A few weeks ago we were on a teleconference with a client discussing a new business appointment we had set up for him with ‘Three’. The conversation went something like this:
Client: That’s a really good appointment, Julia. Lots of potential. It could be a great piece of business. We were really lucky with the timing.
Julia: Absolutely. And we’ve been lucky over the past 6 months and 20+ calls we’ve put in to reach him to secure the appointment! They’re looking and he is really interested to see what you offer.
Client: Yes. Point taken. It could be a big one. Thank you.
The actual conversation wasn’t quite as short or direct as that. I have abridged it somewhat. We have a great relationship with our client and have worked with him for over 7 months. Our telemarketer speaks to him regularly and we have weekly or bi-weekly teleconferences.
Do Clients Understand the Process?
In many ways, it’s hard to avoid being perceived as pedantic when these conversations take place. If leads simply dropped into our laps, it would be so easy. There are multiple channels, and innumerable routes to market. There are lots of ways to spend the marketing ‘buck’.
But, lead generation is far from easy. If it was that simple, wouldn’t we all just do it? Unfortunately, decision-makers are hard to identify, and even harder to pin down. That’s especially the case the higher up the tree you climb, and the bigger the prize.
Engineer the Lead Generation Process
The point is clear. Senior-level, high-value, high-quality telemarketing is a process. Decision-makers are difficult to reach. They are guarded by gatekeepers. They are busy in meetings. They have incumbent suppliers. Despite this, one thing is certain. You will never make meetings with prospects you don’t call and keep calling!
New business development is very much about the process. It is about momentum. It is about keeping going. It is about calling back, and following up. If you don’t do that, you will not improve your lead generation success rate. It is often the 6th, 10th, or even 20th call that brings the result. You need to be patient. Plan your calling and don’t give up.
Use Multiple Touchpoints
Of course, there’s no panacea. Simply, attempting to connect on LinkedIn alongside a well-crafted email, followed by a call is no guarantee of success. Yet, sort-changing your efforts by a lack of effort, and persistence, is a sure-fire way to fail. Different buyers respond to different stimuli. Therefore, it pays to be visible using a variety of channels. Few businesses have funds that stretch to every form of marketing. But, without clarity of process, success will be hard to find.
Consistency: The Key to Long-Term Success
Some organisations, either through necessity or choice, adopt a stop-start strategy when it comes to generating sales leads. Yet, consistency is the cornerstone of long-term success. It’s not just about making a few calls, running a few ads, or doing a short-term LinkedIn campaign, and hoping for immediate results. It’s about establishing a steady rhythm of outreach that keeps you on your prospect’s radar. Consistency breeds familiarity, and familiarity breeds trust. When you consistently reach out to your prospects through various channels, you show them that you’re committed to solving their problems and delivering value.
Avoiding Procrastination: Taking Action for Results
Procrastination is the silent enemy of lead generation. It’s easy to put off starting a campaign, waiting for the perfect moment. That moment may never come, and your prospective clients aren’t waiting, with bated breath, for your lovely new website. Action beats inaction every time. If you want sales success, especially where lead times may be long, and sales values are high, that means taking proactive steps and avoiding the trap of procrastination.
Persistence Unlocks the Door
Maximising the value of a connection, and a response, on LinkedIn with a call makes sense. Targeting those that open and click links in emails helps to prioritise contact with those more likely to respond. And, above all, being focused on clearly defining your target audience is essential. Yet, none of this will work if you don’t follow a robust process. That means, without stalking, regular contact. It means calling back when you agree to do so. It means not giving up if you don’t succeed quickly.
There really isn’t an easy route to lead generation success. One thing is certain, though, without a healthy dose of ‘targeted’ persistence, there’s little chance of success.