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About Valerie Schlitt

Valerie is an entrepreneur and small business owner. She launched VSA, a premiere outbound B2B appointment setting and lead generation firm, in 2001 after 18 years in Marketing Management and Consulting for Fortune 1000 firms. Valerie is passionate about delivering quantifiable, tangible results for clients. Valerie is most proud to have built a firm that is both a superior performer for VSA's clients and a place where employees want to come to work. VSA has a national client base, with some international firms who want to enter the North American market.

Autonomy: The FREE and Powerful Employee Benefit

Google is one of the most innovative and successful companies of our time. Google sets itself apart by thinking outside the box in all arenas, including employee management. One of the smartest things they’ve ever done is allow their employees to work on whatever they want 20% of the time. (This does not mean that they can work on a song for their band or anything like that. It must be something for Google of course.) Not only does most of their product innovation stem from that 20%, but their employees love it! We can all stand to learn a thing or two from Google.

Studies show time and again how important autonomy in the workplace is to employees. It increases both job retention and job satisfaction. In fact, autonomy can even trump salary benefits in some cases. I have a colleague who is recently considering a move to a […]

Cold Calling or Cold Emailing?

Since the dawn of the digital age, there has been this assumption that, eventually, digital will wipe out all other mediums, making them obsolete. After all, digital is faster and cheaper. Plus, it comes with a truck load of juicy data that can be organized into insightful tools like graphs and charts which, in turn, help to make prospecting and lead generation tactics smarter and better targeted. However, recently, there has been a pendulum swing back to the ‘old way’ of doing things because, with all of digital’s flashy speed and dynamic data, it can never replace the power of human connection.

When it comes to the question of cold calling vs. cold emailing, there are some who fall strongly and squarely in one camp vs. the other. While the arguments for both can be complex and nuanced, in a nutshell they go something like this:

Those in favor of cold […]

Insights into a Sales Recon Mission

reconnaissance: noun

1. the act of reconnoitering (to inspect, observe, or survey in order to gain information for military purposes.)
2. a search made for useful military information in the field

Recently one of our veteran callers, who is working on a very challenging prospecting campaign, joked that it made her feel more like she was on some sort of intense recon mission rather than a typical cold calling campaign. The product is a software solution for the health care industry, but since the person who would make the purchasing decision for this product fluctuates in both department and title from hospital to hospital, much of her calling hours are spent just trying to figure out who she is supposed to talk to. While the nature of this campaign is somewhat atypical, the truth of the matter is much of what we do is sales reconnaissance.

At VSA, we run B2B telemarketing campaigns. […]

By |April 17th, 2017|Inside Sales|Comments Off on Insights into a Sales Recon Mission|

10 Tips for Successful Cold Calling

As a B2B call center, we make cold calls all day long, every day. With each call we make, our goal is to set an appointment for our client so they can potentially close the sale with the new prospect. The following is a short list of what we have learned over the past sixteen years.

1. Work Past Your Fears: Many people have an innate fear of cold calling stemming from a preconceived stereotype of cold callers as annoying, intrusive people who try to sell you things you don’t need or want. To get past these assumptions, challenge them with statements that will not only help you overcome your anxiety around cold calling, but are also more aligned with the truth. An example would be: “Cold calling is informative. It lets my potential customers, whom I care about, learn about my great product or service that I know will […]

By |April 12th, 2017|Cold Calling|Comments Off on 10 Tips for Successful Cold Calling|

7 Things To Consider Before Hiring A B2B Call Center Service

What is a B2B Call center?
Broadly speaking, a B2B call center company is an enterprise that offers call management services to enterprises that mainly do business with other companies. Organizations outsource call-based tasks for various reasons including reducing operational costs, accessing specialized services unavailable in-house, as well as improving sales generation and qualification. With that in mind, here are some of the key things to consider before hiring a B2B call center service.

1. Product Offerings and Services

Evaluate the product offerings and services to ensure they suit your communication needs. For instance, some contact centers specialize in handling inbound calls, whereas others only manage outbound calls. Moreover, different contact centers offer different types of outbound or inbound solutions such as sales support, lead generation, technical support, live chat, telemarketing, lead qualification, order taking and fulfillment, or lead prospecting. It is also worth noting that some contact centers offer industry-specific services. […]

By |January 18th, 2017|Call Center|Comments Off on 7 Things To Consider Before Hiring A B2B Call Center Service|

Meaningful Work Makes All the Difference

I have been to many professional development presentations that focus on highly productive work environments. One theme that is highlighted repeatedly is the importance of “meaningful work.”

