It Pays to be Patient

At Air, we pride ourselves on our honest and transparent approach towards our customers. We want those who we work with to succeed and so we keep nothing from you, you can have as much or as little involvement in your campaign as you would like. As one of Air’s Account Directors, I sit down with our prospective and retained clients, making sure to spend time with them in order to create the right strategy for their budget and business goals. But also, I want to ensure that clients understand that developing returns on their investment takes time. Markets are saturated with new businesses and whilst outsourcing telesales is a step in the right direction, clients shouldn’t expect a quick fix. The clients that I work with are often looking to invest in a long-term telemarketing campaigns, have long sales cycles and therefore need to understand that telemarketing does not instantly create ROI.

Despite this level of client engagement, when it comes to the end of the first month I sometimes find that clients have concerns if they haven’t yet closed a big deal or aren’t yet receiving high ROIs. Whilst I understand that clients put a lot into their businesses and obviously  want them to be a success, it seems that often people forget that success isn’t always instant. More often than not, it pays to be patient.

It is for this reason that, as part of our business proposals, myself and the other Account Directors at Air recommend a long-term commitment after the initial 3-month trial pilot period. During this pilot period, the outcomes teach us learning’s about the business’ message, the target audience, the objections and the sales cycle of a client. This time is essential for a business, it allows us to test the messaging of the campaign, the data we receive and actually get hold of the right people for the client – all of which takes time if done right.

We don’t want our clients to stress or be kept in the dark, which is why we have created our unique client portal, where they can have a clear view of their campaigns progress – our clients are able to follow the peaks and falls of their entire campaign and see the feedback or objections we receive. It is most important to listen to this information in the beginnings of a campaign and not be overly concerned if sales are slow to begin with, as brand and business development should be nurtured not rushed. By considering this information, we are then able to use it to adapt the campaign and help it develop with momentum in the long term to generate the client impressive ROIs. After all our average campaign ROI is £18 for every £1 spent, so your investment is in good hands.

Opinion Piece by Keryn Seal, Account Director, Air Marketing Group

What makes you think you’re so special?

I’m a great admirer of Jeremy Waite’s Ten Words. If you don’t know what this is, it is a book written by Jeremy that pledges to communicate ‘big ideas’ in ‘small words and short sentences’. We cannot escape it, we hear more and more about how people’s attention spans are getting shorter and shorter – meaning we need to be more concise, clear and sharp if we want to grab someone’s attention.

The reason I start with this, is because I often think about this when I am working with clients on their telemarketing strategies.

We know that attention spans on the telephone during a cold call are even shorter than the average. We’ve all been there, you are right in the middle of something, the phone rings and it’s a cold caller wanting to engage with you. Now they could be calling to offer you a service or a product that is exactly what you are looking for, but your attention span is already short because you know it is a cold call and you have been disrupted.

This is why a strategy for me is the most important part of the process. We have to understand what makes you special? What is your real value to a prospect? How does it solve the pain that the prospect will be feeling? How does it go above and beyond what else is available on the market?

There are so many questions that we cover and so many answers that we discuss – but then it is up to me to create that small magic opening that is going to win your prospect’s attention span and allow me to divulge a little more information than when they first picked up the phone.

I think it’s a great exercise for anyone to try, the idea of 10 words to describe your role? Your business? Your personal goals? Your career goals? What makes you special?

Sure, we may not get it right the very first time, but if we have all the information from the strategy and we test the opening, we are going to be able to sense how this is landing with your prospects giving us opportunities to tweak and sharpen the message as we learn and test.

I’m Richard, I open up your target market to generate you leads. What do you do?

Opinion piece by Richard Street, Account Manager, Air Marketing Group

Have you discovered the full potential of your voice?

We’ve all heard the famous saying, ‘you have a face for the radio’, which can be taken offensively by some who work in the industry, but there is something to be taken from this saying. People who are successful in the radio industry have such huge personalities that they don’t need to be seen to make an impression.

Telemarketing is not too dissimilar to this. Our conversations are all held over the phone, so we do not have the advantage of meeting people face to face or viewing body language. Instead we focus on demonstrating our personality, giving a strong portrayal of the brand and using our tone and inflection to guide the conversation.

I’ve run campaigns at previous companies that have been scripted using tried and tested techniques. But the same question arises – When someone is saying the same thing on each call, how can their results differ so dramatically from call to call?

As I was paid on their results, I made it my mission to understand why this happened, so I listened to hundreds of call recordings. During that time, I found that if one voice tone was used, then within roughly 30-40 seconds the call would often be over. The tone I identified was when an individual’s voice tone/inflection went ‘up’ at the end of sentences. It was the verbal equivalent of having your fingers crossed. Used when someone doesn’t have confidence in what they’re saying or does not understand the subject well enough and even, at times, when trying to ‘fake’ enthusiasm. It was clear that when inflection went up, credibility in the message went down. And this was the difference between the calls using the same script.

What I learnt from this is that when asking questions and closing it’s very important to use a downward inflection in your voice, it commands authority and instils confidence in the decision maker.

For example – try saying with the tone and inflection going down at the end of the sentence, “So John, if you’re 100% happy with everything we’ve gone through, is it fair to say you’d be happy to meet with one of our consultants?”

Now try it again but this time with an upwards inflection at the end of the sentence. Which one would you rather be at the end of?

In understanding this, you can also learn a lot about your decision maker when they throw you objections, what is there tone and inflection; do they sound confident, does it ‘sound’ like a superficial objection or genuine? In understanding how you use your voice, you’ll learn a lot about how others use theirs.

What I have learnt is that voice inflection and tempo are vital and valuable skills that once mastered will improve your telemarketing ability when speaking with gate keepers and decision makers.

To underline the importance of tone and inflection here is a sentence for you to try, “I did not steal the money”. Depending on which word you put the emphasis on it’ll change the whole meaning of the sentence. Go ahead, try it for yourself!

Opinion piece by Oliver Kernick, Senior Account Manager, Air Marketing Group