By Jody Weinberg
It doesn't take long for owners of new businesses to find out they can't do everything. They'll try it until the desire to save money is overtaken by the necessity of bringing in more revenue.
For most entrepreneurs, increasing sales and prospecting are their greatest weaknesses. They know how to be an expert in what they know.
Cold calling – picking up the phone and getting a meeting – is outside their skill set and their natural comfort zone. They are fine when doing the complex, solution-focused sale for their product or service, representing their company, but they fail at the daily discipline of finding leads and getting in front of sol- id, qualified prospects.
That's where professional B2B ap- pointment schedulers like J. Telecon- nections come in. When entrepreneurs
are planning their week, they feel more productive knowing they have solid appointments coming up that will grow the business. They can see their sales pipeline is full and the closing rate increases because they are pitching to strong prospects.
Selling is a process with a beginning, middle and end. We focus on the beginning. That's where leads are generated and initial meetings are set. Quality appointments are what fill your sales pipeline and increase your revenue. Neglect that pipeline and your sales will slow to a trickle.
Faced with just that situation, a potential client, a consultant, was hesitant to try appointment scheduling because of a bad experience with a telemarketer. He gave us a 90-day trial and if it didn't work he'd never use "telemarketing" again.
His was concerned we'd have high call volume that would bring in unqualified leads and meetings with weak pros- pects, thus annoying people while using his company's name, or worse, misrep- resenting the company.
I assured him of our professional ap- proach. We quickly build enough trust with prospects, highlight meaningful information, qualify and establish in- terest prior to a scheduling a meeting. We aren't selling anything. We get an
appointment using a strong value propo- sition that reveals they are open to learning more.
Even after I told the consultant all of this he remained skeptical. Well, the 90 day trial ended 11 years ago and we con- tinue to do ongoing prospecting for him, getting solid meetings with qualified decision makers. And he closes them. In fact his business has grown 500 percent due to joint efforts. You don't get results like this by smiling and dialing, trying to rack up appointments and meet a quota.
Targeting and Scripting
To ensure that we are calling the right audience, we work with our clients to select key demographics, such as company revenue, geography, number of employees, job title, etc. This leads us to custom- ized lists we purchase and work from. We also work with their in-house lists.
Then I'll sit down with the owner to start creating the script. The process includes getting the owner's biography, what the business does, size of the company, years in business, what makes them stand out as a business and why people should do business with them.
As we prepare the script we continually consult with the client to refine and revise it. Even after the script is adopted and put into use, we never stop trying to improve it. Our goal is a long term relationship and we want to be able to pitch in our sleep.
If we don’t think we can be successful with a prospective client, we won’t take their money. So there are a number of steps we go through before we decide to