Evaluating Appointment Setting Through Taped Calls
Prospective clients often ask to listen to taped calls from another campaign. They’re not always doing themselves a service! In fact, they may 100% misjudge appointment setting companies this way. Taped calls prove very little about a new potential program’s effectiveness. Again, why is that?
• Each program has a unique personality, and even the most effective telephone prospector will not be universally successful. Here are two examples:
Joan and James are excellent on a program targeting senior level scientists at laboratories worldwide. Why? Because they are calm, can articulate complex ideas, and are persistent in their follow-up.
These same callers are not effective on a program recruiting senior level executives for non-paid research studies? Why? Because the skill set required for this recruitment is almost the opposite. The successful recruiters, Sally and Steve, reveal very little about the research topics, appeal almost 100% to emotions, and follow-up is rarely effective in pursuing this kind of sales lead because it’s much more impulse-based.
So, which call is best to send to a prospective client? What does a prospective client think when they he listens to James but really wants a Sally?
• Each program has its own set of objectives when finding sales leads, and callers on the program work to accomplish these objectives. Again, two examples:
Apex Health Systems wants to identify anyone who could ever use their service and offer to send information, thereby securing email addresses and contact information for eblasts and other marketing efforts. Apex-type calls require a skill in finding the right decision maker, identifying that the company uses competitive services and gaining sufficient trust to learn email addresses. But, gaining agreement to send an email is fairly simple when compared to setting appointments.
Conversely, Premiere only wants face to face appointments with the most qualified sales leads, and will never agree to send information unless the prospect agrees to a subsequent appointment first. Talking to executives who are in the buying mode and want to set onsite appointments will be extremely challenging.
When a prospect similar to Premiere listens to the Apex calls, she will not be impressed with that appointment setting company. She will probably determine that the callers do not have the required skill set to schedule appointments – even if they do!
However, on occasion VSA will send taped calls to prospective clients – and it’s not wrong for clients to request them. Here’s what you can learn from these calls:
• How callers speak: grammar, tone, listening skills, accent/dialect
• How callers engage: relate as peers to C-level executives, relate well to lower levels in the organization
• Sophistication of the operation: if a call center cannot send taped calls, it probably cannot monitor calls or provide Q/A services on the program
• Plain ability to speak: conversation skills (vs. reading a script), staying calm against objectives, positive attitude when being shut down
So, we try to avoid sending taped calls because the calls themselves are never apples to apples with what our clients are seeking. But, VSA does understand a need for a potential client to have some level of confidence so we can represent them credibly while appointment setting. After all, in many cases, our calling team is the first voice a prospect will hear from its company.