What happens when your digital marketing doesn’t generate enough leads? What if you haven’t got time yourself to keep in regular contact with your clients or even just hate calling? What if you haven’t got time to sort the high priority leads from the other leads? The answer for most businesses, especially if they’re selling to other business is they need to use an old technology called the phone (Telemarketing).
Telemarketing, you may say, isn’t it dead? Don’t people hate telemarketers? Well the answer is, yes, if it’s a telemarketing call, but what if the call’s prepared for, positioned and conducted properly like a genuine business call, not a spammy cold call?
In an episode of The Marketing Strategy Show, Kym sat down with Lauren Watts from GenLeads – a telemarketing company that specialise in business calls to discuss how you can best use the telephone as a sales tool for your business.
In the episode Kym and Lauren discussed;
- Why don’t people make phone calls
- Two common mistakes people make in regards to telemarketing
- Best practices for telemarketing
- Telemarketing vs. Other Media
- Final thoughts
If you want more information from this episode check out the transcript below.
Listen on your Favourite App
The easiest way to listen is to subscribe on iTunes. Reviews on iTunes are the best way for us to get more listeners and spread the word, every review counts so please take a moment to do so!
Male Intro VO: Welcome to Marketing Show, the 20 to 30 minutes of marketing magic that will help you connect the dots with all the digital, social and old school marketing and sales options available today. Our aim is to give you practical, effective tips and ideas so your business or professional practise can get more prospects and nurture those prospects to becoming long-term customers. The show is sponsored by The Marketing Strategy Company, who help B2B organisations develop winning marketing strategies and [00:00:30] sales and marketing automation systems to turn their sales and marketing efforts into new customers and dollars through their marketing. Check out The Marketing Strategy Company’s planning and marketing services @themarketingstrategy.co. That’s themarketingstrategy.co.
Kym Heffernan: Hi and welcome to today’s Marketing Strategy Show. The Marketing Strategy Show is all about getting the right marketing for your business. In our Marketing Strategy episodes we pull back the curtain with an expert on a specialised topic or of course someone [00:01:00] who has great experience with that topic.
Now we all know having a marketing or sales strategy is important, but what happens when your digital marketing doesn’t lure enough leads? What if you haven’t got time yourself to keep in regular contact with your clients or even just hate calling? What if you haven’t got time to sort the high priority leads from the other leads? The answer for most businesses, especially if they’re selling to other business is they need to use an old technology called the phone.
Telemarketing, you may say, [00:01:30] isn’t it dead? Don’t people hate telemarketers? Well the answer is, yes, if it’s a telemarketing call, but what if the call’s prepared for, positioned and done properly like a genuine business call, not a spammy cold call?
So today we’ve got Lauren Watts from Gen Leads to help us understand how to utilise this often frowned upon, often used poorly sales tool, the telephone.
Hey Lauren, are you there?
Lauren Watts: Hey Kym.
Kym Heffernan: How are you and welcome aboard The Marketing Strategy Show?
Lauren Watts: Thank you for having me.
Kym Heffernan: No [00:02:00] worries at all. What I might do is, and this is unprepared for, just ask you to give us a bit of background on Lauren and how you came into be running a telemarketing company?
Lauren Watts: When I started my business back in 2010, Facebook was still in its early stages, as was a lot of the new digital technology so to officially, effectively sorry, get clients I needed to get on the phone and call them. So I [00:02:30] started doing it for my own business and then as I grew I found out it was something that people didn’t like to do, they didn’t feel comfortable with doing, so we just started doing it for others, and then the business has grown based on that service.
We now do that internationally in eight countries and we do roughly 12,000 calls a month for our clients. That’s our main specialty that we do. It works well because a lot of people are scared [00:03:00] of the phone and that rejection that they’ll get, so yeah, that’s how we effectively grew it by just having … That was the only way to grow our business with no money back in the day.
Kym Heffernan: Born out of necessity?
Lauren Watts: Yeah, we had no money to do marketing so we had to just pick up the phone and do it.
Kym Heffernan: Well when you’re a new business you need to do that don’t you? When you’re starting off your very first thing is not necessarily to put a whole lot of money into marketing or websites, or whatever else just to get sales and [00:03:30] get in front of customers, right?
Lauren Watts: That’s correct.
Kym Heffernan: Everyone who’s ever started a business certainly knows that so it’s really important. What I might do is just cover off first of all, why do people hate calling so much if they’ve got to make calls? I mean I’m not a great lover myself I’ve got to say, but is it a fear of rejection or what is it do you think?
