If you have been in sales more than a week, the idea has popped into your brain that you could hire someone to make prospecting calls for you…while you simply make the sales.
I’m going to suggest that you call the leads or referrals yourself, no matter how much you think you could sell if you just didn’t have to prospect.
Yes, I have hired telemarketers to call my leads for me. They called high quality referrals and they called completely cold leads…and everything in between. Sure, they set appointments. But they will never set as many appointments as you would, if you made the prospecting calls yourself. But that isn’t why you want to make the calls yourself. Here are three reasons you should make the prospecting calls yourself, no matter how tempted you are to hire a telemarketer…
- If you are the one that made the prospecting call, the people are far more likely to be there when you show up..or are far more likely to show up at your office. Why? Because they were talking to you. And if they are talking to an appointment setter, they don’t feel a personal connection to you at all, and feel no obligation to you.
- If you made the call yourself, you absolutely know what they said and what you said. It’s almost impossible for the prospect to say “They told me on the phone that there wasn’t going to be a sales presentation They were just going to drop off some literature” or “The person I talked to said that this wasn’t about insurance” or “Nobody told me that my wife had to be here with me”. And if you went on an appointment that was set by someone else, you can’t be sure what was said…on either side. Even if you give the appointment setter a script. And..the appointment setter wants to set appointments with everyone. That’s usually how they are paid. And some prospects are simply not qualified…or they say something that lets you know that they are a terrible prospect, while the hired sales appointment setter wouldn’t pick up on the fact that they are someone you wouldn’t want to see. You’ll know exactly what as said to them, and exactly what they said to you…if you are the one setting the appointment.
- This is the most important reason to make your own sales calls, when setting a sales appointment….You are establishing a relationship with the customer over the phone. They hear your voice, they picture who you are…they feel like they know you a little bit even before you show up. And….You can get a feel for them when you set the appointment. Are they brusk? Are they engaging? Even with just a three minute conversation when setting the appointment, some rapport has been established. And now, they are far more likely to be there when you show up, sales resistance will be lower when you show up (or when they show up). Even if you have GPS in your car, ask for directions. Why? It is more time spent with them..it deepens rapport. As long as you aren’t talking about what you are selling, the more engaged they are, the better. The reason you don’t want to talk about your offer (besides a quick benefit statement) is that they will feel that they have enough information to say “Well, I think I can save you some time. I don’t think I’d be interested in buying”. But a couple minutes of them talking about the vacation they just took, or the weather…all helps in rapport.
There is lots more to know about setting sales appointments, whether cold calling or calling referrals. You can find out more in my book on Sales Prospecting.