Freelance Telemarketing 2015

Freelance Telemarketing 2015

It’s a New Year, so what did I learn in 2014 and what are the Top Tips for freelance telemarketing in 2015?

Well, to be honest, many of the good old top tips remain true, so here are the oldies:

  • “Smile As You Dial” – yes it’s a real oldie, but if you are happy on the phone then you will cheer-up your prospective clients – I’ve won over countless prospects with this one.
  • “Find the Right Data” – ok, that sounds obvious, but how many times have you heard telemarketing people pitching to the wrong person – make sure you have the correct decision makers in your database or you’re wasting your time.
  • “Perfect Pitch” – you have about 10 seconds at the most to gain attention – my Pitch-to-Close ratio was measured by a client who was obsessed by Analytics – apparently my pitches are so good that I have an astonishing average 50% closing ratio when I talk to decision makers.
  • “Two Ears One Mouth” – consultative telemarketing is as much about listening as it is about talking – so ask the right questions and listen carefully to the answers.
  • “Keep Cool” – you can’t win on every call and some people will be having a bad day – don’t let people get you down and always be polite

So what’s new for 2015

  • “Know the Person” – in these days of LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, etc, it’s much easier to find data on your target prospect.  If your target person is likely to spend significant sums of money, then find out who they are, what they like, etc.
  • “Know the Organisation” – what is their turnover, number of staff, who are their clients – the more you know about the prospect organisation, the more you can relate your pitch to them.
  • “Bridge the Gap” – 1on1 Online Demos were the tools of Presidents and CEOs until recently – these days an Online Demo can provide significant pre-qualification of buyers – but make sure you get it right – I design killer online sales demos/pitches that turn in to sales.

There are umpteen more ways to improve your telemarketing lead generation.  If you want me to train your team or create sales opportunities for you – just email me stephen@sl-freelance.co.uk or call me on UK 01639 850 817.

Posted in Freelance Telemarketing, Lead Generation, Telemarketing, Telemarketing Consultant

B2B Telemarketing – “Parlez Vous Telemarketing”?

Freelance Telemarketing global
International B2B Telemarketing

As the No.1 Freelance B2B Telemarketing person in the UK, I suppose it was only a matter of time before clients from our around the World started calling me. Let me explain the pros and cons of International lead generation via telephone….

B2B Telemarketing to the USA
I started providing high-end telemarketing more than 8 x years ago. I guess the first International client was a customer in the States who I helped about 5 years ago. Whilst UK English and USA English are not identical, it’s pretty much the same language.

Of course the main issue here to begin with was regarding the time-zones. The USA is so large that I found myself having to call 3 time-zones from New York on the East Coast to California on the West Coast.

When one plans a call schedule to target companies in the UK, at least everyone is working to the same clock. In the USA, 10am for someone in New Jersey is not 10am in Dallas; so that certainly takes some getting used to when planning call-backs.

The second main issue with B2B Telemarketing to the USA is the ‘Culture of Voicemail’. Perhaps because of the vast distances between companies in the USA and the multiple time-zones, workers in the USA appear to prefer voicemail to having a conversation. Moreover, I found that the need for gaining cell-phone numbers was much more important in the USA than in the UK.

Whilst calling the USA from the UK certainly presented it’s own issues – there was one major upside. My “Queens English” approach certainly scored highly on USA campaigns. Whilst most US citizens enjoy the fact that they won their independence from the Brits, they still love the British accent.

B2B Telemarketing to Europe – “Parlez Vous Telemarketing”
Calling the USA and speaking English is one thing, but imagine calling prospective buyers in Europe? A number of months ago, a client asked if I could help him to target Europe. I heard those famous words, “Everyone in Europe speaks English”. Well that would have been nice if it was true?

To be fair, I would say that when one is targeting global corporations that many companies in Europe employ English-Speaking staff. This does vary greatly from country to country. The northern countries including Germany, Holland, Belgium and Denmark speak reasonable to excellent English. Yet when one starts calling southern and eastern Europe, it’s a different kettle of fish.

I would not claim to be fluent in any language other than English, so my language skills were pushed to the limit in some countries. If you don’t speak French, Spanish or Italian you can forget doing business by telephone in these countries. A small amount of German will work wonders in the northern countries, but the French will only talk to you if you talk in French.

Then there are the cultural differences to watch out for. Nordic countries including Austria will follow much the same work-cycle as the UK. By that, I mean that they arrive on time, take a short lunch then work through the afternoon. My experience of countries in southern Europe is that a lunch break can start at midday – but for senior personnel lunch can go on for the rest of the day!

Does B2B International Telemarketing work?
The simple answer to this is “Yes and No”. Yes it works if one can speak the native language fluently. Yes, it also works in many Nordic countries where English is viewed as the International language. From my experience I would advise to steer clear of the non-Nordic countries on the whole unless one has first-class skills in multi-lingual selling.

