The Death of Tele-prospecting…NOT!

September 1, 2010 at 3:51 pm | Posted in Adrian Miller Sales Training, Adrian's Network, Customer Service, entrepreneurship, Marketing, Sales Training, small business | Leave a comment

There have been countless articles written about the death of tele-prospecting. In this era of voicemail and caller ID, the process of initiating the sales process by phone has certainly evolved. For individuals who never developed true marketing skills and simply relied on the element of surprise to get potential customers to pick up the phone, tele-prospecting is probably dead. However, for those who pay careful attention to list development, script, strategy, and execution, it remains alive and well.

If you’re finding prospecting to be increasingly challenging to accomplish on the phone, you need to evaluate your process. Here’s how you can do it well:

Pay Close Attention to Your Prospect List

Have you identified the best companies for your product or service? If you haven’t done your due diligence, you will inevitably be executing a doomed calling campaign.

Know with Whom to Speak

Finding out the name and title of the decision maker should occur in advance of the call. You MUST know who to speak with or you might inadvertently deliver your message to the wrong person rendering your call useless. Start with a list-building effort to acquire these names before you begin to make a call.

Practice What You’ll Say

Plan your words with infinite care. Be prepared for every question, objection, and stall that may arise. Practice and master what you’ll say before you dial. Your verbiage is critical to success and should be evaluated on an ongoing basis. If you’re not getting the results you desire, modify it based upon the responses you’re receiving.

Quantify Everything

You won’t be able to determine your level of success without tracking the number of dialings, conversations with decision makers, messages you leave, and results of the calls. Without accurate stats, you won’t have the data you need to determine your effectiveness or evaluate your strategy.

Develop a Program and Stick with It

Tele-prospecting is a numbers game that requires ongoing, consistent effort. Make sure to establish a set number of calls that you are going to make each day or week. Ideally, allot yourself at least two hours each time you sit down to make calls. This will help you to build momentum and improve your skills.

Pay Attention to How You Sound

Your voice can literally make or break your tele-prospecting success. Tone and inflection can dramatically affect how your prospects respond. To keep your voice in check, record a sampling of calls and listen carefully. You might be surprised by what you hear, but this will enable you to determine where you can make improvements and refine your delivery.

Overcome Your Reluctance

If you have call reluctance, join the club. Tele-prospecting is not everyone’s favorite task. But, if you take the time to carefully craft your program and practice your calls, you will be prepared and positioned for success. And, if you just can’t bring yourself to making these calls, you can consider outsourcing them to a third party. However, you have to be very careful that the person or firm is on point and delivering your message in the style you want to present. If you’re not sure, monitor their calls or ask for a tape recording so you can be confident of what they’re saying and how they’re saying it.

With the benefits of voicemail and caller ID, prospects simply aren’t going to pick up the phone when they think it’s someone trying to sell them something. While that fact does change how tele-prospecting must be accomplished, it doesn’t negate its efficacy as a key sales strategy. With a well-thought out plan of action and a polished message, it can still remain the most direct and effective path to reaching the decision makers of a company.


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