The telephone is a powerful prospecting tool, but it’s only at its most effective when the caller—usually someone in sales or business development—succeeds in making a genuine, personal connection with a prospect.
Case Study: VSA works with ABC Company, a client that offers a complex data analytics tool. Our team recently began a new campaign for ABC, targeting the sales departments of large companies with the goal of setting sales appointments.
We’ve already partnered with ABC on several campaigns this year, so our script, was based on the messaging we used on previous ABC campaigns, in which we described the benefits of ABC’s product in meticulous detail.
This had worked well in the past—but this time, it did not. The campaign’s results were dismal; we scheduled only a few appointments over the course of five weeks, and the program did not look like it would be ROI-positive.
But because of our past success, we had built a strong mutual trust with ABC company. Both VSA and ABC knew was going wrong, But we both knew that it wasn’t VSA’s skillset or the offering itself. It had to be the messaging.
So we went into “program improvement mode,” as we do for all underperforming campaigns. We crafted a new message that focused less on the product details and more on having a personally meaningful conversation with the prospect.
The result? An immediate and drastic improvement. In just one week, our team set as many appointments as we had in the previous five.
What made the difference? We made three main changes to our approach:
1. We prepared for success. Our original message focused on the product’s benefits because it assumed that prospects would need encouragement to take an appointment. Now, we start by assuming that prospects will be receptive to scheduling a longer conversation about data analytics. Once we changed our mind-set, our prospects did too.
2. We ask a lot of questions. Instead of merely asking if the prospect is interested in the product, our new messaging incorporates broad, free-form questions about the processes they currently have in place—allowing us to assess whether or not they have a true need. These questions are also more congenial, which makes prospects more receptive to talking further.
3. We focus on conversations that are fluid, not rigid. Our new messaging embraces the opportunity to form authentic, personal connections with decision makers; we ask lots of questions, listen to feedback and address responses and concerns. Our call to action is the opportunity have a meaningful exchange of experience and knowledge—not a sales call. The response has been much better: prospects enjoy having interesting conversations and sharing their experiences!
Conclusion: a company will only reap the full benefits of a phone call campaign when it succeeds in making genuine, personal connections with its prospects. If your calling program is stalling out, don’t despair! Stay focused on what is truly valuable about cold calling – only then can you harness the full power of the telephone!