In terms of work that I’ve undertaken that target major organisations across Europe, I managed to arrange meetings within 60% of the target countries. Had my remit been to target only “Nordic” or “Germanic” countries, I would have hit 100% success.

If you need B2B Telemarketing to Europe, why not give me a call for some free advice – Stephen Law 0870 042 1263 stephen@sl-freelance.co.uk ?

Posted in Freelance Telemarketing, Lead Generation, Telemarketing, Telemarketing Consultant

Consultative Telemarketing – the best lead generation Part1

SLF invents Consultative Telemarketing 2

Did I invent the term Consultative Telemarketing?

“What is the best form of telemarketing that will lead to new sales?”  That is the question that I asked myself almost 10 years ago, when I started to build my Freelance Business Development business.  I will do my best to explain why I think the answer to the question is ‘Consultative Telemarketing’.

Telemarketing per se can mean many things to many people.  We’ve all received the annoying calls at home, when trying to sit down for dinner of an evening.  Yet most people forget that £Billions of business transactions take place with people agreeing to work together via a phone call.

I’ve been around the block a few times, having spent many a year as a Director of an SME.  In all that time I found it difficult to find an employee who had the skills, expertise and gravitas – to strike up a conversation with intelligent buyers.  In fact, I often ended up conducting all the lead generation for myself.

Before going Freelance I had worked for a multi-millionaire for 7 years, heading up his new-start technology businesses.  Before that I was a Director of a Business Development Agency in London.  In all that time, I found myself undertaking the lead generation, right through to close of sale and on to account management.

So when I started SL-Freelance, the issue for me was how to differentiate myself as a ‘telemarketing’ person, from those awful telephone canvassers.  After a spot of research and some time wracking my brain, I had the answer. I realised that when I had closed sales in the field, everyone had referred to me as a Consultative Salesman.

So about 8 years ago, I coined the phrase ‘Consultative Telemarketing’.  What makes me giggle now, is that I think I created a new phrase for the marketing industry.  I now see that other people have started referring to themselves as consultative telemarketing people.  If I had owned a crystal ball, perhaps I should have copyrighted the term?

Are all Consultative Telemarketing people the same?

Since the recession kicked-in around 2008, the number of people who have decided to try and make a living as a freelance telemarketing person has grown and grown.  I think that this has made matters difficult for someone who wants to hire the best telemarketing person.

The rise of online work-sites like O-Desk and People Per hour has demonstrated a massive increase in so-called ‘freelance telemarketing’ people.  Personally, I think that you can’t beat a really great PA or a web developer offshore for service and price; but considering that most people I’ve worked with have a limited grasp of British English, I certainly wouldn’t want them representing my company on the phone for lead generation.

Consultative Telemarketing for the savvy buyer

As the market matures, buyers are now becoming more savvy.  A few years ago I had some silly conversations with people trying to compare my rates with those of People Per Hour.  Now I find the majority of people who want a telemarketing expert have smartened up.  Buyers have realised that ‘offshore’ does not mean ‘quality’ when it comes to articulating the English language.

I don’t think that I was the first person to ever offer ‘Consultative Telemarketing’, but I do believe that I coined the phrase.  What I’ve noticed now, is that my competitors are now referring to themselves as consultative telemarketing people, where they too are selling complex offerings to intelligent buyers.

There are a small number of individuals and agencies out there who I would say are in the same league as me.  That said, I’ve noticed an interesting phenomenon.  Buyers and Sellers of consultative telemarketing services are ‘learning the lingo’.  The question is… “Does an understanding of the terminology really mean that someone knows how to put it in to practice?”

Consultative Telemarketing – Talking the Talk or Walking the Talk?

Over the past 6 months, I’ve noticed that savvy buyers of high quality B2B telemarketing services are talking the talk.  A couple of buyers astonished me recently by reeling off how they could access the right data, how they talked about targeting the right decision makers, and how they understood the total lead generation process via telephone.

It suddenly dawned on me recently, that I began to realise the chasm of difference between the eloquent rendition of strategy and the complete misunderstanding of how to put this in to practice.

To give an analogy, a couple of years ago, a client asked me to go way beyond Lead Generation for him.  My client asked me to help him sell a highly complex piece of engineering worth £1/3Million, as his sales team were struggling.  I closed the sale for him because I gained a deep theoretical understanding of the product and his client.  However, no one in their right mind would have asked me to pick up a spanner and install a piece of kit that required the expertise of a fully qualified engineer.

There is a massive difference between understanding the theory of winning new business via ‘Consultative Telemarketing’ and actually putting it in to practice.

In my next blog I will dig deeper in to the differences….

