Saturday, December 10, 2011

5 Steps to Triple Your Telephone Prospecting Hit Ratio

You want to contact a prospect by phone. Perhaps he's even expressed an interest in your product or service. You know you can't get an order by email -- it's going to take a conversation to get the selling process to the next step. You try to catch him answering his own phone - no success. You try leaving voicemails, asking him to call you back -- he doesn't.

You need a better plan, and here's one that's worked for me.

  1. Send an email a day or two in advance, with a short (no more than 2-3 paragraphs of a couple sentences each) description of what the call is about or why you want to talk to him. In the first or second line of the email, usually in bold font, say, "I'll call you next Tuesday morning to fill you in on this. If there's a better time for you, just reply to this email or give me a call at 864-527-5917 to let me know." Use a subject line something like, "Can we catch up Tuesday morning?"
  2. Build a process for sending these. You can send 10-12 of these for a single morning or afternoon of prospecting phone calls. Use a merged email generator like Worldcast, your CRM, or "Resend this message" in Outlook.
    You'll be amazed at how many people respond with a better time -- in one recent morning, I had that happen on three out of five prospects. Then you have an email dialog going, with no gatekeeper in between, where you can make an appointment that suits you both.
  3. Many, of course, will not respond to you email, and you'll call them on the appointed morning or afternoon. Some of them will take your call. For others you'll get an assistant or voicemail. Voicemail is probably preferable, because you can leave a message something like, "Hello, this is Terry Weaver calling from Chief Executive Boards International. My phone number is 864-527-5917. You've been receiving our newsletter for business owners and we hope it's been useful to you. As you know, CEBI is a membership organization of business owners and CEOs who meet to help and advise each other. It's been hugely valuable to our members during these times of economic uncertainty. I'd like to take a few minutes to fill you in on how this works, and I'll call you again on Thursday morning. Please give me a call at 864-527-5917 if another time would work better for you. That's Terry Weaver, Chief Executive Boards International, 864-527-5917."
  4. Pull up your earlier email about the Tuesday morning call, and forward it to the prospect, with a subject line like, "Can we catch up Thursday morning?"  That email body is something like: "I'll call you Thursday morning to fill you in on this. If there's a better time for you, just reply to this email or give me a call at 864-527-5917 to let me know."
  5. Call again, as promised, on Thursday morning.   You can, if you wish, repeat steps 4 and 5 one or more additional times. 
This has worked remarkably well for me. First, I do on occasion hear from someone proposing a different time for the call. And, interestingly, having sent the email just recently seems to increase the hit ratio of my call getting through - as if the prospect was actually expecting it. If you have some other telephone prospecting means that work for you, please click Comments below and share them with others.

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Terry Weaver

Chief Executive Boards International
Chief Executive Boards International: Freedom for business owners & CEOs -- Less Work, More Money, More Freedom to enjoy it

1 comment:

  1. Terry- nice twist on the age old process, using some new tools.



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