Preparation and planning prevents….?

Preparation and planning prevents….well you know the end of that sentence. Whatever marketing activity, or combination of activities you choose to do, it’s important to work out first what you want to achieve, and balance this against what you can realistically expect to achieve.
Direct marketing, particularly telemarketing is one of the few ‘measurable’ channels where you can see a straight line from activity to results ie how many leads or appointments you generate, and ultimately how many clients you win as a result. Whether you deliver telemarketing in-house, or outsource it, it’s important to know your numbers and set realistic expectations. Can you expect to close a sale on the call or does this only ever happen face to face? What’s your average sales cycle, ie the time it takes from initial contact with a new customer to actually closing the deal and getting paid? No matter how expert your telemarketer, or how smart or targeted your message is, no single marketing channel can significantly shorten your sales cycle (there are other ways to speed things along but we’ll cover that in another blog).

When you plan your telemarketing campaign, start at the end and work backwards – give some thought to how many clients you are looking to find; ask yourself how many face to face appointments do you normally convert into clients? If it’s half, then to find 5 new clients, you’re likely to need 10 appointments. How many people do you need to speak to in order to book 10 appointments? How many meaningful conversations (talking to who you want to speak to, about what you want to speak about) are you likely to have out of every 10 people you call? Of those meaningful conversations, how many can you expect to convert into qualified opportunities? That’s the important bit – qualified. There’s no point filling up your diary with appointments that are never going to turn into clients. Make sure you think about the end result before you begin. After all if you don’t know where you’re going, how do you expect to get there?