In the marketing world, interacting with strangers during a cold call and convincing them to listen to what you are telling about service or a product may not be much of a challenge.
Interestingly, when an agent approaches a prospect using the updated call center software the first phase of interaction is completed very smoothly.
The prospect is eager to know about something new and his inquisitive nature gives you an opportunity to speak out in detail about what you are offering.
But once, that first step is over and it is time to close the deal with a follow-up call, things become challenging.
Follow-up is essential for driving the conversions.
It is the time when the sales cycle really starts rolling and there is a chance for the marketer to establish a bonding with the lead.
The telemarketers who do not want to waste time in chasing wrong or uninterested leads should have a proper follow-up strategy to get the right response.
Here are the top 10 most successful telemarketing follow-up strategies:
1. Building Equity
After you complete the first call, do something that will leave a scope for further communication.
Sending a small thank you card with handwritten message gives a personalized touch.
You can write something like, “Thank you Mirinda for giving your precious time today.
We are looking forward to interact further with you.”Keep the thank you message, short, crisp yet suggestive enough to hint that you are interested in taking the deal further.
In today’s world where everything is communicated via messages on Smartphone apps and emails, a handwritten message can surely tell your client that you consider him special.
The moment the client realizes this, it builds up a degree of equity in you.
The client thus differentiates you from the rest of the callers and remembers you.
It also increases your chances of getting a good response the next time when you do a follow-up call.
2. Fix A Follow-Up Commitment
More often, telemarketers do not fix a follow-up appointment with the client prior to leaving his place.
It is always important to ask the prospect about the exact time and date when you can do a follow-up call.
In the case, the prospect asks you to call after a week or 10 days then there is a strong probability that it will be either a longer sales cycle or it will result in a missed call.
So instead of taking a tentative date or time period, a telemarketer should ask for the exact date and time for making a follow-up call.
It is a very simple but very powerful tactic that puts pressure on the customer and results in a positive closing of the call.
3. Send Reminder & Agenda Through E-mail
If you have fixed a follow-up call time and date, remind the prospect one day prior to the appointment by sending him an email.
Include the agenda in the email and in the subject line state clearly the date of telephone appointment and article of interest.
Subject line can act as a reminder, but keep it a bit vague so that the prospect is tempted to open the email and check out whether the time and date has changed or not or even to confirm it.
The email should not only confirm the date and time of appointment but also explain in a nutshell about your agenda.
It should be something like,” Michael, the call will not take more than 10 minutes.
During the call, we will just go through the proposal and I will answer all your queries if any and determine our next step or fix the next appointment.”
Make sure that the statement is suggestive and do not put any stress on the prospect or demand any commitment from him.
Or else he may skip out on the follow-up call as he may not be particularly prepared mentally or financially to invest in your product at the given time.
A general observation suggests that when prospect does not feel any pressure and sense that the call is going to be easy and informal, he is most likely to show up for the follow-up call on time.
4. Add Meaning To Your PS
At the end of the email, you can add a P.S. that says,” Michael, here is a link to the article which I believe you will find it interesting.”
The article can be related to the client’s profession, your industry, about a product or even something not related to either of your businesses but about something that you discussed with him during the cold call.
Adding such a P.S. adds a lot of value to the mail because you are going a step ahead, taking efforts and doing something extra.
It will make the prospect remember you and will also give him the reason to be available during the follow-up call.
It certainly means that you have to do a bit of homework.
You can check out the internet for articles that can interest the client or offer good insight into your market or industry.
As a smart telemarketer, you should just make a folder of such articles so that you can send the links to different clients as per their taste and your discussion with them during the cold call.
5. Keep Record Of The Call
The moment you are done with the call, make a record of it.
Although at that moment it may sound like a far off thought, it can help you while preparing a strategy for the follow-up call.
What should you include in the call record?
You must write down your observations that you made while talking to the prospect.
Include the concerns of the probable client, his business line, the position he holds and his overall general attitude and response to your sales pitch.
All these are the important points that can help you while strategizing to make the follow-up call a success.
Also, acquainting yourself with the profile of the client prior to the follow-up call is highly important.
Make a record in a question and answer form to get the right direction.
• Did you achieve the objective successfully?
• If not, why was it not successful?
