Telemarketing Tip – Dealing with Gatekeepers
We all possess our own unique recipe that contributes toward the success of the outbound calling campaigns we work on. But do we really consider what key things we (or others) do/say that could generate a consistent level of new business leads a month in a month out? Try step one of GSA’s secret appointment recipe! It’s sometimes surprising that top telemarketers often can’t tell you what it is that they do that delivers top performance. They can struggle to pinpoint exactly what it is that generated THAT quality appointment or that string of appointments not so long ago. Is it modesty or that they genuinely don’t know? Is it that there’s so much to take in on a call that they naturally forget EXACTLY what it is that they said to nail the appointment? Or was it a potluck? I think not…I would like to share a couple of gems shown to me recently when I had the opportunity to sit with one of GSA’s most consistent performers. If you’re wondering how consistent, try 9 appointments in 25hrs for a PR client targeting Directors for the likes of Filofax, Bahlsen, and seven others….
Secret Ingredient Number 1: Qualify the prospect with the Gatekeeper
This is the word for word example of what our telemarketer used when calling a contact she had on the system:Gatekeeper: Good morning ABC, Karen speaking
Telemarketer: Karen (use the name!) hi. I wonder if you could possibly help me (paused for a second). Is (name of prospect) still responsible for your PR?
Telemarketer: Does she get involved with looking at and selecting PR agencies?
Gatekeeper: Yes that’s right
Telemarketer: Thanks, would you put me through to her, please. The above qualifying rule sounds blindingly obvious. However, it was used in every single call this telemarketer made if she didn’t know the answer already as to who her Decision-Maker is. A rule that works well by stripping out unnecessary calls (and time) and hanging on for someone who perhaps has no decision-making authority.
Secret Ingredient Number 2: Build the Relationship
You may not always make an appointment right there and right then, but you need warm leads to visit later in the week, month or year. Every campaign needs a pipeline and the trick is to have a good mix of short and long-term leads. A mix of hot and warm as well as the fresh stuff.
Again, the conversation below is what our telemarketer used when in actual conversation with a decision-maker:
DM: Ursula speaking
Telemarketer: Ursula hi, my name’s (telemarketer’s full name) calling from (company name). We’re a PR agency and have done a huge amount of work for (name-dropped 2 companies) and what we’d really like to do is come along and have an informal chat about your PR needs and how we can help you.
DM: Actually Laura we’ve decided to take PR in house
Telemarketer: I understand. What made you do that and what part of your activity are you bringing in the house?
DM: DM then moves on to explain they have a Preferred Supplier List (PSL).
Telemarketer: And how do we go about getting on that list?
(DM: DM finds this a cheeky question)
Telemarketer: Laughs… Ursula, we’d really love the opportunity to be on your PSL. We’d love to see if there’s anything else we could bring to the party…
DM: Send me some information
Telemarketer: OK. We can send it through again*. Can I have your email address, please?
DM: Gives email address
Telemarketer: Great, let me send something through to you again and then call you on (date agreed with DM) OK? Great, take care Ursula, and thank you, bye.
*Something to note: Not once have we emailed the above prospect. The telemarketer implied we’d already sent something through and so gave the impression she would go out of her way to send it through again. Nice touch and she now has a warmer lead to work with later this month…
No technique works 100% of the time and there are changes of style that are required for different telemarketers, sectors, and decision-makers. There are also many other techniques. However, successful telemarketing is built on small building blocks. Try these techniques and see how you get on.