“What is the number of times a Sales Development Rep (SDR) should attempt to contact a prospect before moving on?”
Before you put a system in place for your inside sales reps to follow, you may want to consider that the lead temperature will have a factor in how many times an SDR will reach out to a prospect, as well as how often.
THERE ARE THREE MAIN “LEAD TEMPERATURE” CATEGORIES:
Below, I’ll show you an example for each one of these lead types for your team to consider but before I do, keep in mind that most sales teams simply use what I call the “RUN AMOK” method, which basically means everyone does their own thing, and there really is no system or rhyme or reason. The RUN AMOK method is causing you to lose deals. Not only do you need an adaptable system (how many times to call a prospect) but you also need to know EXACTLY what to say on each different attempt.
If a lead is “cold” (has not made contact in the last 30-days – or EVER) BUT has the criteria to be at least considered a highly probable suspect, my call schedule (cadence) is going to be less urgent. An example might be calls on Day 1, 3, 5, 10 and 30. This is just an example to help you get your creative juices flowing in order to develop what works best for you and your sales team.
A warm lead can be classified as a hand raiser but not as hot as a proposal request. One option is to give them a call on day 1, 2, 4 and 6 (again, just an example).
If a hot lead comes in (form is filled out on website requesting info / proposal request etc.) I’m going to be all over that lead, calling more than once in the same day for sure. At minimum, I’m calling them twice in one day leaving a voicemail + plus email each time. (You will need to know exactly what to say to increase your call backs – simply saying “I’m following up regarding your request” isn’t going to create the urgency you need in most cases to get them to stop what they are doing to call you back.) So if I call twice and get voicemail twice, I will leave a message and send an email each time. If I call a third time in the same day but get voicemail, I’ll hang up. Sometimes I will also ASK for the gatekeeper for their help in getting ahold of the prospect.
If I don’t hear back after day one, I will try twice on day two and once on day three. If you don’t hear back from them by then, they may have found another solution already, had a hotter fire fall in their lap, or had to go into the witness protection program. I will often EMAIL them asking which of those three options happened to them and I usually get a response back.
PS … I like to also have specific emails that go out the day after I call them for the first time as well as after I’ve called them the second time. So if I know that I am calling a lead on Day 1 and Day 3 and skipping a call on Day 2, I have it set to send them an email on Day 2. It reminds them of the voicemail/email I sent them the day before and I often get a response or an appointment set from my Day 2 emails.
I use the phrase “Day 2” just to make the article as easy as possible to follow however, internally, we don’t use Day 1, Day 2, Day 3 terminology because there are always instances where calling or emailing someone the day after won’t make sense. An example would be where you call a prospect for the first time, get voicemail, leave a message and then send an email, only to get an automated VACATION ALERT auto reply from the prospect. It makes no sense to still schedule a “DAY 2” email if you now know they are out of the office till next week. Therefore, we use 1st Attempt, 2ndAttempt, 3rd Attempt, etc. Hope this helps.
– Michael Pedone
Michael Pedone helps inside sales teams conquer call reluctance by teaching them a step-by-step call process. Michael Pedone’s blueprint for success helps inside sales reps to set more appointments and how to close them. He is the CEO/FOUNDER of SalesBuzz.com – an online sales training company.
We’ve all been there – you call your prospect back at the appointed time for your presentation and they tell you any of the following:
This isn’t a good time, OR
They only have a few minutes, OR
They ask you in an exasperated tone, “How long will this take?” OR
They tell you they have a meeting in 10 minutes, can you give them the information anyway?
Or any other put off that will cut short the 30 minute comprehensive presentation you had planned.
Most sales reps respond to these objection-like receptions by asking if they would prefer to set another time. That response might be appropriate with the first put off – the “This isn’t a good time,” – but with any of the others, I have a better technique for you.
Let’s start at the beginning. First, when you get this kind of response from a prospect you qualified a week or so ago, don’t be surprised! Face it: it’s a law in all sales – Leads Never Get Better! If you sent out the hottest lead ever, a “10” on a scale of 1 – 10, then when you call them back, have you ever noticed that now they’re about a “7”?
And of course since most sales reps don’t qualify thoroughly enough, most of the leads they stuff into their pipeline are made up of sixes and sevens. And you can imagine how they are when reps reach them. So expect that your leads are going to drop in interest and receptiveness when you call them back, and then be prepared with a best practice approach to handling them. Here’s what to do:
Whenever a prospect responds to your call to do a presentation with one of the responses above – the “How long will this take?” – kind of response, don’t offer to call them back later, rather, get them to reveal their true level of interest to you and get them to tell you exactly how to pitch them to get the deal. Here are a number of statements you can use to do just that:
“Sure, I can take as long or little as you need. Let’s do this: why don’t you tell me the top three things you were hoping to learn about this, and I’ll drill right down and cover those areas for you. What’s number one for you?”
“Absolutely, we can do this pretty quickly. Tell me, what would you like to know most about how this might work in your environment?”
“I understand, sounds like I caught you at a bad time. Let’s do this: If you needed to see or learn just one thing about this to determine if it might actually work for you, what would that be?”