In the meantime, if you are seeking to win new business with Intelligent Buyers – call me on 0870 042 1263 or email me stephen@sl-freelance.co.uk

Posted in Freelance Telemarketing, Lead Generation, Telemarketing, Telemarketing Consultant

The Freelance Telemarketing Expert

Lead Generation 2
I was snowed under with freelance telemarketing work over the last 12 months. So apologies to those people who have asked, “why haven’t you been blogging recently?”  You will be pleased to know that I am back, to explain how to win more business by using the telephone as the weapon of choice.

Freelance Telemarketing – Quality or Quantity

It’s been rumoured that I’m the no.1 in the industry since 2005. Yet the quantity of telemarketers working on a freelance basis appears to have sky-rocketed over the last 12 months.  Does this mean that there are more highly experienced people out there who can generate high quality sales leads for you?

I guess the short answer is no, but I will explain why.  It appears that with the growth of the internet and the rise of the tablet, more people are entering the freelance market place to offer telemarketing.  There are certainly more individuals offering a ‘scatter-gun” approach – i.e. if you make enough calls then surely you will hit something?  Yet the number of freelancers able to open the door to blue chips and set an appointment that sticks, still appears to be the same.

Scatter-Gun V Sniper

If you need to generate more sales, and your product has a low-value and needs to be sold in high-volumes, then the scatter-gun approach is the best way.  For example if you are selling an internet service with a contract value of say £10 per month, then you will need thousands of customers to make a decent profit.  I’m not convinced that telemarketing would be the best route to market for you, but you would certainly need cheap scatter-gun telemarketers to succeed.

Conversely, I’m generally hired by people who have a high-ticket offering.  Where you are seeking new clients looking to spend £3k+ per month with you – then you are moving in to the territory of the ‘consultative sale’.   This becomes more about the ‘sniper’ approach, where you need to select your targets very carefully and make every telephone call count.

On a recent contract for a digital marketing agency they clocked my statistics as converting 1 out of 2 people that I spoke with.  Evidently if I were able to make hundreds of calls per day I would a veritable sales machine.  Yet taking the sniper approach, I helped my client to pitch on contracts with an average value worth £35k per annum.  My client attributed at least £0.5 million of revenue directly to my work and a further estimated £0.5 million indirectly over a 2 year period.

Freelance Telemarketing Value for Money

If you are a smart cookie, you have no doubt realised that all telemarketing people do not provide the same level of service.  You’ve probably also clicked that there’s a big difference between ‘price’ and ‘value’.

A ‘cheap’ lead generation service may often result in little or no income for you.  Yet a reasonably priced service, that pays for itself several times over, is certainly ‘value for money’.  What is easy to overlook, is that it takes the same time to locate and engage with a cheap telemarketing person as it does to finding a freelance telemarketing expert.

Conclusion

Always ask yourself, “what are my goals in hiring a freelance telemarketing person?”  Look at all the routes to market first.   I’ve steered many companies to success by advising them to use a route other than telemarketing (and I’m happy to provide references).  I’m very pleased to say that one of the largest UK Law Firms is now a client, where I advised them on a more suitable way to generate leads. If you want impartial free advice, then why not give me a call – 0870 042 1263 or email me stephen@sl-freelance.co.uk?

Posted in Freelance Telemarketing, Lead Generation, Telemarketing

Telemarketing – Could it make or break your business?

constantly learn and adapt via telemarketing 2
Is that introductory telephone call to your business just an annoyance – or could it change your life?  Every day, $Billions exchange hands by telephone deals, yet the image of the “unsolicited” telephone call is still somewhat tarnished.  I will explain why telemarketing is a necessity for business growth for everyone, when performed correctly…

I was working on the database for a “high-ticket-value-sale” for a client this week.  I carefully selected what looked like a short-list of new possible companies – companies for my client to work with that I could call this week.  One of these, a large motorcycle goods retailer looked like a good target.  Yet when I made the first call, an automated message said “blah, blah, blah… We do not take unsolicited telephone calls!”  After a spot of further research, I was bowled-over to read in the press that, “XYZ Co. enters receivership!”  Could there be a connection between blocking anyone from offering services to a company by telephone and the demise of this big company?

Telemarketing – offering new ideas is essential to business survival and growth

Without a shadow of a doubt, if a company ceases to change and adapt – it will die!  Every company must constantly learn and adapt to the changing marketplace.  Yet should a company always rely upon internal directors and managers having the time to research new suppliers?  In these tough economic times, even the best senior personnel are hard pushed to meet current deadlines, let alone spend hours trying to find suppliers that could radically improve business performance.

Telemarketing – improving business performance

I always like to work with clients who have a product or service that could make a big impact on business performance.  Generally speaking, my clients are able to greatly improve sales or significantly produce savings for an organisation.  For me, for my clients and for their customers – it’s all about Return on Investment, Internal Rate of Return and a healthy cash-flow.  Yet do you believe that your average receptionist even understands the meaning of ROI?

