Building Good Prospect Lists
Nothing worthwhile comes easy. Especially so-called telemarketing lists.
Most of what you buy are loaded with junk you need to clean up and that's a real pain. What to do? Build your own lists and keep your data clean and up-to-date.
Helps if you have a good list company like Accurate Leads ---- Small family owned list company. Great service. Plus you can test small batches of prospect lists custom built to match your needs.
They’ve been around since 1984. I’ve known about them only for a few years. Their services I have recommened to Marketing Direct outreach clients looking for quality
mailing lists, telemarketing lists & email lists.
My review of Accurate Leads is here.
But you need experience to sell into our market! We're way too specialized.
Here is where you'll have to go against what you have been told all these years --- that only reps with deep knowledge of your industry niche can get you in the door to meet your customers.
Granted, I'll need to spend time with you on the phone learning about your customers --- what makes them tick. Just basic stuff you have found gets their attention. Check out "Still Not Convinced" at right of this post.
Tips and Advice
Effective business development cold calling is a skill---one that can be learned, honed, perfected.
Phone prospectors --- the really good ones --- can work any industry.
Technical data and industry buzz words are helpful.
But over-the-phone skills ---genuine friendliness...business savy...good etiquette --- are even more important.
Never "Wing It". Use a script. It keeps repetitions, omissions and improper sequencing out of your pitch.
Keep It Short. Make your introduction brief and to the point.
How brief? Twenty to thirty seconds! That's all you get.
So be accurate, concise,and persuasive. Are you starting to see why you need a cold calling script?
R-e-l-a-x. Dialog and delivery in movies, TV, and plays flows from carefully crafted scripts. Yet these staged conversations sound completely natural and -spontaneous.
Effective cold call prospecting is no different.
Subtle inflections and pauses make your presentation more natural and far more believable.
Prospect Qualify. Good prospects...weak prospects?
Find out who's who by asking specific questions.
For example, "Does this interest you?" Or "When would you like me to recontact you"?
Make prospect qualify questions part of every cold call script!
Test, Test, Test ----but control your variables carefully.
Be especially careful with key words or phrases.
You might think they don't matter, but they do!
So once you find a winning script, stick with every word of it!
Sales reps too busy?
Consider Marketing Direct outreach help
Following up by email, by telephone, by LinkedIn, by direct mail or walking floors at trade shows. Your sales reps probably already do some of this. Where you might find my Marketing Direct outreach helpful is doing the preliminary discovery call prospecting for them to weed out the dead ends and find the really worthwhile prospects.
Still not convinced?
You're probably still not convinced someone like me with little or no background in your niche industry can be effective doing sales out reach to help you find and develop new clients interested in what you do and wanting to hear more from you. That's what your sales reps are supposed to be doing for you. But what if how I sound on the phone is more important than what I know about your customers and all the technical stuff involved in selling to them?
Keeping notes and accurate data on my calls requires a strategic calling platform enabling me to contact key batches of prospects in a very personal way and in a very short time.
My outreach prospecting is based on research and testing literally thousands and thousands of these TeleMagic calls for my clients over the years.
It's a methodical lead qualification phone process that develops over-time and not with a single phone call.
Test My Strategic Calling Process
Small Controlled Test
You Pick Markets and List
200 Prospects Per Test
You Monitor Account Activity
Cancel Any Time
Recommended reading: 100 Best Business Development Books of All Time
From Harvard Business School On-line: This On-line learning course sounds interesting
Q: What goals are realistic for prospecting to get appointments?
A: Forget phone prospecting for appointments.
Effective lead generation and list building are about qualifying prospects for future contacts.
That means finding out if your prospect qualifies being added to the front end of your sales funnel.
Picture a crowded room.
Your goal: find the folks interested --- more or less --- in what you offer.
How to do it? Ask for a show of hands.
There, that's the goal of your cold call ---
- finding the right prospects
- separating them from the crowd
- qualifying their interest level
My goodness --- now you have three goals!
Also, view each call as a means for fine tuning your prospect database.
It's a work in progress that never ends!
Sooner or later every vendor screws up a project.
My real-time follow-up calls keep you informed on account activity so you’re ready to move when opportunity knocks.
Feedback: I give you full notes and clear records of each call at all stages.
You Monitor Account Activity:
Because these updates are ongoing you can track results and jump in whenever a prospect is ready for a face-to face or wants a demo scheduled or has questions best answered by you or your team.
Question: Does effective business outreach cold calling require a background in the industry or markets you are calling?
Answer: Surprisingly, industry specific knowledge about the business segments you are calling is NOT essential.
Your ability to bond with someone --- usually a complete stranger if you're cold calling --- will have more to do with your tone of voice than anything else.
But too many sales managers insist only salespeople with deep understanding of the markets they are selling can do business development cold calling.
It's myth based on lack of real-world testing and experience rather than tested cold call business experience.