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Thursday, December 11, 2008

Telemarketing, like all direct marketing disciplines, has a strong tradition of measurement.

The number of dials you make, number of DMC's (Decision Maker Contacts), number of appointments you book, it's all about the numbers.

But sometimes you need to look a little deeper at the numbers to see what's happening.

For example, many telemarketers will say something like, "I make 120 calls a day"; as if that's the only metric that matters. Because if you focus just on the number of dials, you're missing something really important - the actual conversations.

If you think about it, when you're getting through to the right people and having a quality dialogue with them, then that takes time. If you pitch, say, 15 prospects in a day, that's pretty good going. Add to that the fact that you'll probably need to do some fulfilment with each one (prepare and send an email, for example) then you can see that it's not all about the dials.

In the film Boiler Room, (which is for telemarketing what Glengarry Glenross is for sales) when the new recruit is being trained he's told "this entire business revolves around the phone. A good broker makes over three hundred calls a day."

Now, when you watch the film, you see these guys pitching prospects, wrangling with them and using every rebuttal available to reel 'em in - and they're still supposed to be making three hundred calls a day? I don't think so!

It's like the sales manager who told his new recruit to make ten appointments per day. When they meet up in the field after his first day the new recruit proudly tells his boss that he did it, he completed ten sales appointments in the day. "Great", the sales manager says, "How many did you close".

"Close?", says the new recruit, "I didn't have time to actually sell them anything!"

It's like all management tools, the activity itself shouldn't be the goal. In telemarketing it's about sales leads and appointments.

Measuring activity gives you an understanding of what's happening, but the focus should always be on results.

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Posted by: David Regler @ 8:19 am |   | Links to this post  

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  1. Feedback At 4:20 pm ~ Blogger Shaun said...

    David, this is a timely and insightful post. Numbers matter. Whether it means the amount attached to number of calls, number of deals, number of $/£/Euro per deal, frequency of deal/sale/transaction, lifetime customer value etc.

    The most critical thing is a message, based on issues that genuinely concern people and that they're likely (and able) to respond to.
    In short, what I'm saying is that the game is won or lost in the first 10 - 20 seconds. People like their information in different ways and packages, whatever is meaningful to them. And the only way to find out what is meaningful is by ASKING them. They won't always give you the truth though, so you may need to ask the same question, a little differently, more than once.
    If there's a wall between you and the person you're speaking with (which there always is - trust is the biggest issue here) then it needs to be eroded. The only way is to convey value once they're at a point where they realise they have a reason to continue speaking with you and are comfortable to do so.
    Sometimes, the right message that consistently delivers enough of the right results is not long in the making. In other situations, you wonder if you'll ever get the rapport going or get any real traction with your message. The key is not to give up. Invariably, if you're communicating successfully by phone, it's likely you'll be able to do it with as much impact by email too.

    A fun filled festive feast to everyone reading, and a happy and rewarding new year 2009!

    Shaun Gisbourne

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