing this however may be of their own doing. Improper handling of your telemarketing campaign can seriously affect your results in generating leads so it is best that you know what you are doing wrong so that you can get to fixing it immediately.
One of the many things that marketers that use telemarketing to do lead generation is that they often say the wrong things. When giving a sales pitch through the phone, you still need to be wary of the words that come out of your mouth. If you say the wrong thing, you could lose the interest if your prospect and thus the chance to get a lead vanishes down the drain. As such, it is important that a telemarketer know what and what not to say when dealing with a prospect. (more…)
October 24th, 2012
In some countries, both B2B and B2C insurers are having difficulty generating sales leads due to their industry falling under the political spotlight. While awareness of the industry’s issues should be encouraged, it can reach dangerous levels where people treat providers with mistrust and suspicion.
October 10th, 2012
Normally, many businesses big and small will take as many sales leads they can get their hands on. But instead of looking at how many leads, do you care to check how many hands? When you are so willing to receive as many leads that you can take, have you ever double-checked the fine print of that question?
Business Leads Can Be Excessive
It is very understandable that you want to open your accounting service to as many business clients as possible but never ignore that last word: possible. If you have so many quality, accounting leads but do not have the possibility of pursuing them all, then you you would have wasted a substantial amount of the money you invested in marketing and lead generation.
At Inc.com, Langley Steinert writes about his own experience about handling more than what you can take. He also recommends a more reasonable alternative:
“Both at my former company TripAdvisor as well as my current company Car Gurus, we have a saying: follow the 80/20 rule, technically known as the Pareto principle. The Pareto principle tells us that 20 percent of the inputs account for 80 percent of the results. You have to cut through the noise, figure out what tasks represent the 20 percent with the greatest leverage and focus on those tasks. Find those projects that make a big impact and ignore EVERYTHING else.”
You can apply the Pareto principle to your own business in several ways:
- Controlling the amount of leads – First off, you can apply it by limiting yourself only to leads that you can immediately serve. This controls the amount you spend on marketing as well as maintaining the sales for each successful appointment. A goal is only too high or too low for your marketers if they deem their results too much beyond the capacities of your salespeople and your services.
Related Content: Sales Leads – The Dangers Of Data Overload
- Focusing on the tasks that matter – Some might protest and say that some business processes are still critical despite having a lower priority. You have explained this extensively when demonstrating the need for accounting services. You have seen this reasoning also deployed by marketers and lead generators. How can you focus on the tasks that produce the 80% when that description still covers a wide range of processes that you cannot do? Answer: you outsource it. Focus on what really drives the quality of your business while leaving it up to a provider to worry about your accounting sales leads.
- Expect customers and prospects to adopt this principle – By ‘expect’, it does not mean presume. Rather, both your marketers and salespeople engage with the understanding that your market only cares about the bottom-line. Asides from money, life in the business world costs people plenty of time. Do not waste that time and get straight to the point. Cut down on information that is not relevant to a prospect’s problems and focus only on a proposal or a solution that works best.
Related Content: Be Up Front In Lead Generation Just As You Are Up Front With Financial Planning
Never look for an excuse to do everything when you just simply cannot. Despite how many entrepreneurs and gurus call people to stay optimistic, this is where a bit of healthy realism should play in. Do not take too many leads beyond what you can handle. And if you cannot let go of a particular process (e.g. telemarketing services) then at least outsource to save up on your focus!
September 26th, 2012
Despite what the title says, many people find it almost impossible to separate financial planning from talking politics. Then how can you avoid the subject in b2b appointment setting? How much more when your target market is anticipating an incoming election where ideological tensions run high?
Well first off, some might actually contest the idea of refraining from politics in terms of both marketing, appointment setting, and business in general. The reasons go from sheer personal conviction to the belief that it is their right to express their values.
Well, just because you can do something does not mean you really should. You may not face a penalty as grave as getting arrested but there are other consequences that can bother any business. This article from NPR demonstrates a few examples of how dipping into politics can be a double edged sword. To summarize, the consequences can either be:
- Success – Your views are aligned with your target market and are within your scope.
- Failure – You alienate others purely on the grounds of differences that might have nothing to do with business.
In its conclusion, the article cites Cindy Kam, a political science professor at Vanderbilt University:
“And these days, that question of ‘Should I or shouldn’t I?’ is somewhat easier for businesses to answer — because the electorate has become more polarized, she says.