Here are my top favourite dumb remarks from staff at organisations that appear to have shrunk, have suffered plummeting market-share or have gone bust:

·         Senior Manager – “No, I’m not interested in making more sales – I’m too busy to talk

·         Receptionist – “That department are too busy, they’ve asked us not to put any calls through to them anymore

·         Assistant – (before even asking what the call was about) “The Director knows about that and he’s not interested, goodbye!

Do I blame the senior manager for ruining their business – absolutely!  Someone at that level should know better and in my opinion they are no better than a saboteur.  Do I blame junior staff – no!  If managers and directors instil a business philosophy of “grand isolation” around their organisation, then they isolate themselves from the world and they pay for the consequences.

When I was a young man, I knew everything about everything – because I had little responsibility and all the time in the world.  At 40 something my days are now filled with responsibilities and tasks and it’s often my young nephew who introduces me to things like new “Apps”.  Likewise in business, most good managers and directors are too busy running their business.  Those who are enlightened are willing to listen to a good pitch for something that could change their business for the better.

Telemarketing – your name’s not on the list, you can’t come in!

I think the difficulty here is the “dumb-down of gatekeeper tactics”.  Gatekeepers of all forms (especially receptionists) are often given very simplistic instructions.  Firstly, they are told (quite rightly) to ask for the name of the person, the company they work for and why they are calling.  That’s fine – but why would you trust someone on a minimum wage who may be a ‘Temp’ to screen and filter your calls any further?

So what sort of questions are Gatekeepers told to ask, that are the wrong questions:

·         What is the nature of the call?”  If the Gatekeeper doesn’t understand how the business runs – how will they evaluate the answer?

·         Have you spoken to that person before?”  This “isolationist” question prevents any new fresh ideas being communicated to the business.

… and what are the worst actions of Gatekeepers:

·         Whatever you say – “He/she prefers an email and they will contact you

·         Whatever you say – “We would prefer it if you put something in writing first

Imagine if Gatekeepers were instructed to use a more intelligent approach:

·         Instead of asking about the nature of the call, what about asking “How will your call benefit our business?“  Answers using phrases like “make more money”, “save money”, etc could be exactly what that company needs.

In every job there are people who are good and bad at what they do.  We all like to feel important.  To be fair, there are far too many telemarketing people who want to feel important.  Likewise their are far too many receptionists who want to play God.  So many of the problems here revolve around “ego”.  Fortunately, I park my ego at the front door before making calls for my clients – which is perhaps why I’ve been told that I am the best telemarketing lead generator full stop.

Every day, I help my clients and their customers by bringing them together.  Each time, this provides my clients and their customers with the opportunity to work together to improve profitability.  The bottom line in business – is all about making money.

If you have a product or service that improves performance – and you need the best telemarketing lead generation – call Stephen Law on 0870 042 1263 or email me – stephen@sl-freelance.co.uk .

Posted in Business Development, Lead Generation, Telemarketing

Best Telemarketing 2012 “Fear or Greed”

Best Telemarketing Fear or Greed 2
The right sales message or “pitch” is an essential part of all successful lead generation campaigns.  For 7 years I worked for the most financially successful man that I have ever known on a personal level.  This chap went from a humble background to amass a small fortune.  I will explain his take on matters and my interpretation of “Fear & Greed” to provide the best telemarketing pitch.

LEAD GENERATION – THE BASE INSTINCTS OF HUMANS

My mentor worked on the stock exchange for many years.  He didn’t talk much about that period of his life.  He tended to sum matters up with short proverbs.  When I asked him how he made sales, he simply said “Fear & Greed, Stephen – Fear & Greed”.  These were the 2  deep-rooted psychological drivers for most people on the stock exchange.

“Which is more powerful”, I asked – Fear or Greed?  In essence, these are simply 2 sides of the same coin – yet one side faces up and the other faces down.  A new version of the film ‘Wall Street’ was released recently which examines “Greed” – and evidently on face value, this emotion is not a pretty one.  Yet is “Fear” a better emotion than “Greed”.  In all honesty, both emotions demonstrate the more animalistic driving forces of humans, yet I would choose to sell on “Greed” any day – I will explain why….

Whilst “Greed” in it’s most extreme form is no doubt a cause for many woes in this world, the same too can be said for “Fear”.  Until the big crash in 2007, the markets were running on Greed.  Everyone in the West wanted a bigger house, a better job, in short – a better life.  The problem was that everyone got way too greedy and started borrowing money that they didn’t have – especially the banks!  Net result – the bubble burst and the pendulum has now swung back  to “Fear”.

WE NOW LIVE IN A WORLD OF FEAR – AND THE ECONOMY SUCKS!

Government’s are too scared to invest, as are banks, businesses and individuals.  We’re constantly told by the media that the whole system could collapse at any moment.  The media bandwagon tells us how oil prices are going through the roof, that the Euro is on the brink, and that we’re all going to be attacked by crazy terrorists at any moment.

Quite frankly, one look at the number of people who vote in elections sums it all up.  Many people have stopped voting because they’re sick and tired of listening to ‘Austerity Measures’ and all the doom and gloom – or “Fear”.  In short, people tend to get far more excited when they think “What’s in it for me”, as opposed to “Another reason why I have to do what I’m told”.

So whilst “Greed” in it’s extreme form is no doubt damaging, “Fear” is ten times worse.  In short, “Greed” is the upside or positive emotion and “Fear” is the downside or negative emotion.   I will try to give an example…

CASE STUDY – LEAD GENERATION, “GREED” V “FEAR”

I’ve been helping a client for about a year now and I came up with a great pitch about how the product will make companies lots and lots of money.  My client was overwhelmed by the fact that on average – every time I pitch to 2 people that I’ve never spoken to before in my life- one of these two prospects asks for a meeting to discuss matters further.  They described these statistics as ‘phenomenal’.  In contrast, they have a rather dour  sales manager who’s lead generation capabilities appear to be questionable.  Could it be that this sales manager’s ‘doom-and-gloom’ outlook is the root cause of their failure Vs my upbeat success?

I was asked at the outset of the campaign for this client, to write a generic email to support lead generation.  Suffice to say that I based the email on “Greed”.  That email has been modified and re-written umpteen times now; but it’s done a great job by using the classic method of producing Attention, Interest, Desire, Action (AIDA).  Most prospects want to improve their performance and make more money – so selling on “Greed” is simply natural – but also positive.  When I create a sales opportunity for my client, the prospect is looking forward to a fun and interestng meeting where they talk about success.  But what is the flipside…

In contrast, I’ve just read a new email that their sales manager has come up with based on “Fear”.  Certain Fascist propaganda experts of the 1930′s would have loved the tone of this email.  The concept is based on Darwin’s survival of the fittest and is intended to scare the hell out of anyone – that if you don’t read this your business will die!  Can you imagine what sort of meeting a prospect would be looking forward to?  A metaphorical dark cloud in the room, where my client explains how if they don’t do what they’re told that they will lose their job, their business, their livelihood and no doubt want to jump out of a window?

LEAD GENERATON BASED ON GREED – MAKE ‘EM SMILE

Until someone comes up with a better business model than Capitalism, then we really have a choice in selling on “Fear” or “Greed”.  To summarise, I would recount the children’s story about the Wind and the Sun.  The Wind made a bet with the Sun that he could get the coat of a man walking down the street.  The Wind blew and blew, but the harder he blew, the tighter the man clutched his coat.  The Sun came out and beamed down upon the man – who instantly took off his coat, with a smile on his face!

So for the best telemarketing pitch – make people smile, give them something to be happy about in these hard times – and you’ll make far more sales.  If you need help with Telemarketing, Training, Writing Successful Pitches, or any other related sales matters – call me on 0870 042 1263 or email stephen@sl-freelance.co.uk .

Posted in Lead Generation, Telemarketing, Telemarketing Consultant

Best Telemarketing – KPI s for Success

Best Telemarketing KPI for success 2
When you need to find the best telemarketing person or telemarketing agency, you need some Key Performance Indicators (KPI s) to guide you to success.   According to the once British Prime Minister, Benjamin Disraeli, “There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics“.  So in order to succeed at finding the best telemarketing person, you need to find the right approach to using statistics.

Telemarketing – Lies, damned lies and statistics

So that you are not fooled by the misleading statistics peddled by bad telemarketing people, the first place to start with telemarketing statistics is to look at whether you should use ‘Input’ or ‘Output’ statistics.  Let’s say that you are talking to 2 people about providing you with telemarketing lead generation.  Both are offering roughly the same price to provide the service.  Yet one is talking about ‘Input’ statistics and the other is talking about Output’ statistics.  ‘Input’ statistics cover things like, “How many calls made per day?”.   ’Output’ statistics cover things like, “How many appointments made?”.

Quite frankly, should you really care about ‘Input’ statistics?  I will try to explain – someone who is totally clueless at telemarketing makes 200 calls per day but makes no appointments.  The best telemarketing person makes 20 calls per day but makes one appointment that leads to a major sale for you.  It is not rocket science to work out that 20 calls leading to a major sale is far more valuable to you than 200 calls that go nowhere.

Be very wary about anyone who uses ‘Input’ statistics instead of ‘Output’ statistics as a Key Performance Indicator, when choosing the best telemarketing person for your campaign.  In fact, be very wary about anyone who tries to tell you that X number of ‘input’ telephone calls leads to Y number of appointments generated.  The common mistake made by many buyers of telemarketing services is that they are led to believe that there is an exact science that can be measured using statistics, which I will try to explain.

Telemarketing – Natural Science or Social Science?

There are five major branches of the Natural Sciences – Chemistry, Astronomy, Earth Science, Physics and Biology.  There are 2 Formal Sciences – Mathematics and Logic that are used as tools.  Then there are the Social Sciences that range from Economics to Psychology.   Anyone who can remember their Physics lessons at school will tell you that Newton’s First Law of Motion states that, “The velocity of a body remains constant unless the body is acted upon by an external force“.  It is accepted that this is an immutable Law of Nature and that the Law applies to everything in the Universe.  Yet can we apply the Laws of Physics to Telemarketing and is Telemarketing a Natural Science or a Social Science?

Telemarketing is a business activity and is therefore part of the Science of Economics.  Economics is not a Natural Science, it is a Social Science.  A bad telemarketing person will therefore try to hoodwink you by making you believe that telemarketing calls to appointment ratios are based on science – when clearly this is utter twaddle.  So if telemarketing is part of the Science of Economics and Economics is a Social Science – what does this mean?

Social Science is the field of study concerned with society and human behaviour.  In fact, the best telemarketing covers a number of Social Sciences such as – Economics, Anthropology, Linguistics, Sociology and Psychology.  The key difference between a Natural Science and a Social Science is that there are no immutable Laws in Social Sciences.  To give an example – if one takes two twins, one provides them with an identical home life and school life, and one twin becomes a famous rocket scientist – it is not possible to state that the other twin will also become a famous rocket scientist.  In social sciences, one can make certain predictions but one cannot categorically state an outcome.

When it comes to finding the best telemarketing person, it is unlikely that you will be thinking about hiring 2 twins and trying to decide who is best.  As telemarketing is a social science, it is evident that no two people will be identical in terms of the service they can offer you.  In essence, when choosing the best telemarketing person, you need to look at the merits of the individual and never assume that everyone is capable of the same level of output.

Best Telemarketing Person – Education, Application & Experience

Bad telemarketing people or bad telemarketing agencies peddle another lie about their ability to provide an effective service.  Education can be a good thing and in my day I persevered to gain O-Levels, A-Levels and an Honours Degree.  Yet is a University education on its own,  a good reason to describe someone as the best telemarketing person?

One of my clients employs mainly University Graduates to fill their ranks in helping to sell complex engineering technologies.  I was tasked with training these people to improve their sales skill; but my hardest task, was when I realised that a number of these people lacked a basic understanding of the real world.  When I was training this team on how to sell products using a Loan Scheme, one young lady with an excellent BSc asked me, “But I thought a loan was a good thing and went on the positive side of the balance sheet because you get the money?”.  This young lady with an excellent academic education was oblivious to the fact that a loan was an outgoing expenditure and forgot that it had to be repaid!

Education can be a great thing but only if that knowledge can be applied to the real world.  Another client of mine employs University Graduates.  This chap made the assumption that – as his graduates had gained a degree in research, that they could miraculously apply this to lead generation without any sales training.  This chap’s graduates researched potential target clients, their titles and their telephone numbers.  These were genuinely bright people from an academic perspective, but their work failed to provide success.  The graduates failed to apply basic common sense – phone numbers were for shop outlets when we needed to talk to the Head Offices.  Contacts were too junior or too senior to engage in decision making.  In short, education is only useful if it can be applied to the work at hand.

If you combine a good education, the ability to apply that knowledge and overlay life experience – then you have the best telemarketing person.  Life experience is the final and essential key to the puzzle.  A young graduate, fresh from University, is unlikely to have ever run a business or held the role of Buyer within a company.  Theorising what it is like for someone to spend £1000s or £Millions is very different from doing it.  The best telemarketing person will have undertaken a good education, will understand how to research the right potential clients – moreover, they will be able to converse at the same level as the buyer because they’ve been there.

Best Telemarketing Person – Conclusions

Telemarketing is not an ‘exact’ or ‘Natural Science’.  How many calls someone makes per day is almost  irrelevant.  The Key Performance Indicators in judging successful telemarketing, should be based on how many lead-generation-opportunities are created by a person – and how many of these opportunities result in profitable sales.

As part of the Social Sciences, Telemarketing is about the person and their ability to interact with others.  A good education is a reasonable foundation for success.  Knowledge alone is useless – so the application of knowledge is of great significance.  Finally, without relative life experiences, one cannot effectively ‘empathise’ with the prospective customer.  So the best telemarketing person is well-educated, able to apply knowledge and has extensive and relative life experiences.

Finally, one needs to look at cost of the services provided.  A bad telemarketing person may be cheap to hire but provides little or no return on investment.  The best telemarketing person appears expensive in comparison to the bad one – but they provide you with a steady stream of sales opportunities that lead to profitable sales.   The bad telemarketing person is a false economy – sure, they’re cheap as an ‘input’, but there is little or no ‘output’ in terms of profit for you.  Conversely, the best telemarketing person is a more expensive ‘input’, but you reap the rewards on their ‘output’.   In short – you generally get what you pay for in life!

If you are searching for the best telemarketing person to generate sales opportunities – why not email me – stephen@sl-freelance.co.uk or call me on 0870 042 1263.

