If you are selling high value products or services that are significant and consequential to your prospects business, calling on the phone is the most effective and often the only method of reaching the decision-maker. When it comes to locating highly qualified prospects there is no substitute for person-to-person contact by phone. It’s the fastest, most efficient and one of the least costly methods of finding the person who can say “yes” to your product or service.
What does it take:
1. Selecting a list of targeted prospects you want to reach from the Standard Industrial Classification.
2. Sorting the list by your most important criteria using the SIC Codes (Standard Industrial Codes):
- Sales Volume
- Industry (SIC Categories)
- Age of the Business
- Number of Employees
- Executive or Owner
- With web site
3. When calling businesses you can expect to speak to less than 30% of your prospects on your first attempt. It is, therefore, essential to keep detailed records so the information is easily available on your follow-up call. It’s best to use an excel a spreadsheet format so that you can adjust and sort the columns for your convenience and have room for plenty of notes. You can use the following abbreviations about the call:
- NA – No Answer
- VM – Voice Mail
- MT – In a Meeting
- PH – On the Phone
- TV – Traveling
- NI – No Interest
- CB – Call Back Date
- SC Screened
- LD – Lead #
These abbreviations will allow you to sort the call-backs in a form that you feel is most important. As an example “CB” (call back) can be sorted by date and set up as a separate calendar file. “NI” ( no interest) can be removed from the calling list. “LD” (lead #) should be assigned a number and a date and sorted to a separate file. The full description of the company and the nature of the conversation should be noted on a line below and color-coded for easy access ready reference.
4. Creating a short script:
- Introduction (Your Name Your Company and Location).
- The reason for your call
- Short description of your product or service.
- Ask questions about the prospect’s business.
- Suggest an appointment
Your initial introduction should take about 15 to 20 seconds. Your questions should be simple, and non- threatening ( e.g. How long have you been in the business? What is your most popular product? Do you import or manufacture many of the items you use?). These questions will help you develop an instant rapport and enhance the responses. Ask for an appointment at the prospect’s convenience. The entire conversation should take no longer than three minutes. Any more time becomes an imposition. However, you should allow the prospect to continue talking, without interruption, especially if he/she wants to tell you about the business and or has questions.
5. The objective of person-to-person marketing is to make as many calls and reach as many high-end business contacts as possible in your target market. The more calls you make the greater the chances of reaching your prospect. But it’s important to stay fresh and alert so that each prospect feels he/she is the first one you spoke with.
6. Person-to person calling may not produce the huge number of leads as some other marketing programs; however, you’ll end up with the very highest quality prospects who have the power to make an immediate decision about your products or services. This results in reaching the C-level executive or owner who are usually unreachable in any other way!
The most expeditious way to get started is to engage a reputable appointment-setting service for alimited engagement as a test to determine the results.
“It’s one thing to have leads, but it’s quite another thing to have qualified leads. One’s a waste of time, while the other is money in the bank”