Lauren Watts: I think it’s fear of rejection. I think they think their time is better spent actually selling, not doing, I guess [00:04:00] you could call this the admin version of the sales department, so their time is better being in that meeting, closing that sale, than qualifying because they may have to call that lead eight times to get that appointment. They’d rather be in those appointments than making those calls to get to the appointment.
Kym Heffernan: Yeah, I think a lot of times too, people are, I guess they get busy doing the work they’re doing and don’t get around [00:04:30] to doing the stuff like following up clients, et cetera as well.
Lauren Watts: Yeah, a lot of people fail in the lead nurturing. They’re so busy trying to make their KPIs that they don’t … They focus on the sale. They don’t focus on the nurture which is a big mistake. Yeah, that’s another big thing as well is where they’re focus is.
Companies these days set very high KPIs for their sales team so the sale manager or the salesperson is really, “I need to be in there.” “I need to be [00:05:00] in front of them. I need in to be in front of them” but they don’t think about that part beforehand of how do I get in front of them.
Kym Heffernan: I guess a lot of professional services firms who we have listening, and we both have these clients, quite often think that the delivering the work part’s the important part but I guess you don’t have the business unless you’re selling, right?
Lauren Watts: You don’t, but also in that I guess you’ve pre-selling part category, is that’s where you actually build the relationship with the lead and the client. [00:05:30] If they see that you call back when you say you’re going to call back and as you’re calling them, “Hey, how’s the weather in Melbourne today?” “How was your weekend?” “It’s Friday.” You have those conversations and build with them, that relationship gets built. In the end they grow with you because they know you and your personality over a company who may be cheaper because of the way you treat them and make them feel.
Kym Heffernan: Yeah and I think something we talked about before [00:06:00] we started this whirl was people get scared about the rejection part, don’t they? I think one of the things that you mentioned which I love was that you’ve learned is not to be too attached to the outcome.
Lauren Watts: No, I can’t do cold-calling for my own business anymore and the reason is because of the sleepless nights and the energy that I put into it that if someone says no to me I would get that rejection’s like “Oh, no” like “Why are you saying no” and I actually start to get defensive so I know I can’t do that for my own business anymore. [00:06:30] I have to get one of the staff members to do but with my clients it’s easy because it’s not my business. Yes we have KPIs to meet and that drives us as well to get through and reach where we need to be but I don’t have that emotional attachment to that business so it’s a lot easier than what it would be for my own business for example.
Kym Heffernan: Yeah, it’s really hard to get that because I think if you got your own business as an owner [00:07:00] and someone says “Well, I’m not really interested. It’s not for me.” It’s almost like a personal rejection. People take it that we’re a funny emotional creatures, aren’t we?
Lauren Watts: Yes we are so it is important when you’re doing it to detach itself essentially.
Kym Heffernan: Yeah.
Lauren Watts: Some people need to spend five minutes detaching themselves from what they’re about to do before they get on the phone and start calling people.
Kym Heffernan: The other thing that I’ve heard and I keep on hearing continuously and I think a lot of time it’s just [00:07:30] what I call a click bait headline, so people click and read an article, that cold-calling is dead. Telemarketing is dead. Email is dead. SEO is dead. There’s always a click bait heading but I think there is a real genuine belief out there that calling people, especially cold-calling, doesn’t work anymore but that’s not the case is it?
Lauren Watts: No, it’s definitely not the case. It’s because people rely so much on technology these days and everyone’s fighting to get their spot on the Internet [00:08:00] and get their placement and they’re spending thousands of dollars every month of getting that sponsored ad in the right place so that the right person would click on it but it’s actually more cost-effective to do telemarketing. You’re actually building a relationship with a person as well and you’re giving them a human touch. People love that human interaction so think about as when someone … When you’re sitting there and your partner touches your hand and [00:08:30] that feeling you get when someone calls you and talked to you people actually get excited these days that someone’s actually talking to them, that they’re not just trying to get, reach them through that computer.
Kym Heffernan: I think it’s interesting too. We spoke about a very large inbound company. I won’t mention their name, who’s renowned for inbound marketing but they don’t just rely on inbound marketing, digital marketing. As soon as someone show a sign of moving towards the sales stage they’ll be on the phone and calling them and it’s [00:09:00] really important I think because ultimately these days with email open rates declining and very hard to reach people you’ve really got to be looking at multiple contact points haven’t you? I think you said five to eight was the number. Was that right?
Lauren Watts: Yeah, so it takes five, it’s five to eight contact attempts to make one sale and that’s … Sorry, the actual stat is it’s 80% of sales are made on the 5th to 12th contact.