When I was in my 20’s, I didn’t understand this. I remember being a young marketing manager in New York, providing instructions to a software development team in Florida. These developers were smart and so incredibly committed. They knew their contributions added value to the company. But, my team kept changing the rules and the end-game. I am totally embarrassed to admit that I didn’t understand why the software team was frustrated. To my immature way of thinking, they were doing something they liked, working with good people and getting paid for it. The only thing is, they never had the satisfaction of completing anything.

How frustrating is that?

I now fully understand the level of dissatisfaction their work environment caused. In my own maturation […]

By |January 18th, 2017|Perspectives and Opinions|Comments Off on Meaningful Work Makes All the Difference|

Transitions: The Hardest Part of Cold Calling

Two months ago, I began taking Yoga classes. Through my early practices, I discovered that I need tremendous improvements in my strength, balance and flexibility. But most importantly, I discovered that I have really choppy transitions from one pose to the another. Instead of flowing, I am lurching after each position hurrying to get into the next.  It’s very awkward.

How does this relate to appointment setting?

An effective Cold Caller is able to transition smoothly throughout an entire call – no matter where the prospect takes the conversation. Starting at the introduction, and moving to a conversation, posing great questions, overcoming objections, asking for the appointment and qualifying the lead. It’s all one fluid string of communication points that create a smooth and natural exchange between two people.  No lurching.

Just like it’s hard for me to learn graceful Yoga transitions, it’s hard to teach a new Client Associates how to […]

By |January 18th, 2017|Cold Calling|Comments Off on Transitions: The Hardest Part of Cold Calling|

The 3 Must-Have Competencies for Your Outsourced Appointment-Setting Firm

By Valerie Schlitt

Call it what you will—Inside Sales, Appointment Setting, Demand Generation, Lead Generation or Cold Calling—it’s a critical business operation that helps companies fill their sales pipelines, and one that companies are increasingly outsourcing.

The goal of a telephone lead generation program is to find qualified and interested sales opportunities.  These opportunities will be presented to the sales team who is responsible for converting them into paying clients.

For a growing number of companies, Inside Sales (as this function is increasingly called), is a necessity. It is often the single biggest steady source of qualified leads in competitive markets. But companies often do not want to make the required investment in this operation, so they hire an outside firm to carry out this role for them.

As a result of increased outsourcing demand, and the relative ease of setting up shop, an entire industry has blossomed. Just search “appointment setting” online. […]

By |October 24th, 2016|Appointment Setting, Cold Calling|Comments Off on The 3 Must-Have Competencies for Your Outsourced Appointment-Setting Firm|

Do Physicians Need Cold Calling Skills?

VSA, Inc. is a NJ based cold calling and appointment setting firm that helps companies increase their sales. Hour after hour, day after day, the VSA team makes telephone calls and sends emails on behalf of clients across the country.

The team’s goal is to find interested decision makers, qualify their needs and set sales appointments. VSA staff become an extension of their clients. The senior level executives believe they are talking to someone sitting in the client’s office, not in an outsourced organization.

Mainly, VSA employs a team of experienced employees with deep inside sales skills, and the company has strong employee retention.

But, some former VSA employees do not continue in sales. Instead several have decided to pursue professions in law, architecture, medicine, teaching, finance, neuroscience and foreign policy. To be sure, it’s not the VSA experience that caused the career shifts. In fact, […]

By |May 3rd, 2016|Cold Calling, Press Releases|Comments Off on Do Physicians Need Cold Calling Skills?|

VSA Inc. Finds Highly Skilled Staff through an Unlikely Resource

April 11, 2016 – Haddon Township, N.J. – VSA is a NJ- based small business that thinks big.  The company serves clients up to 50 times its size, across the country.   In November 2015, VSA faced a difficult choice:  Either decline an attractive, profitable client or accept the business taking a chance on finding employees with the right skill set.

VSA is an outsourced business development company.  The firm adds power to its clients’ sales efforts by connecting the clients’ sales reps with qualified prospects.   Until the fall of 2015, VSA had always identified prospects through telephone calls and follow-up emails.  VSA has grown steadily since its start in 2001 and has become known for its employees’ excellent telephone capabilities.

But, in November, VSA was approached by a potential client who wanted its entire business development to be performed online, without a single telephone call. This required employees with an entirely […]

By |April 11th, 2016|Press Releases|Comments Off on VSA Inc. Finds Highly Skilled Staff through an Unlikely Resource|