Posted in Freelance Telemarketing, Lead Generation, Telemarketing

Telemarketing and good manners

Telemarketing good manners 2
This is a very quick blog about telemarketing and good manners.  I haven’t blogged for a while due to some very interesting projects that I’ve been tied up on.  I just received a telephone call from a telemarketing person at a very well known Local Directory.  The chap was trying to sell me their database services.  I was very surprised at this Directory for employing someone without good manners, but perhaps I’m getting old in the tooth.

In my business, one must represent a client, however rude someone is on the phone.  One always maintains good manners – that’s just part of the work.  Sure, some people can be rude but most people out there are very pleasant and a joy to talk to.

In the past, when clients have asked me who to recruit for their telemarketing team, I’ve always told them to look for ex-workers at 2 organisations – Yell & Thomson.  I’ll let you guess which one just called me.  Suffice to say, I’ll be crossing one of these of my list for putting the phone down on me when they didn’t get their way.

Good manners still count in the 21st century.  I believe that if you represent a client that one must always remember this.  The chap who slammed the phone down on me from the Directory will have a lasting impression.  Had he not won the sale but ended with a “thank you for your time” then I might have gone back to them to buy in the future.

I’m beginning to feel a bit like an oddity in the world now by maintaining good manners, but I guess that’s why I’m fully-booked at present as my clients share the same values.  It’s a tough world out there for sure, but I still find that good manners in telemarketing still wins the day every time.

If you share my beliefs and you need help with telemarketing – please call me on 0870 042 1263 or email stephen@sl-freelance.co.uk

Posted in Telemarketing

Best Telemarketing 2011 – who is winning new business?

Best Telemarketing who is winning 2
I’’ve been rushed off my feet for the last 6 months.  I’’ve been helping existing and new customers with my telemarketing skills.  I’’ve hardly slept this week, but my hard work has given me a small window to write this blog.  If you’re interested to know who is winning new business via telemarketing, then read on …

As I predicted in previous blogs, the market for telemarketing suppliers has increased dramatically over the last few years.  With thousands of people losing their jobs and business becoming harder to win, many ‘would-be’ telemarketers and telemarketing agencies have sprung up.  Yet over time, discerning Managing Directors are learning the difference between the ‘amateur telemarketing people’ and the ‘professionals’.

The glory days of the boom times have gone – any sensible MD must now choose how to spend his business development budget very wisely.  Gone are the times when one could chuck £10k at a call centre to keep a sales team busy.  Many MDs are now seeing little Return on Investment from ‘scattergun telemarketing’.  Quality is becoming far more important than quantity.  Soaring fuel prices demand less sales meetings.  Sales meetings with real value are the order of the day – but one cannot expect a low-level telemarketing person to achieve high quality.  So what is the answer…

The best telemarketing to win new business in 2011 is undoubtedly about ‘focus’ and ‘relationship building’.  I’m not talking about telemarketing to sell stationery, I’m talking about selling a complex offering to a discerning buyer.  Stationery sales are purely ‘commoditized’ – so it’s all about selling in bulk at the lowest price.  Complex sales such as selling consultancy services – is all about added value.  So one must be very highly ‘tuned-in’ to what people want to buy.

In 2008, so-called ‘forward-thinking marketing gurus’ (who had become besotted with technology) were predicting the end of the cold-call.  Such ‘gurus’ were full of themselves predicting that email marketing would replace telemarketing.  In short, they were right for a very brief period of time, but they completely misunderstood the long-term trends.  As Sir Isaac Newton pointed out, for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.  The leap to jumping on the email marketing band wagon was so quick – that it imploded.  IT Directors countered the barrage of emails by installing anti-spam systems which are now built-in to readily available software.

These so-called ‘gurus’ are now at it again.  They’re peddling the dream that the telemarketing cold-call is dead and that ‘social media marketing’ is now king.  Funnily enough, Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone over a century ago – yet more people win new business today by telephone than they have ever done in times past.  When one reaches a certain age, one can see that email marketing and social media marketing are simply tools and not the panacea for marketing success.  The real key to success is to use all of these tools in the right way.

Lead Generation is a very ‘much misunderstood’ art and science.  I’m beginning to notice that in terms of methodology, many Managing Directors are beginning to understand the lead generation process.  Smart MDs are setting out to define their offering carefully.  Then they are working carefully to understand their target markets.  Yet when all is said and done, most MDs are still struggling to find anyone who can “fulfil” the telemarketing process in the right way.

We can all watch the Science of Sports on a good Discovery Channel documentary.  Yet how is it that one man can play football but never score a goal and another man can become a world champion?  There is a science to selling, yet at the end of the day, real results boil down to the ‘art of delivery’.  Think about delivering any message and you will begin to understand what I mean.  The recent award-wining movie “The King’s Speech” is a classic example.  The poor chap knows that he needs to convey a message, but to “deliver” that speech correctly is far from easy.  Think of me as the little man who trains the king to succeed.  Yet in my case, I ‘deliver’ the speech for you.