Kym Heffernan: Right.
Lauren Watts: That could be any contact, [00:09:30] could be phone, email, social media, any method out there but then you think about your emails how many emails do you have in your inbox. If someone sees a sales email come through they’re generally not going to open it very quickly but when you’re on … The phone is that quickest way to get to that person.
Kym Heffernan: I guess you know the result of it too because when you send out a piece of mail or even an email you really don’t know the result of what’s happened with that. I’m sure you can look at an open and click support for an email but you don’t really know what’s happened [00:10:00] but you get immediate feedback, don’t you, if you’re running a call campaign or doing it yourself. You get immediate customer feedback. I think it’s a great way of getting ahold of customers and getting that immediate feedback.
Lauren Watts: Yeah, it is and customers love, people love giving feedback. They want to be listened to. We just had a client that had just done a bunch of roadshows and we’ve been calling afterwards and getting feedback from the event and people have loved that they’ve been given that opportunity to be heard and that’s [00:10:30] been great feedback for our client because they now know when they do the next round of roadshows what needs to change and what to take on board.
Kym Heffernan: That’s, a survey type call, that’s interesting. I want to explore that with you a bit more. That survey call’s a really lovely, warm way to reach out to people, isn’t it? During a survey call you’re going to identify whether they are a warm prospect aren’t you?
Lauren Watts: Yeah, you do and that’s a good way to then book them in depending on the customer.
Kym Heffernan: Sure.
Lauren Watts: It could be an online demonstration. It could be an upcoming [00:11:00] webinar. It could be can I send you some information. You’re kind of a bit more warmer and as you’re talking to that person you know where to go with that call.
Kym Heffernan: Yeah, I think one of the things we also touched on which I guess you just alluded to there was to how you actually reach out to people and the way you make the call that’s really important. We talked a bit about having energy and personality didn’t we?
Lauren Watts: Yeah, we did. It’s really important. I know when people, when telemarketers call me and they sound robotic. [00:11:30] It’s a “Hi, my name is Lauren. I am calling you because we have a great offer today.” Straight away I say “Please just talk to me like I’m a human being.” I’m not robotic, just talk to me.
Kym Heffernan: Yeah.
Lauren Watts: Throw the script out of the window and a lot of our clients don’t give us scripts. They give us points and say “These are the points.” “This is the KPI.” You do the script and go for it because they know we can add. It’s so [00:12:00] much easier to add personality into something when it’s not scripted and that’s what we do.
We know talking to people and being cheery, being happy, talking to them about what’s, you know “How’s your weekend?” Depending on where we’ll call to so Origin was, State of Origin was this week.
Kym Heffernan: Yeah.
Lauren Watts: We know Sydney, New South Wales and Queensland calls that we’ve done since then or even on Wednesday “Oh, you ready for State of Origin tonight?” That’s been a good talk track for people because [00:12:30] it gets you involved in our conversation.
Kym Heffernan: Yeah, it’s no always about the business thing. It’s about building up some rapport I guess. Is that what you’re saying?
Lauren Watts: Yeah, it’s building that relationship. That’s what’s important.
Kym Heffernan: Yeah.
Lauren Watts: Having that relationship with people and that’s what ultimately sells. The relationship is what sells.
Kym Heffernan: Yeah, it’s interesting and I’ve often said on the podcast and face-to-face with clients and prospects if you’re in a business to business product [00:13:00] area particularly no matter what digital marketing you’re doing, what print marketing, face-to-face is where it really happens. The sale generally doesn’t happen in the business to business environment unless you’re actually meeting someone face-to-face. That’s professional services, manufacturing, IT services, all variety of services so you really need to be in front of customers and that’s where you build the relationship, right? It’s not about the first sales but long-term relationship.
Lauren Watts: Definitely.
Kym Heffernan: I see a lot of people never get tired. They call [00:13:30] their existing clients, right?
Lauren Watts: Yeah and that’s actually really important because in calling your existing clients every few weeks, if you don’t, depending on how often you deal with them but just touching base, even saying to them, like if they’re new, “Let’s go have a coffee.”
Kym Heffernan: Yeah.
Lauren Watts: Let’s go meet up and have a coffee. Some people you can’t do that with because of location and things like that so you just give them a call. “Hey, how’s it going? How was your weekend?” Depending on how [00:14:00] much you know about them “How’s the family?” Just have that communication and talk because people want to do business with people that they think care about them and picking up the phone is a way to show someone that you care about them. Think about your personal life I guess.
Kym Heffernan: Yeah and I think it’s just it being top of mind too isn’t it with them because I’ve seen so often and you probably found in your business with a client when you’ll actually call an existing client and say hello to them and start talking to them about, and they’ll lay some [00:14:30] need they have or some problem they have you can either refer someone to them or maybe even solve yourself and help them out.
Lauren Watts: Yeah, definitely and I think that’s really important as well because when you’re having those communications over email, text message or anything like that you kind of keep on the one topic. You don’t say “Oh, how’s this going” or “How’s this” or when you do the next call “Oh, how’d you go with Joe down the street?” Talking with someone gives you that warm communication. It gives you a bigger variety [00:15:00] of things to talk about, a lot more touch points and a lot more follow-up points.
Kym Heffernan: Yeah, it’s an interesting point. I hadn’t really thought about that before, even with our discussions before. I guess email and a lot of communication is one way really, even TV’s one way, right?
Lauren Watts: Yeah.
Kym Heffernan: Whereas, the phone is two-way communication.
Lauren Watts: Correct, so a good example is I actually emailed quite a few print companies this week for some printing that I needed done and it’s specialty printing and only one company [00:15:30] called me and because of that I’m actually going to go with, he hasn’t even given me a price yet but I don’t really care about that. It’s you actually called me and went through my needs and spoke to me and you didn’t just give me, send me an email with a price. You actually made the time to call me and speak to me about what I needed and tried to understand what my goal was and the purpose. To me, I’m like “All right, you’ve got the job because you took that time to get to know me, my business, [00:16:00] what my goal is and what the whole campaign that we’re about to do is.”
Kym Heffernan: I think you said before with those contact points, that’s a really good point, so if you would sent the inquiry off, they come back and I’ve had this from printing companies before. I’m not trying to pick on printing companies particularly but you fill out an inquiry form on the website. You never hear anything. You send the email off and they come back and say “I’ll send you the specs.” I can solve this in a three minute phone call, right?
Lauren Watts: Correct.
Kym Heffernan: That [00:16:30] phone call builds the contact point. We’ve had the initial inquiry. We had the email back and forth. I’ve got another contact point. You’re progressing further towards that relationship building I guess in terms of doing and you felt because the guy had taken the time to call you and contact you, you felt some sort of, not quite an obligation but you feel better towards him than everyone else. You had more of a connection.
Lauren Watts: Yeah, I feel he’s built a connection and so to me I’m like “Okay, well you actually called me. You made an effort to take this from [00:17:00] a technical, technology relationship and you actually put some human contact into it.” I know, my partner for example, he’s a tradesman. Not good with computers but when someone sends him a message on Facebook about doing a job he straight away is on the phone and that’s one thing I love seeing but I don’t know if that’s, you know, he constantly, [inaudible 00:17:22] on the phone. People want quotes. He’s like “Yeah, I’ll email it to you” but he always, people will try to tell him about the job. He’ll like “No, no, let me come out and see [00:17:30] it” and he’ll drive an hour to go and see a job but he wants to meet that person, and see the job and quote it before he does so I think tradespeople really do understand that whole phone and seeing someone than a lot of some of the other industries.
Kym Heffernan: Yeah because a lot of time, well in all cases they deliver the work face-to-face, right?
Lauren Watts: Yes.
Kym Heffernan: It’s kind of the case but not all industries it is like that. I mean, I think sometimes we try to become a bit too efficient and lose that [00:18:00] human element I’ll call it.
Lauren Watts: Yeah, that’s one big thing and we always say to our clients “We help bring your marketing campaigns to life.”
Kym Heffernan: Yeah.
Lauren Watts: You’ve just done a big email ad. You may have done a print campaign, whatever it may be. We bring that to life. We put that human feeling, connection, interaction into that campaign that you’re doing.
Kym Heffernan: I know a campaign that we worked on together. We sent a piece of [00:18:30] mail out. You called up those people and we got a pipeline, potentially, of hundreds of thousands of dollars from that and that’s just with a phone and follow-up but people are busy these days. If I send a piece of mail out or piece of email they might read it but they’re not necessarily going to take action and do it. They’re not going to pick up the phone and say “Hey, I’m interested now.” There’s a whole lot of people who aren’t interested just then but they’re thinking about it. If they had a conversation with someone they would be more interested or genuinely [00:19:00] see someone and progress it further.
Lauren Watts: Yeah and then back to your point you brought up at the beginning. You’ll get the email, cold-calling’s dead this week or email marketing is dead. A lot of people focus on the what is hot for this week in marketing and let’s all jump onboard on that and let’s use this new method but they fail to think about the methods that we’ve been used, like cold-calling has been used since business started and think businesses went [00:19:30] 50, 60 years without technology. For 50, 60 years cold-calling worked so it’s still going to work.
Kym Heffernan: Yeah.
Lauren Watts: It’s just your mindset on it so you want to say it’s dead. That’s because for some reason you’re scared of it and you just want everyone else to not do it but it’s worked for that long of a period in time before technology. It’s going to keep working.
Kym Heffernan: It’s like everything I think. You got to start with the basics of who are the customers you want to reach [00:20:00] and then what your message is and what’s the best way to reach them. Now, if phone’s the best way to reach them, phone’s a great way of doing it and you need a mix of the inbound marketing and outbound marketing because as we spoke about before the call if you’ve got a thousand good prospects and only 500 are searching for you at any point in time you should be reaching out to the other 500 directly.
Lauren Watts: Correct.
Kym Heffernan: Via outbound because otherwise you’re going to wait for them to come to you and miss out on the opportunity.
Lauren Watts: Correct, while [00:20:30] you’re sitting there twiddling your thumbs going “All right, I’m waiting for my sales. I’m waiting for my sales.” I guess the good thing about calls is you’re also letting that person, like depending on how good of a salesperson you are, you could actually let that person know that they need you.
Kym Heffernan: Yeah.
Lauren Watts: Like you said, you might call for one service but as you’re talking to them they might find out you need a different service that you offer. They may need you. They just don’t know that they need you and by talking to them you’re actually letting them find you [00:21:00] right then and there not waiting six months for you to find out, like just a periodic Google search or on Facebook.
Kym Heffernan: I think the other thing that we did speak about too was a lot of times if you’re a lawyer, or an accountant, or even an IT guy or even a manufacturer who’s got a technical background when you speak to clients you can speak to them about your product and service really well but that first part [inaudible 00:21:24] is to try to sell yourself. That’s something you’ve had to learn when you started your own business not everyone wants [00:21:30] to or has the time to do that. It’s probably not an effective use of your time. You’re going to stumble over it and be disappointed and disillusioned if you get rejected. It’s not the best use of your time.
Lauren Watts: No, it’s not, definitely not. You should be focusing more on your clients, your work and then we, yeah, someone else does the calls for you. We actually have an accountant and a bookkeeper we do calls for. We don’t do any of the technical and that’s the other thing they say. “Oh, I’ve got [00:22:00] to train them.” You actually don’t need to train them in what you do and things like that. I know with our bookkeeper it’s “Hey, just wanted to give you a call” and we tell them one sentence about what the bookkeeper does and it’s like “Is it possible she can give you a call next Tuesday or Wednesday” and that’s as simple as the call is. It doesn’t need to be some massive paragraph or anything like that. It’s just an entry level phone call is sometimes all you need [00:22:30] to get that appointment.
Kym Heffernan: That’s a really good point too isn’t it because I hear a lot of people when they call me, and I get a lot of calls for different products and services as I’m sure everyone does. When they start to prattle on for two or three minutes I switch off straight away. I think they’re boring. They’ve got no energy like you said but I’m not interested in what the product. They haven’t even asked me anything yet. I mean, when they’re telling me about how great their product is.
Lauren Watts: If a client sends a script through to us and it is [00:23:00] that long, big script we won’t do it because we know you’ve got maximum 20 seconds to get that person’s attention. We very rarely will sit there and go, and talk, and sell them. It’s like, it generally will be “Hey, we sent you this piece of information in the mail. I was just wondering is it possible that Joe can come in and meet with you face-to-face while he’s in the area next week?”
Kym Heffernan: Right.
Lauren Watts: So simple or “Hey, [00:23:30] I’m calling from X, Y, Z. I just wanted to see” if you’re calling for example “End of financial year’s coming up. Is it possible I can sit down with you in July and just have a talk to about the next 12 months?”
Kym Heffernan: Yeah.
Lauren Watts: You don’t have to sit there and say “I’m going to sell to you. We’ve got this, this, this, this.” It doesn’t need to be that. It doesn’t need to be over complicated. Cold-calling is actually very simple.
Kym Heffernan: We tend to over complicate it is what you’re saying.
Lauren Watts: Definitely, yeah.
Kym Heffernan: I think sometimes that’s a nervousness thing. I know [00:24:00] from my own experience when I had to make cold calls you sometimes get a bit nervous if it’s about your own business so I think when you’re nervous you speak faster, right, and because you’re speaking fast some people don’t understand it and you go on, and on, and on.
Lauren Watts: Yeah, I think I’ve definitely had those days but now it’s a lot different.
