Screaming woman

You can’t get hold of the person you need to speak to. So you call them again? Right? It’s obvious. Surely?

Well not necessarily. Having what I refer to as a good healthy call pot is really important.

Why you need a chunky call pot

For your own sanity as much as anything, you need a good, strong healthy call pot. This will include some companies, or organisations you’ve not called before. There will be some which are perhaps recent. You’ve called them a few times before perhaps but not managed to get through to the person you need to speak to. Then there will be the warmer calls. People you’ve spoken to before. Some of them many times. Many will have bought from you (hopefully.) Some won’t. Not yet. Remember my adage “everyone is a customer, it’s just that some of them haven’t bought from you yet.”

If you’re in a role where you’re making 50 – 100 calls per day, you will probably need a pot of around 400 – 500 to work on each day. Not all new, this will include callbacks.

Consequently your total pot needs to be c2,000 names. Many will be people you’ve diarised for future callbacks.

The benefit of this is that each day you can make some decisions about who you want to call. You will prioritise those where there is some live potential. Following up proposals and quotes for instance. Contacting the person who seemed keen but wanted to wait until after the board meeting to talk about it.

What a stale call pot looks like

If you open your computer and you’ve got 60 calls to work today, and 45 of them you called yesterday, you’ve got a very stale call pot. You will know this instinctively, because your heart will sink as you scan the list. Park it. Go, looking for some new stuff. You’ll feel better, and it will work better. Here’s why…………

The law of diminishing returns

I think that the more often you call someone, the less likely you are to get through to them. The receptionist will recognise your voice and the decision-maker will likely know that you’re trying to contact them. So if you’re not getting through, there’s probably a reason.

It also comes across as desperate. It suggests that you don’t have many other people to talk to.

Yes, of course, if you’re following up a quote or a proposal, you may want to call daily or even more frequently, but even then 3 times in a couple of days is probably the limit. You should change tack. Send them an email. Or talk to one of their colleagues if they were at the meeting too. Then park it. If you’ve emailed them, they’ll know you’re trying to contact them. So, leave it. I use 8 day call cycles when I find it hard to get hold of people. You can read more about 8 day call cycles elsewhere on this blog.

Use different methods of communication. As well as the phone, you have email, post, social media – primarily LinkedIn.

So, don’t call too often. It’ll demotivate you and irritate them. Hardly a recipe for building good customer relationships is it?

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