The problem faced by most telemarketing people is not so much in understanding the process – the problem is in understanding the person.  Time and time again, I’ve been asked to take over where low-level telemarketing people have failed.  Yes, getting the process right is important – but one can make all the right moves, yet fail miserably when the message is delivered.  I’m not going to reveal all my secrets here in a blog – but understanding how to attune oneself with a potential buyer can be learned – and it is the final key to providing the best telemarketing – and it will win new business for you.

As a smart Managing Director, you probably know a fair bit about the Lead Generation process – when it comes to using telemarketing to win new business.  If you now need the ‘delivery’ then I can help you personally, or I can train your people to succeed.  My methods go beyond anything you may have read in a book.  I am not a professor of marketing.  My knowledge and experience was won at the coal-face – generating lead after lead and making sale after sale after sale. You may call me on 0870 042 1263 or email me – stephen@sl-freelance.co.uk 

Posted in Business Development, Lead Generation, Telemarketing

Professional Telemarketing V the Amateur Approach

Telemarketing Pro v Amateur 2
When it is vital for your business to make more sales, lead generation via telemarketing is often the first thought for many business leaders.  In an age where we’re all looking to keep costs down, is it worth seeking a Professional Telemarketing person or is it better to work with amateurs?

The Thought-Pattern of Failure Begins – The Telemarketing Amateur
Looking back over the last 12 months, I’ve noticed a “thought-pattern” by companies who choose the amateur telemarketing route.  The MD is often a skilled if self-taught marketer, but when it comes to lead generation – the skills, experience and knowledge are lacking.  Enthusiastic staff will keep promoting the same pattern of failure, which I will try to explain.

The thought process goes as follows – Why hire a professional telemarketing person when we could do this internally and save money?   Without a clear understanding of what to do, the MD gathers his staff around him to ask for suggestions.  A conversation begins which revolves around the blind leading the blind.  A farcical game of “pin the tail on the donkey” begins, except everyone is wearing a blindfold.  So what happens next?

Anyone can succeed at telemarketing – can’t they?
The team begin making calls and appointments are made.  However, the appointments don’t appear to be turning in to sales.  So the team of blindfolded amateurs decide that they need to brainstorm the idea.  Assuming that they are the first people in history to come up with the idea, they all turn to Facebook and Linkedin and announce “Aha – that’s how we will succeed”.  Several weeks later, the team realise that these social media contacts are getting nowhere.  In frustration, the MD turns to his colleagues and asks for a new solution.  After further brainstorming, they come up with another idea which they believe is truly inspired – “We’ll hire lots of sales people who will all work for commission”.  So does this work?

All sales people work for commission only – don’t they?
After hours and hours and hours on the telephone, dozens of candidates are interviewed for a “commission only” position.  If anyone were adding up the cost of this time in PAYE they might give themselves a heart attack.  Yet, the team are adamant that there must be someone out there who is daft enough to do the job they couldn’t do in return for commission, shiny beads or jelly babies.  Finally, the MD comes to the conclusion that this is all going nowhere.  The MD Googles “Telemarketing Professional”, but just as he tries to seek a proper solution, his staff cry out “I’ve found the answer – we can hire cheap telemarketing people for only £5 per hour on People Per Hour!”.  At the pivotal moment, the MD is swayed from making the right decision and the hunt for cheap telemarketing people continues.  Was this a success?

It looks shiny – but have we struck Gold?
At this point, weeks if not months have passed.  Sales figures are falling and the MD is working out who to fire to save money.  The MD and his team had sifted through CV after CV on the internet of cheap telemarketing people.  After many hours, they chose 5 people who all claimed to be excellent at telemarketing.  Unfortunately, they had found a crock of Fools Gold.  There is an old saying that “You get what you pay for in life”.  Paying £5 per hour helped Mr Wu the Telemarketing man from the Philippines to live a life of luxury, but sadly no sales came from his work.

You get what you pay for in life – the Telemarketing Professional
The MD has finally had enough of this fool’s errand.  He worked hard to set up his business and he thinks long and hard about the situation.  When he began the business he hired the top accountant and the top solicitor to get his business moving.  The MD goes back to his roots, picks up the telephone and calls the top telemarketing people to help him.  Within weeks, the lead generation is working again and sales are looking good.  Once again the Telemarketing Professional hears those immortal words from the MD “Why didn’t I just call you in the first place?”

If you need to learn the hard way, then please feel free to do so.  If you’re a smart cookie and you don’t have time to learn the art of lead generation, simply give me a call – Stephen Law, Freelance Telemarketing Lead Generation Expert – 0870 042 1263 – stephen@sl-freelance.co.uk .

Posted in Freelance Telemarketing, Lead Generation, Telemarketing