Kym Heffernan: Also too I guess is the preparation stuff too isn’t it? Like we spoke about before, you’re not just picking up the phone. It’s all in your head. You’ve got the key points in front of you [00:24:30] but with that energy and your guys have all got the same.
Lauren Watts: Yeah, definitely so I know a campaign that they’re working on at the moment. A client’s got an event and they just need to book people into the event.
Kym Heffernan: Yeah.
Lauren Watts: Again, it’s such a, it’s a very simple call but the client’s given “Please mention these two points in the call.”
Kym Heffernan: Yeah.
Lauren Watts: That’s it. Okay, perfect, so the rest of it that they will just talk to the person naturally as they go.
Kym Heffernan: That’s an interesting point you made about the event [00:25:00] but also we spoke before about regular sales calls. If you want either yourself or whoever’s doing business development for your business to be seeing 10 prospects a week which is a realistic figure it’s not 10 phone calls is it? You might have to make three phone calls to reach them. There’s 30. You might have to call 10 times to make sure you get an appointment, right. You want your sales callers or yourself on the phone for 300 calls a week to get 10 appointments. [00:25:30] No, you don’t.
Lauren Watts: Yeah, we’ve got one client who, when the campaigns come through we do up to five contacts and then what happens is we then park that for two to three weeks and all those contacts that we did not get through to on those first five attempts in two to three weeks’ time we do it again.
Kym Heffernan: Do you reach, that’s a really interesting point. I would have thought most people would have given up after that. You do get results from that when you call them back again in two weeks?
Lauren Watts: Yes, because they could be on holidays. [00:26:00] They could be away. They could be multiple reasons as to why. You may find … Sometimes we find out that the person we’re calling for the first time is no longer the point of contact and there might be something happening in that business where no one knows who the new point of contact is. When we call back they might say “Yeah, I did speak to you two weeks ago. That person’s no longer the contact. This is now the best person for you to speak to.” That’s really important as well because if you just leave that lead then [00:26:30] it just goes nowhere but if you keep going eventually you will pick them up. Yes, that’s also a good point as well. A call like that where you’re cleaning the database as you go. You would have left it saying “Dear Melissa” but then when you do all your other campaigns you’ve got the wrong details but you’ve kind of cleaned that information up on that call as well.
Kym Heffernan: Yeah, that’s really important, that database and having a database is incredibly important to people and people don’t do it enough. I see so [00:27:00] many people who, they’ll get an inquiry through and if they don’t get a quote from it or they don’t follow-up the quote it just sits in their email system for example. All of a sudden over a year you might only sell one-third of those people who inquired. You have a huge database that’s just sitting there of people who were interested in your product you’ve forgotten about. That’s a perfect database to be following-up by phone, or by email or multiple different points, right, because they’re people who are interested in the product or service.
Lauren Watts: Yeah [00:27:30] and letting them know when a product’s on sale, letting them know when a new product comes. Yeah, you can send emails about those. You can make phone calls about those. You can send them something print. Those kind of things are important and that’s a database that’s actually worth money too.
Kym Heffernan: It’s a business asset, yeah. It is a real business asset that adds value to the business when you sell it.
Lauren Watts: It’s only as good as the data. I’ve seen clients that have lists [00:28:00] and they had a database. It was so dirty and they wanted to sell the business. I was like “You can’t. You’re database is not worth anything.” You regularly need to be in contact with that database and make sure it’s up-to-date and all your notes are in your CRM, everything perfect because if you do one day want to sell your business that’s your asset. That database is what will increase your sales. It’s really important. People just kind of forget that.
Kym Heffernan: [00:28:30] It’s a really good point in terms of people often say to me “We’re building a database.” They know the particular target market [inaudible 00:28:38] they want to target. They want to reach out to them so would you recommend people go and buy a list? What do you recommend the best way to build that database is? Really interested to hear your opinion on that.
Lauren Watts: No, I don’t believe in buying lists at all and the reason I don’t, and it’s no offence to the list buying companies out there at all, but [00:29:00] I don’t have the confidence myself of when that database was cleaned last.
Kym Heffernan: Right.
Lauren Watts: How long have those records been on their list? How many people before you have purchased that list, have called or even contacted those people?
Kym Heffernan: Right.
Lauren Watts: Have those people now been on the do not call, actually no, depending. If they’re a B2B they have no do not call register. If they’re a B2C are they on the do not call register so two different variables [00:29:30] there but you just don’t know what that list has been through before it gets to you.