“No problem. Our presentation is pretty in depth, but I can do this. Go ahead and tell me two things that are absolute deal breakers for you, and I’ll see if we pass the test. And then if we do, we’ll schedule some more time later to go into detail on how the rest works, fair enough?”
“In ten minutes, I can show you some things that will help you determine whether or not you’d like to spend more time with me later. In the meantime, let me ask you – what would you need to see the most to say yes to this?”
“I understand, we’re all busy. Let me just ask you: has anything changed from when we last spoke?” (Now REALLY listen…)
“Tell you what: let’s reschedule something for later when you have more time, but in the ten minutes we do have, let me ask you some questions to determine whether this would still be a good fit for you…” (Now thoroughly re-qualify your prospect)
As you can see, the responses above are all aimed at getting your prospect to reveal to you both their level of interest and what it is going to take to sell them – or whether or not they are still a good prospect for you. Have some fun with these; customize them to fit your personality or the personality of the person you’re speaking with. Find your favorites and then, as always, practice, drill and rehearse until they become your automatic response when your prospect tells you they don’t have time for your presentation.
A video that was supposed to be private feedback between Chris Westfall and one of his telemarketers in the Phillipines was accidently left PUBLIC on Youtube. It now has over 1,000 views and has some good tactical information for all telemarketers. In this video, there is an example, from Chris’ telemarketer, revealing the “pause of death”, where 95% of folks were hanging up on the call as a direct result.
Once this pausing was corrected, the results took a dramatic turn and the campaign was successful.
The information in the video is repeated quite a few times, but there is some good information at the end, too, about the inquisitive, non-confident way in which each sentence was ending, by the telemarketer. Each statement sounded like a question, leading the prospect to believe that the telemarketer was 1) unqualified 2) not confident and 3) scared out of her mind.
Here’s the video:
For more specific information on hiring a telemarketer, outsourcing and more, see this link from MedicareAgentTraining.com
(Non-Members won’t see results.)
Several states have more restrictive calling time restrictions than those published by the Federal Trade Commission and the Federal Communications Commission.
Federal rules dictate no calls before 8 AM or after 9 PM, and apply to all calls that do not have a more restrictive state requirement listed below.
Please be aware of these restrictions and keep in mind that violations may amount to $16,000 per call.
STATE CALLING TIME RESTRICTIONS
Alabama 8 AM to 8 PM (Monday-Saturday) Calls prohibited on Sunday and state and federal holidays
Connecticut 9 AM to 9 PM
Illinois Security sales only 9 AM to 9 PM (Monday- Saturday), 12 PM to 9 PM(Sunday)
Kentucky 10 AM to 9 PM
Louisiana 8 AM to 8 PM (Monday-Saturday) Calls prohibited on Sunday and state holidays
Massachusetts 8 AM to 8 PM
Michigan 9 AM to 9 PM
Minnesota 9 AM to 9 PM
Mississippi 8 AM to 8 PM (Monday-Saturday) Calls prohibited on Sunday and legal holidays
Nevada 9 AM to 8 PM
New Mexico 9 AM to 9 PM
Rhode Island 9 AM to 6 PM (Monday – Friday), 10 AM to 5 PM (Saturday) Calls prohibited on Sunday and state and federal holidays
South Dakota 9 AM to 9 PM (Monday – Saturday) Calls prohibited on Sunday
Texas 9 AM to 9 PM (Monday – Saturday), Noon – 9 PM on Sunday
Utah 8 AM to 9 PM (Monday – Saturday) Calls prohibited on Sunday and legal holidays
Wyoming 8 AM to 8 PM
This is a question that was asked by a new agent this week.
The agent said she had heard that you can lose your license, pay a fine, etc. for cold calling someone about Medicare plans.
What the agent is referring to is the marketing of Medicare Advantage Plans.
You can find the marketing rules from CMS about Medicare Advantage plans here.
However, in most all states, it is perfectly legal to telemarketing / cold call, door knock, and approach seniors about Medicare Supplement plans. Only one state, that I know of, has restrictions on the marketing of Medicare Supplement plans.
That state is Ohio. Their law prohibits the following for both Medicare Advantage AND Medicare Supplement marketing.
(2) Any of the following unsolicited contacts with a medicare-eligible person:
(a) Door-to-door solicitation including leaving information such as a leaflet, flyer, or door hanger at a residence, or leaving information such as a leaflet or flyer on someone’s car;
(b) Approaching individual prospective applicants in common areas (e.g., parking lots, hallways, lobbies, sidewalks, etc.);
(c) Telephonic solicitation including leaving electronic voicemail messages;
(d) These prohibitions on marketing through unsolicited contacts do not extend to mail and other media (e.g., advertisements, direct mail), or unsolicited contacts with prospective applicants with whom the entity or insurance agent has a business relationship.
Near the end of this podcast, I have several suggestions for various new ways to market Medicare Supplement plans through centers of influence.
Those referenced interviews are found at MedicareAgentTraining.com
This is a replay of Mike Brook’s webinar: Overcoming Initial Resistance.
While Mike uses this webinar to sell his book of scripts, there is great content here.
Click the image to see the video: