Aug. 15, 2014 - When it comes to setting up good quality sales appointments, there’s a right way and a wrong way for B2B lead generation specialists at call centers to do it. Here are some pointers:
1.Plan ahead – Everyone gets a little keyed up for an appointment setting cold call. The best way to calm the nerves and pump up the poise is to do some planning. Even the most experienced, seasoned cold callers take the time to think about the call, to look at the web site of the company they are calling and, most of all, practice the opening of the phone so that it goes off without a hitch.
2. Adopt a friendly attitude – Treat this call as a personal call to a business colleague. Adopt the mindset that you are calling with important information that is valuable to the person at the other end of the phone. While you don’t want to come across as overly enthusiastic or over friendly (after all, you are speaking with a stranger), you do want to be collegial, respectful and worthy of respect in return. It’s also important to pick up on clues as to the kind of communicator you are speaking with, and communicate in a similar way.
3. Make an impressive offer – Early push-back is often the response of the person you are cold calling, so whatever you do, have an effective and compelling rebuttal already prepared. Offer a discount, have a vital statistic proving the effectiveness of your product or service, provide facts and figures about the number of companies already using your solution effectively – come up something that will overcome your customer’s initial skepticism.
4. Take on the right tone – Most sales consultants advocate a “soft” response to a customer’s objection. Instead of immediately countering or contradicting the customers, agree with some aspect of what they have said “Yes, a lot of people have had that initial reaction to this idea…” and then follow that up with your pitch (“…but then they discovered, after looking at it, that it was very effective…”). Give in a little to get ahead.
5. Get into a conversation – Structure the call so that the customer is engaged with you, is talking to you, as early and as much as possible. Clearly describe you and the company on whose behalf you are calling, and include the length of the appointment you are trying to schedule – the shorter the better.
6. Don’t fake it – When your customer asks you for information you do not have or don’t know, the last thing you want to do is fake an answer. Always, always, always adopt an attitude of honestly and straightforwardness with customers. Saying, “You know what? I’ll have to find that out for you and call you back”, establishes a feeling of candor that the customer will probably appreciate. Furthermore, you have given yourself a valid reason to talk with the customer again.
7. Talk benefits, not nuts and bolts – Frame up the picture you draw of the product or service you are selling in terms of what it can do for the customer – save time, complete a task faster, deliver higher quality. Talking about how a product or service works will quickly lose the customer and kill the call. People want to know what a product can do for them more than how it does it.
8. The close – End the successful call by repeating the day and time of the sales appointment, and follow up with an email.
Mark Fichera, CEO
Portsmouth, New Hampshire