Kym Heffernan: I guess that’s a really, really good point because that accuracy is really important. I think a lot of people buy a list and then assume it’s going to be correct but even the people who rent lists would say to you “Well, it is as of a certain date.” It’s got to be updated and kept clean so you would recommend going to a source, whatever that source might be, Google or whatever else, getting a list of company [00:30:00] name and then calling to get the details. That way you get accurate details.
Lauren Watts: Yeah, definitely, yeah … A lot of people don’t have yellow pages or use white pages or things like that but they still use the online listings. There are hundreds of online directories now. There are hundreds of millions of websites. Google is the answer to getting your list.
Kym Heffernan: Yeah.
Lauren Watts: If a business is on [00:30:30] the 20th page they either don’t have good SEO or there is a reason why their business is on the 20th page of Google but then with a bought list you don’t, you can’t really know and I’m not sure how the feedback works back to those companies but I know when we’ve done calls before, and it’s dreadful when you call someone they say “Oh no, they died three years ago” and that feeling is the worst feeling to call someone and then be told “I’m sorry, they died three years [00:31:00] ago.” It’s like “Oh.”
Yeah, that’s why I don’t have the confidence in those because they’re not updated.
Kym Heffernan: Yeah.
Lauren Watts: We don’t know what’s going to happen and sometimes the girls actually come to me and say “I’m really embarrassed to be making these calls. This list is really dirty.” It’s actually really embarrassing and I feel sorry for the client because these are the results we’re getting.
Kym Heffernan: You’re really better off investing the time to find a good source of names, whether it be Google, an association list or [00:31:30] directory or whatever else. You’ve got the name of the company but you’ve got a phone number. You’ve probably got a relatively clean address and website address and then we can actually make the call to find out the other contact details, like the right person, the email and the other details you’ll need for your database, right?
Lauren Watts: Correct and even LinkedIn.
Kym Heffernan: You can use LinkedIn of course to find that, to find the right person. It’s a great tool for most businesses.
Lauren Watts: Yeah and people, you can export your own data from LinkedIn yourself [00:32:00] or I know there are people who can scrape data from LinkedIn. They can get emails, phone numbers, all that relevant information and a lot of people, you can see how update their LinkedIn page is so you know if they’re still at that company.
Kym Heffernan: Yeah.
Lauren Watts: It’s a very targeted method using that.
Kym Heffernan: It’s much more targeted than just buying a list. Even if you buy a list the contact name is probably not going to be accurate necessarily because people move around different jobs and leave companies and all those sort of things [00:32:30] as well.
Lauren Watts: Correct.
Kym Heffernan: The other thing too that we spoke about very briefly was that qualification of lists and I spoke about that a bit on the intro as well. It’s very hard when you generate a lot of leads. You spend so much time following them up and I hear this quite often from sales people, or business owners or wherever. I got this lead and the lead was rubbish. It’s a waste of my time. Then they stop following up all the leads because they think they’re all not there and they do that because they’re not ready to buy at that particular point in [00:33:00] time. Actually having someone either internally or externally who’s qualifying those calls to see whether they’re ready to buy or what stage they are in the buying cycle is really important isn’t it?
Lauren Watts: It definitely is so with a lot of our clients we do the lead nurturings. Lead nurturing is very, very important in a business and lead nurturing is also that time when you can build that relationship but I know that a lot of people say “They’re not interested now. I’m never going to call them back” which is the biggest mistake [00:33:30] you can make because you don’t know if they’re going to need you in three months, six months, even a month’s time. That’s why those touch points are important to make.
Kym Heffernan: Yeah, at any one time there’s only about 5 to 10% of people depending on the industry ready to buy at that particular point in time. You don’t know where they are and I think that’s the other thing that I often talk to people and people talk to me about is to me there’s three stages in marketing and sales. You generate a lead, or get a lead, or have an idea. You nurture that to convert into a sale and you’ve got a long-term relationship. People [00:34:00] tend to lose track of the fact that stages two and three require some personal contact. There’s the convert to lead and you build a long-term relationship. It’s not all about an online or a mail channel or even TV advertising. It’s about person-to-person contact.
Lauren Watts: Correct and people don’t know that 48% of people never follow-up with a prospect and so half the people that are doing sales leave that prospect but then that other [00:34:30] half follow them up and they may get that sale. It is really important to be following them up.
Kym Heffernan: Well, I have quite an effective tactic I use for people. If someone fills an inquiry form on the website I will call them. I do care of it goes to voicemail. I’d rather speak to them but if it goes to voicemail then I’ll send a follow-up email saying “Hey, tried to call you. Really want to understand what you need a little bit more. What’s a good time to call you?”
