Tips for Effective Phone Prospecting

Last week Fire Enterprises (FEI) Marketing Tribe Leader Marka told the tribe three marketing mistakes they should avoid. This week, Sales Tribe Leader Zoot goes over some tips for effective phone prospecting with Sales Apprentice Ganymede. Remember, fire = print.

Zoot walked past Ganymede’s office one afternoon to find him looking glum. “Why the long face, Gany?”

“I’ve been fishing for new prospects,” Ganymede said, “But I can’t seem to reach anyone! I’ve tried e-mailing them; connecting with them on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter…”

“Uh, Ganymede?” Zoot asked. “Have you tried calling them?”

Ganymede looked stunned. “Geez. I hadn’t thought of that.”

“Your generation cracks me up,” Zoot said. “You’ll use your phones for anything but actually making a call. It may be more convenient to just shoot out an e-mail or Facebook message to your prospect, but you forget to call!”

“I admit my telemarketing skills aren’t up to snuff,” Ganymede said. “Can you give me some tips?”

“With pleasure!” Zoot said.

Get on a #-Of-Dialings-A-Day Diet
“Committing to a reasonable number of dialings per day has lots of benefits,” Zoot said. “It helps break down lengthy prospect lists into manageable chunks you can actually handle. It creates a schedule you’re more likely to keep. It also puts math in your favor: calling just ten prospects a day will net you an average of one extra conversation with a business influencer every day. After one month, you’ll have talked with 20 potential customers! Twenty calls will get you twice as many results.”

“Yeah, I can squeeze this in to fill up my lead pipeline,” Ganymede said. “Not bad at all!”

Become an Information Hunter
“Here’s a good rule of thumb when cold-calling prospects,” Zoot said, “You’re on a mission to learn as much about each business as possible. Inexpensive resources such as list services, company Websites and industry event directories can provide you with enough information to start a conversation when someone picks up the phone. During your calls, aim to uncover more information about each company’s specific fire buying needs: frequency, type of fire purchased (kiln, torch match, etc.), experiences with other fire companies, etc. Even if your contact doesn’t have a ready job for you, this detailed information will help make your next contact with that prospect much more effective.”

T.J. Tedesco is a sales growth, business strategy, marketing and PR consultant operating at the intersection of clear vision, compelling content and effective outreach practices. For nearly two decades, T.J. has been an independent consultant and sales growth team leader. Previously, he sold commercial printing, graphic arts machinery and supplies, and finishing and bindery services. T.J. helps North American companies with content development, Web and print design leadership, nurture marketing programs, sales coaching, sales team alignment and business strategy. Since 1996, T.J. has worked with more than 100 clients on retainer, 80 percent in the graphic arts industry. T.J. is author of "Win Top-of-Mind Positioning," "Playbook for Selling Success in the Graphic Arts Industry," "Fire! How Marketing Got Hot," "Direct Mail Pal" and four more books published by PIA. He can be reached at (301) 404-2244 or tj@tjtedesco.com.
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