This is a true story about a client of VSA’s who was able to take the failures of a pilot program and learn from them to create a program of success.
This kind of success story only happens when the two entities in the partnership (i.e. VSA and the Client) are both honest, transparent, and committed to solving problems rather than assigning blame.
The Case Study
About a year ago, we began a pilot program with The Client. We implemented it according to The Client’s direction and, based on our markers, as well as the feedback we received, we felt that we were right on target.
We had one primary contact with The Client, a senior Revenue Officer. However, it turns out that somewhere along the line communication broke down. The team responsible for following up on our leads was, in fact, not satisfied with the results of the campaign for a number of reasons.
They listened to our calls and felt that because of the way we opened the telephone conversation, we set false expectations for prospects about our product knowledge. As a result, they believed we lost credibility when prospects wanted a more technical conversation. This was a very complex product in the healthcare industry, with many technical ins and outs.
Also, somehow the list The Client purchased was primarily full of prospects who were already familiar with them but had not chosen them in the first place. This made the credibility gap that much worse, because the prospects often had stronger knowledge than we did.
Finally, when we would set an appointment with a prospect and put it on one of the team’s calendar, more often than not it would just sit there, waiting, sometimes for two whole weeks, and no communication would be made in the immediacy of the moment. Of course, as you can imagination, many appointments didn’t stick.
Normally we would quickly address issues like these immediately and throughout the campaign. But, with the senior Revenue Officer giving so much positive reinforcement to keep the campaign as it was, we continued without change.
In the end the campaign was not optimal and we learned a lesson. Luckily, instead of rejecting the experience outright, our client studied what went well and what could be improved.
Presently, we are in the thick of a new appointment setting program for The Client – for the same offering – but this time around we have all learned from our failures and have solved the issues we faced before.
First, The Client has invested in a list – one that has been thoroughly pre-qualified for the kind of calls we are making. Since the list is primarily made of prospects that don’t know much about The Client, unlike before, we have the leg up this time around.
Secondly, we have changed how we introduce the call and engage in conversation. We address needs, challenges and wants. We do not talk about features and technical benefits. This way, we build rather than damage credibility.
Thirdly, as soon as we get a lead, we loop The Client in straight away. Someone from their team reaches out immediately and sets up the appointment themselves, thus quickly establishing rapport of their own with the prospect. Also, the appointments are being scheduled more quickly than before. As a result, we no longer have the problem of too many dropped appointments.
Finally, The Client’s whole team is involved now with communicating to VSA, rather than funneling it through a single person. This enables us all to communicate more effectively and solve problems more efficiently as they come up.
The Moral of the Story
B2B appointment setting is a complex endeavor. After all, it involves human to human connection and, while the fruits of that connection can fly higher than any other, there are always complications.
Given the inherent complexities, a lead generation firm such as ours must be transparent in order to be successful. (One of our most recent blogs delves into this topic further. You can read it here.) However, the truth is, it helps tremendously when our clients also operate with that same backbone of transparency.
The plot of this story – the challenging program, the initial mishaps, and the two of us, Client and VSA, working through the issues together and solving problems – is the common thread to many of our greatest success stories and client partnerships. This Client is not the first, nor ideally the last where we review lessons learned to develop a lasting, profitable relationship.