Lauren Watts: Yeah and that’s perfect because it lets them know.
Kym Heffernan: I’ve had that initial [00:35:00] inquiry. I’ve left a message for me. I’ve sent an email to them. They call me back. I’ve already had three or four points of contact with them and starting to build a relationship. They see your responsive and think “That’s the sort of company that I want to deal with.” I think that’s, well you can see their not, and you know a canned email when you get it don’t you? I mean, the email comes back within 30 seconds of the inquiry form you know it’s a canned response.
Lauren Watts: Yeah.
Kym Heffernan: There’s no personality to it.
Lauren Watts: Definitely and you can tell even when they’re trying to use [00:35:30] that canned response to have that personality but when you’re also making an inquiry it is good to call that person because you can kind of find out more about their needs in that phone call than what you can by sending, then, before you send 20 emails back and forth.
Kym Heffernan: Even just arrange an appointment time. How much easier is it to do it over the phone than trying it say “Are you available on Tuesday, Wednesday?” “Not Tuesday, Wednesday, I like Thursday.” “Okay, [00:36:00] Thursday’s good, what time?” It’s like you go backwards and forwards in 15 emails just to arrange an appointment.
Lauren Watts: Exactly, it can take back and forth, so long, and by the end of it you’re just worn out.
Kym Heffernan: Lauren, we’re just about out of time. Is there any last points you would like to add in terms of where you think telemarketing fits, or things that people should do to make those more business calls rather than spammy telemarketing calls?
Lauren Watts: If you don’t like it, don’t sit there and say don’t do it, outsource it but be very careful [00:36:30] who you outsource it to especially with a lot of companies going overseas and the reason I say that is because that then becomes a face version of your business. People automatically will then think of your business as an overseas business and you don’t have the Australian staff which is really important to Australian businesses to have, that you have those staff members here because Australians understand Australians which is the best way to put it. Don’t think that what you do is too complicated [00:37:00] to outsource your calls. It’s not. It’s not if you find the right company to outsource them to.
Watch how you’re charged. I know we charge by click to call. The reason we do that is it’s more cost effective for a business. You need to look at those different variables when you’re looking to outsource these calls, if it’s something that you don’t want to do yourself. If it is something you want to do yourself just be confident in what you’re doing. Take on a whole different persona if [00:37:30] you have to, like superstars do when they get on a stage, like performers. They take on a different persona. Do the exact same thing when you get on the phone and if you can’t then obviously outsource it but don’t be scared of it.
Kym Heffernan: I guess prepare to keep it short, right? Don’t try and sell it just think about what you’re next stage is. You’re trying to secure an appointment, yeah? Not try to-
Lauren Watts: Yeah, it comes back to that same keep it simple stupid, just keep it simple because people want simple. People don’t want to be over complicated. People [00:38:00] don’t like when they’re lives are complicated. They don’t want to be sold.
Kym Heffernan: Then I’m probably the one that’s complicating it for them as well.
Lauren Watts: No, just keep it simple. That’s what people want in life. They want everything to be simple so just go with the flow and keep it simple.
Kym Heffernan: Lauren, it’s been fantastic, some fantastic tips in there and I hope people get a bit more understanding of why they should be using the phone and possibly why they should be outsourcing as well. If they want to get in contact with you or Lead Gen what’s the best way [00:38:30] to do that?
Lauren Watts: Through our website www.genleads, G-E-N-L-E-A-D-S, .com.au.
Kym Heffernan: .com.au, yeah, beautiful and thank you again for your time, really appreciate it.
Lauren Watts:Thank you for having me.
Kym Heffernan: I think it’s, we tend to in a digital world, in a social world, get lost with sometimes you actually need to meet and talk to people face-to-face, particularly to actually close that sale and nurture those relationships so I really do appreciate your insight Lauren.
Lauren Watts: [00:39:00] Thank you so much for having me.
Kym Heffernan: Thanks a lot, take care, bye-bye.
Lauren Watts: Praying.
Male Intro VO: Thanks for joining us on this episode of Marketing Show. We hope you got some practical, effective tips and ideas so your organisation gets more prospects and nurtures those prospects to becoming long-term customers. Just a reminder, the show is sponsored by the Marketing Strategy Company who help B2B organisations develop winning marketing strategies and sales and marketing automation systems to turn their sales and marketing efforts into new customers [00:39:30] and dollars through their marketing. Check out the show notes for this episode and the Marketing Strategy Company’s planning and marketing services at the marketingstrategy.co. That’s the marketingstrategy.co. Until next time, happy marketing.