Speaking From Experience
In 2003, I started doing real estate in Orlando, Florida and as all real estate agents do, I teamed up with a local mortgage broker to exchange deals and lead referrals. In an effort to drum up more business for both of us, I started doing cold calling, SEO and PPC campaigns to generate more leads. Before I knew it, I was generating way more leads than we could ever handle so I opened TheLeadTree.com and stopped selling real estate! More than a decade has passed and since then, I have managed hundreds of lead generation campaigns, sometimes even for big players like WellsFargo, Allstate, Comcast and other Fortune 500s. Here’s my solid advice for anyone interested in reading it…
Tip #1: Good leads start with good data. You can waste a lot of time, money and effort calling the wrong people. Your telemarketing list should be filtered to your target audience. For example if you are calling B2c (business to consumer) you can filter the list based on age, credit scores, zip codes, annual income, home values etc. If you are calling on a b2b campaign (business to business) you can filter the list based on things like number of employees, annual income, years in business and most importantly SIC codes to drill down and target just the right companies. Paying telemarketers and high VOIP costs can be expensive but you can optimize any campaign with the right filters. On the other hand, be careful that the cost of the data doesn’t outweigh the ROI of the lead.
Tip #2: Do not incentivize the prospect. Basically this means do not offer something for free in exchange for agreeing to an appointment or a live transfer. The closing and retention rates will suffer. A few examples would be “take this survey and we’ll send you a free $25 gift certificate to Papa John’s” or “if you qualify, you will get a free cruise”. The reason is because when you generate a lead, you want to make sure the prospect is genuinely interested, not just after the freebies. I’ve actually taken a free cruise to the Bahamas for applying for a merchant account that I ended up canceling anyways. Sales persons want to talk to someone who is actually interested not some guy that got enticed by a cool freebie.
Tip #3: Manage your leads using a CRM. Whether you are the one generating the leads or the one buying and working them, you must use a CRM! The days of keeping written logs and post-it notes are over. Nowadays, there’s tons of software like Salesforce, Velocify and Cheching.com that can help you distribute and manage your leads throughout the closing process. Not tech savvy? Too bad, you better get with the program (no pun intended) because closing rates are considerably higher when using a proper CRM.
Tip #4: Understand conversions and ROI. Whether you are the one generating the lead or the one buying and closing them, its important for both parties to realize the ROI. Telemarketing can be expensive so you must weigh the investment and returns and keep a sharp eye on the conversions throughout the generation process as well as the closing process to ensure the ongoing success of the campaign. There’s a lot of moving parts so you gotta optimize here and there with the focus being on higher conversions.
Tip #5: Keep your script short and sweet. The most important part of the script is the opening line. You have about 5 seconds to get their attention and tell them what the call is about. Long-winded openers just don’t perform well.. Sometimes, our clients will try to provide a script for us to use and in almost every case, its almost impossible to generate a lead with what they provided us. Sometimes, they haven’t tried cold calling on their own script before sending it to me. They just write down all the wonderful things they would love to say if they had the chance to say it but the problem is, there’s no “captive” audience with cold calling so you don’t have that chance. They can hang up on you at anytime and that’s usually what ends up happening most of the time anyways. The script needs to get-to-the-point within seconds and the rest of the call is just asking qualifying questions and verifying interest. If lengthy information must be provided in the generation process, break it down into smaller pieces that you can say in between questions but don’t have large paragraphs in your script because the call gets too one-sided and can become mundane.
If you’ve enjoyed reading this post and find it to be helpful, you may also be interested in lead generation consulting, lead flow management services or custom CRM solutions from our new Philippines based facility at ClarkOutsourcing.com.