‘Now you have Democrats who sort into going to particular places, buying particular cars, belonging to particular organizations. The same on the Republican side. There isn’t as much crossover as there used to be,’ Kam says.”
Take a step back and read this again for a moment. Would you want this type of division, this segregation? As a financial planning firm, your job is to segregate and manage money, not people! It seems more logical to stay neutral because then, you’ll have both sides comprise a wider market for financial leads. Why limit yourself purely on the grounds of political ideologies?
And don’t forget, you need to weigh the successes and failures in the long-term, not just the short term:
- Views can change – Your target market won’t always sing the same political tune. Higher management can change, work cultures can change etc.
- Lesser relevance to business core – B2B appointment setting implies a long discussion. Take your pick. Would you rather have your marketers and salespeople talk politics or financial planning?
Isn’t it your goal as a financial planner to help simplify the complexities of managing money? Why do you want to complicate it further with political factors?
And speaking of which, this other article from CNNMoney just goes to show hazy the ties between financial subjects like the stock market and that of presidential terms:
“Tempting as it is to tweak my more conservative friends with this fact, it would be wrong to attribute the Clinton and Obama returns to their policies and presidencies. Clinton inherited a great economy (and no, I don’t attribute it to Reagan’s policies as supply-side types do, and neither should you) and left office after the Internet stock bubble burst, but well before it bottomed. Bush inherited a tanking stock market and left amid a financial panic. Does Clinton deserve full credit for everything good during his tenure? Does Bush deserve full blame for everything bad? Yes, if you’re an ideologue. No, if you’re intellectually honest.”
So again, despite all the support you’ve seen, there’s still no denying that jumping on the bandwagon is a double-edged sword. Be more objective and less political.
September 12th, 2012
Some would say financial appointment setting is a result of successful marketing in itself. When you’ve worked hard in identifying (1) a prospect’s money management problems, (2) gaining their interest, (3) nurturing it, and (4) getting them to take action; setting the appointment is simply the final touch.
On further reflection, however, how often do you review the process through which these results came to be? Aside from appointment setting, what are other signs you can look to that indicate success?
This is actually the problem currently faced by online marketing. Many people make the mistake of completely digitizing their tools and only stick closely to things that are happening in the virtual world. This is comparable to the dangers of people spending so much time playing Internet games and are unaware of its effects on their offline life.
Not every ‘Like’ or page view is going to translate into promising financial leads. This is a fact many businesses must face, even those in Internet marketing. You have to stop bemoaning if your online marketing efforts aren’t connecting you with as many clients as you hoped.
Rather, perhaps the reason is that your eyes are only focused on your webpage performance and not the performance of your entire marketing. Ask yourself, what time would you expect a prospect to read your emails or your content? Don’t you think it’s too restrictive to rely solely on the responses and contact forms they send to your company inbox? Why not expand or at least outsource additional channels like telemarketing to help improve your measures?
- You get an additional channel – It allows both you and your market to communicate more. On your end, you can run surveys and similar approaches to see if they’ve really read the material you put on your website. On the market’s end, they have something else they can use to ask questions that they feel aren’t touched upon by your content. Who knows, you may even have prospects that consider it easier talking over the phone rather than going through the trouble of waiting for a text response.
- You verify the value of online results – The value of a view has been greatly diminished even when combined with other actions that could indicate online activity from a prospect. Why not add more to that process by telemarketing a prospect just to be sure? Just as appointment setting services finalize a prospect’s interest, so can a phone call finalize a prospect’s actual identity. At the very least, it can save you the trouble of meeting prospects that end up having multiple online identities.
- You can go beyond the qualified lead – In financial services, you never stop after the sale is made. In fact, the sale is only the start of another business relationship that you need to keep strong. Part of that task requires you to receive feedback outside of what you get in your social media page or email complaints. Electronic surveys via websites can also be too anonymous to completely trust.
Remember, just because some online marketers say they’re the cheaper option, doesn’t mean you’ll get more than what you pay for. The least reputable ones might even give you results that look good at first but are in fact generated with less than ethical methods. Make no mistake, it’s good to lower the costs but just make sure you don’t lower quality along with it. Make sure to consider all your results so that you know you’re successful.