Iceberg Marketing: the nine-tenths of value submerged under the surface of most telemarketing campaigns.
Kevin Byrne, Senior Business Development Manager
"Calls that ‘fail’ are as important as those that succeed"
Bit of an odd concept? We are pretty good at what we do but, with any marketing campaign, there will always be a number of people who say ‘no’ to any particular offer. Despite this unnegotiable fact, there are different ways to add value.
The message of this article is simple - there is untapped value and insight in every call - it's important to recognise and capture it.
Let’s start by looking at a typical lead generation campaign. Maybe, we are talking to SMEs about our client’s new product and have a target of 1 in 10 contacts converting to a lead or an appointment. Both the client and agency are, quite rightly, focused on the positive outcomes required but, at The Telemarketing Company, we always talk about the ancillary benefit of extra business intelligence. This is often greeted with a polite nod and then, “What about the leads?” the client will ask, “that’s where the return is...”
So, if we are 'failing' as many as 9 times out of 10, what happens with those interactions?
There is normally a series of result codes, dispositions or similar. Here is a typical list:-
- Too expensive
- Have a competitor product
- Not interested
- Under criteria
- Not looking for this type of product
- Authority elsewhere
So, here is our simple answer for trying to unlock the hidden value –
Always ASK ONE MORE QUESTION.
Does that seem too simple? Let me try it on the codes above. Let’s call it ‘a little bit extra’
Extra: Can you say what you would be willing to pay? What are you paying at the moment?
Have a competitor product
Extra: (after asking who?) And could you rate our product against it based on this brief chat?
Extra: Is it just something you don’t need, or just not the sort of features that appeal to you?
Extra: Can I just get a bit more information on whatever the factor is (turnover/employees)?
Not looking for this type of product
Extra: Do you have a different solution in your business? How does it work for your business?
Extra: is there an actual name of someone we can talk to?
and what do our clients get out of it?
Valuable information about pricing
Some candid, unfiltered views about your own product/competitors
Insight into some real weaknesses in the product (or the telemarketing presentation of course)
Detail that may enable you to understand any opportunities that are, for example, close to criteria and identify companies that may meet the criteria at some point in the future
Not looking for this type of product:
Some insight here, which may enable you to change your product or change your message
A key decision-maker name, or information about the decision-making unit.
There are some other benefits to this approach too...
Wheat from Chaff
It is pretty effective in separating real future prospects from those that really don’t want to engage. Someone who gives a considered and thoughtful answer to a supplementary question has a genuine reason not to go further and is giving you information about how, and importantly why, he might buy in the future. Someone who doesn’t, is just trying to get rid of you.
Take a moment to consider the life of the telemarketing agent; being told ‘NO’ 9 times out of 10 for 7 hours a day is a tough gig. It takes a special kind of person, as you may know, if you have run an in-house team, or have even done it yourself. If you can share the value each call, even those that don’t result in leads or appointments, and feed aggregated results back to the agents on a regular basis, it can create an entirely different level of motivation.
PLUS, some devil in the detail - a couple of other outcomes you will see:-
If this is a big number, it flags an issue with your data. Who is looking after your data? If it’s your own database, you might consider some data cleansing before you start spending your hard won sales and marketing budget. If it is bought in data, then you would normally get a refund on any invalid numbers - every penny counts.
Your ‘new prospect’ data contains a significant number of existing clients. We see this all too often in quite large numbers and the same applies - get your data into shape before you start calling.
Is this really important? It’s the leads and appointments that we need!
In a campaign of 1,000 there are 900 potential pieces of extra information. Imagine you collect 200 pieces of insight on the topic of pricing – both your own and your competitor’s. That starts to become statistically significant information to feed into commercial decision making.
In previous campaigns, we have altered the messaging and the offer mid campaign, or run a split test at two different price points in response to this type of feedback, and improved campaign performance, as a result.
In our world, a successful outcome can be multi layered, but by adopting our 'a little extra' approach and asking one more question on every call, we bring to the surface the hidden value others miss.
ASK ONE MORE QUESTION on every call. It will reap rewards