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 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 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.
August 29th, 2012
A challenge you will always face in telemarketing (and in fact, any form of marketing in general) is being careful with what you pitch. In financial planning services, one the biggest mistakes you can make is marketing bad advice.
If you need a reminder of how important it is to refrain from such bad telemarketing practices, you need only read this brief slideshow from Time Moneyland. The slideshow is a top ten list of financial advice that people shouldn’t follow. Here are just two excerpts from notable slides that can have clear applications when marketing B2B financial planning.
“Use a Debt-Settlement Company”
“Debt-settlement firms make an appealing pitch: Contract with us and we’ll chop your debts for you. Just funnel monthly payments to them instead of your creditors and they’ll battle the banks on your behalf, they promise.”
As you can see in the rest of the slide, this is a mistake and you need to avoid making similar lies. Honesty is the best policy and you do not want to attract your financial leads with false promises. Business owners (especially more experienced ones) are not likely to buy them anyways. And again, this doesn’t just apply to your telemarketing message. Check the rest of your marketing materials (website, direct mail letters, email templates etc.) and re-evaluate the message that you’re sending. Is it just as outlandish as the one mentioned in the slide? If it is, time to change it.
“Take Investment Advice from Friends”
“‘Any ‘investment’ a friend or family member recommends that could possibly earn the money back is likely way too risky to get involved in — and possibly not legal,’ says Cristy Cash, director of counseling at the Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Central Oklahoma.”
Chances are, you may have already given the same advice to your clients! However, don’t think this just applies to financial planning. Turning this the other way around, you shouldn’t be too eager to encourage your own clients to pitch for you. The message can either get easily distorted or the word might just spread to more well-informed market influencers who will easily point out flaws that you’re still in the midst of eliminating. While it should be a call to keep improving, you should be wary about the negative impact such information will have on your market.
In either case, make sure your telemarketers don’t send the wrong message. You need to attract and convince prospects but it should never be at the expense of integrity. The loss of that integrity could only result in the following consequences:
- Loss of Trust – Losing trust among your B2B customers has got to be one of the most painful experiences for any business. It’s what’s been driving their loyalty towards your services and confidence in your advice. Nothing is worth losing that.
- Ill Reputation – Having a bad reputation in the market will divert its entire attention away from your business. And given the popularity of social media and the wealth of information on the internet, the effects of bad reputation can spread faster than you think (even in B2B).
- Decline in Sales – With fewer market interest, there are fewer leads. With fewer leads, there are fewer sales. It’s not that complicated to understand why and how it could only get worse.
No good business would desire any of the three outcomes. Consider what message is being sent via marketing and be careful with what you pitch!
November 23rd, 2011
How often do you hear lawyers scream “Objection!”? Unfortunately, for cold-callers they experience hearing it, however, differently. After all, objection is part of day to day activities. For professional telemarketers, the main goal is to reduce, utmost to eliminate, having objection opportunities in tax lead generation.
Normally, we encounter firsthand experiences wherein some people dissents with what we believe. Some fight back while others capitulate. Cold-calling professionals, just like everybody else, can not guarantee an absolute success activity.
However, this does not mean to say that there is no way to minimize objection rate. There are several ways to easily manage this task.
At the top of the list is good preparation. A soldier armed with ammunition, tactics, and intellect will have a good chance of surviving in a battle field. The same is true when appointment setters are discussed. Having sufficient information or more with the customers needs and profile as well as the company’s products and services will shield a professional telemarketing from getting a red mark.
Second, reduce the opportunities for objections to happen. Appointment setters should know beforehand what sort of inquiries and arguments a prospect may raise.
Another method is to effectively manage objections. When it is inevitable to avoid objection, the best remedy is to correctly answer the objection in a polite manner. Make it sure that the qualified tax leads are not offended and at the same time gets a proper response.
Ready for your next call? You should.