Some suggest that telemarketing is dead. Some research indicates that a mere one percent of cold calls ultimately convert into appointments. But at the same time, other research shows that 78% percent of decision-makers have taken an appointment or attended an event because of an email or cold call. Why the discrepancy? The issue isn’t whether or not cold calling is an effective marketing strategy. Instead, it’s about knowing how to execute telemarketing initiatives that effectively reach and influence potential customers. Consider the following statistics:
#1: 80% of sales require five follow-ups.
44% of salespeople give up after one follow-up, so persistence is key to developing brand awareness and a relationship with your prospect. But be smart about your telemarketing approach. Rather than following up with the same sales script five times in a row, incorporate specific information about your prospect and his or her organization into your calls. A quick look at the company website or social media channels can provide valuable insight to organizational history, important news and leadership changes. Best of all, it shows your sincere interest.
#2: On the phone, tone is 86% of our communication. The words we use only represent 14% of our communication.
How you say it, not what you say, makes up a large part of whether your prospects will pay attention. Speak slowly, clearly and confidently to increase the likelihood the prospect will listen. A prepared script should be used only as a guideline since the goal of your call is to have a conversation, not spout a canned pitch. Use a normal tone of voice and be prepared to engage your prospect with questions calmly and confidently.
#3: Nurtured leads produce, on average, a 20% increase in sales opportunities versus non-nurtured leads.
So you’ve made your call, engaged the prospect or left a message. You’re done, right? Wrong. Even if you’re prepared to follow up with additional phone calls (unlike the average sales person who only makes two attempts to reach a prospect) that’s not enough to nurture the lead. Follow up with email or other form of communication (direct mail, social media connection request) to keep your name and your company’s name fresh in the prospect’s mind. Then when you make your next call, your prospects are more likely to remember.
#4: The optimal voicemail message is less than 30 seconds long.
Voicemails are a communications reality in business life, and especially when it comes to marketing. To leave a voicemail worth listening to, keep it between 20 and 30 seconds. It’s enough time to convey useful information without being so overly long that the prospect will hit delete before they hear your company’s number. Be concise, but too short a message doesn’t provide an incentive to return the call. It’s important to find a sweet spot.
Telemarketing: Invest in Human Interaction
When considering the effectiveness of telemarketing initiatives, remember the importance of human interaction in today’s tech-driven world. An endeavor that involves scripted sales calls with little to no engagement from the caller will result in little to no engagement from the prospect. However, if the goal is to transform a cold call into a conversation, the ROI is there. The question isn’t whether telemarketing is worthwhile, it’s whether human interaction is worthwhile, and the answer there is clear. The personal touch is a human element that makes the marketing initiative worth the investment.