So you’ve made the decision to run a telemarketing campaign but now you have to plan it. Where do you start? Well there are a number of things that you need to think about before you should start a campaign.
First of all, if you don’t already have a list of names then you need to decide who you’re going to call. It may sound obvious, but not everyone intuitively knows who their ideal target audience is. There will usually only be a limited amount of data to work with so you need to think carefully about, for example, how many employees should the companies you’re targeting have or what should their turnover be? Also, what areas geographically are you willing to travel to? If you don’t fancy travelling up and down the ‘north-south divide’ then you’ll need to make sure you only focus on companies in your local area. These are just a few considerations but there are many other examples of what you’ll need to think about before you buy a list to work from.
Secondly you need to decide on what your proposition is going to be. Of course you know what it is you do for a living, but a prospect conversation should always be focused on how you can help them to solve a problem that they genuinely have. Otherwise you’ll just be one of the many cold calls they receive every day that has no actual relevance to them. For example, are there any new rules and regulations that have come out that are relevant to your prospects which you may have specialist knowledge of? Have you done any research or work in a particular area that has given you an insight into a subject that your potential clients may find interesting? Is there something that you can offer right at this very moment which will make your prospects sit up and take notice when they hear about it for the first time? If you can find a good reason for the busy person that you’re targeting to see you right at this very moment, it will really accelerate the success of your campaign.
Now that you’ve decided what you’re going to talk about, you need to decide exactly how to say it. Someone who works from a script often sounds wooden if the content is poorly delivered. It’s important though to have a clear structure of what you’re going to say in order to make the most of the short time you’re allotted when you finally get through to a decision maker. The important initial considerations for a call structure are:
- How are you going to get past any potential gatekeepers?
- What are you going to say to the decision makers when they lend you their ear?
It’s vital that what you say gets the message across quickly and in a manner that keeps the other person engaged, without them feeling that they’re been pressurised or bombarded with questions.
The fourth consideration, now that you’ve decided what to say, is who is going to say it? Whether you’re going to make the calls yourself or you’re going to pay someone else to make them for you, the delivery has to be professional and enthusiastic. It’s important that cold caller sounds important enough both to be put through by a gatekeeper and also to be taken seriously by the decision maker. A telemarketer should always sound confident but respectful and they should always ask for the appointment!
The next thing that needs to be decided is how you are going to deal with people who ask for information to be sent out to them. Very often, many people ask for information to be sent to them purely as a polite way of getting a cold caller off the line. Therefore you’ll need to qualify if that’s the case or if they’re really interested and just want to see something in writing to help them make a decision. If it’s the latter and you’re happy to send something out, you’ll need to think about format and content of what you intend to send. In truth, it’s usually the former
Although all of the above can take time to put into place, it’s vital that momentum is built and maintained in the run up to starting a campaign. For example, data goes out of date very quickly so it’s important that once the decision is made to go ahead, a deadline should be set to start making calls and everything should then be focused on this point of time.
Finally, whether you’re managing someone else making the calls or if you’re going to be brave and get on the phone yourself, you’ll need to know how to measure the results of the campaign. Appointments are often the primary goal. However, in some cases it’s about an immediate sale, attendance at an event or a quotation.
Whatever the goal is, knowing if and when to make changes if things don’t start happening as quickly as you’d like can only be by monitoring Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s). Simple KPI’s, such as how many calls per hour are being made and the percentage of decision maker conversations, compared to calls made are invaluable ratios to understand. These, along with many others, help to build an overall picture of what’s happening during the campaign and will point you to where changes may need to be made as it rolls on.
So in summary, the essential questions that need to be answered in order to plan a telemarketing campaign are:
- Who are you targeting?
- What’s your proposition?
- How are you going to describe it?
- Who’s going to say it?
- What information will you send out?
- When do you intend to start?
- Which metrics will be useful to you?
Remember, a well planned and thought out campaign will be a successful one.