• Why is this viable lead?
• Will this lead move to the next sales level?
• Is it the right time to take the prospect to the next level?
• If yes, what are the steps required to be taken for taking the lead to the next level of sales?
• Do you need to involve anyone else in the team?
• When is the next follow-up call?
• What are the objectives for the next call or conversation?
6. Make A Proper Plan
If you do not have a proper follow-up strategy ready prior to the call then it is the bad news.
You should go through the record of previous call thoroughly prior to making the follow-up call.
Jot down the future appointments and keep aside a good amount of time to prepare for answers the client is expecting from you.
You may become successful for the first time during the cold call.
But sales are possible only if your approach for the follow-up call is well-planned.
Keep a track of multiple appointments by synching all the electronic diaries.
In this way, you are least liable to miss an appointment or a schedule.
7. Honor The Appointment
Once the appointment is fixed make sure that you do not take the follow-up for granted.
As a telemarketer, you must honor the opportunity and should not be late.
Rather you should be ready a few minutes prior to the appointment.
When you are punctual with the call, it shows that you respect the time of the prospect and it also contributes to building the professional image of your organization.
8. Avoid Slip-Ups
Customers are used to getting business calls from call center agents and they are well aware of how the statements and introduction starts.
If you want to succeed in the follow-up call, as a telemarketer you must keep your opening line different from the rest.
Avoid using the hackneyed cliché or statements such as ‘I am calling to complete the proposal” or “wanted to ask you whether you have come to any decision” and so on.
The opening statement can make a lot of difference whether the prospect continues with the call or not.
So, just stay focused and try to make the statement sound positive and energetic.
Here is a step-wise direction:
• Introduce yourself first and tell your full name to the prospect
• Tell the name of your company
• Very politely remind the prospect of the things you discussed in the previous call
• Slowly turn the discussion to the agenda
9. Be Persistent But Do Not Pester
As a rule, every call center agent must speak politely and should maintain professional decorum while communicating with the customers.
Being persistent is necessary and is a part of the follow-up strategy.
But you should not pester the client.
In any case, if the client does not pick up the call; despite a commitment simply send him a message telling him that you had called him at a particular time.
Avoid calling at every half an hour.
Rather wait for at least half a day or a full day to give the client a chance to call back.
Otherwise, he may perceive you as a pushy, forceful salesperson and may not take your call ever again.
And the rule is not just for one client or a prospect.
As a telemarketer, you must always follow this in your every conversation.
Understanding the difference between being persistent and being pushy can go a long way in helping you become one of the most successful salesperson.
10. Keep A Tab On Current Clients
Telemarketing is an ongoing process.
Just because you have managed to add plenty of customers to your kitty does not mean that you should forget them while chasing the new leads.
It is true that new leads offer new sales opportunities.
After you have recorded details of your first call, it is time to check the portfolios of your existing clients.
Check out about the new developments, the last time you had interaction with them & when you are scheduled to speak to them next, is there any concern that needs to be sorted out, do you have answers to all their questions, and so on.
More often, the answers to these questions are also the solutions to the queries of your prospect.
So, when you check on your current clients, you get better prepared for the follow-up call.
At times when one of your prospect and an existing client has a somewhat similar profile, age-wise or financially, you can expect him to ask you almost similar questions.
Going through the case history of the current client and the way you closed the sales can help you strategize better for the follow-up call.
It is a proven fact that the first call most probably decides whether the customer is interested in your product or not.
A quick and positive response is always expected when you supplement your efforts with the call center solutions.
Apart from that, when you start planning a strategy for a follow-up call, features of best call center software such as call recordings, call history, and other relevant data can help a lot.
These call center software solutions ensure that you have all the right answers with you for the queries expected from the prospect.
Going through the call recordings and call history, a telemarketer can quickly grab using the salient points through which he can win a customer.
Nothing works the best than hard work.
So professional agents will always take time to prepare him, make the right notes, and check out the questions asked by the prospect during the first call.
Telemarketing software also helps a telemarketer to track down the details of the current customers and the strategies that has worked with them.
You can always re-use such strategies with a bit of modification and customize it for your upcoming follow-up call.
Using all the above guidelines, you can surely emerge successful in closing a deal with your prospect.