Insights from a top performing Lead Generation Expert– Guest Blog
Suffering From Premature Elaboration?
During my time generating leads in top Demand Generation companies, acting as the engine room for companies of all sizes, I’ve been shown hundreds of dynamic selling points relating to the various products and services I’ve been tasked with creating interest for.
Usually I’m given the tools to be able to answer any question or handle the majority of likely situations that might arise on the phone.
Part of the Monday morning routine
When your Boss pulls the whole team in for a meeting to get you hyped up for the week ahead and give you some new ‘pointers’ to discuss on the phone. My experiences tell me that this often tends to have a technical slant attached to it, perhaps making sure the Prospect is aware of the different corporate strategy implementations that can increase productivity of X by Y% through integrating into system Z.
All is well and good, but you then spend your first 2 hours on the phone speaking to some of your top Prospects, maybe the ones you’ve cherry picked for the week.
At this point, it’s very easy to fall into the trap of elaborating too early, presenting all of the conceivable benefits, exhausting USP’s and getting granular about how the technicalities work.
This is premature elaboration.
We go into the nitty-gritty of their current systems or services and how yours differentiates from the rest, making every attempt to ‘Wow’ them on the phone.
Once they’ve heard what you have to say, they explain to you very quickly, that everything you’ve said sounds really interesting and brilliant, they just don’t want to do anything at the moment and to call them in 6 months when it’s on their radar.
Missed a trick there
You leave yourself with nowhere to go, having shown your hand and conveyed all your good points, so you end up putting the phone down and going on to the next one. A little dismayed.
The problem is, you’re not doing your job as a Lead Generator. Whilst these added benefits and details are brilliant to talk about, you should never lose track of what you’re sole objective is.
Generating a lead for the sales team to sell the product.
You’ve blinded yourself and the Prospect with product knowledge, and you’re starting to look at things from a sales perspective, which can work heavily against you. You should never be selling products at such an early stage in a sales process that involves securing a Sales Meeting or Appointment.
This is because it’s not the product you’re trying to sell. Especially not right now, not on this call.
Your product is the Sales Appointment.
(Start thinking about ticking all of the boxes on your qualification criteria too otherwise work on the assumption your unqualified lead is worthless and will probably cost your company or customer money)
You’re probably telling Prospects why you’re so brilliant, why they should use you, and telling them all the things you think they want to hear.
So why would the Sales Team need to go in to speak to them?
In a nutshell, answering that question above (why they should speak with your sales team) is what you need to be doing on the phone. Helping Prospects understand that there will be some tangible value just by meeting with your company. Sell the sales appointment and sell the expertise of the sales team too!
As a good example, I’ve worked a campaign for a mobile phone provider in which my colleagues tend to discuss the different bandwidth allocations from various providers, what this means to the prospect, and ultimately how it can benefit them.
I tend to approach this a little differently to some of my colleagues, explaining to the prospect that this is just one of the things we’re talking about, and simply explaining the outcome achieved through implementing it…
Simplifies the complexity somewhat
We’d like to show you that we can provide you with better coverage and how we will do that.
You’re not trying to do the Sales Persons job too are you?
It’s worth noting at this stage that the sales teams are more effective at selling this product. If you sit on the phone and explain every single benefit of your product to them, you’re likely to get lots of objections and relatively few meetings.
This presents a new problem – There’s a much smaller chance they’re going to close the business in the meetings you do get. That just won’t do either.
When the prospect has begun asking questions, you know you have created a level of interest.
They WANT TO KNOW MORE
Be disciplined here because your objectives lie in generating and qualifying that initial interest and/or booking that meeting.
Sure, you can flex your ego and tell them everything you know but it’s a massive risk when the Sales Team are far more competent than you at dealing with these situations.
I’ve often explained on the phone that, unfortunately I can’t answer their technical questions (even if I kind of know the answer.)
I’d always be honest, communicating to my Prospect that I don’t want to give them wrong information, and that this is why they should book the meeting with one of our Senior Sales People, so they can see first hand what the tangible benefits are to them from a qualified expert.
If they want to know about the new cloud service system you have mentioned and how it can save them X% on their yearly spend, then you’ve clearly created an interest.
When you’re asked a question about how product or service x works, the Prospect is requesting more information from you.
You can leverage this question or interest through explaining to them these are the kind of questions that your colleagues can answer for them during the meeting.
Don’t waste that opportunity to secure the meeting. Use it to get your acquisition team in front of them and don’t be afraid to be honest and direct about it.
We’d like to book a meeting so we can show how we can help you X through utilising Product Y.
You don’t want to come across as if you don’t know what you’re talking about, yet don’t want to end up engaged in technical conversations when you’re not the best person to be having them.
Balancing how much to talk about and when to talk about it is a judgment call, just like knowing when you’ve generated enough interest to ask for the meeting.
There’s no silver bullets
Lead generation is a numbers game, but if you’re consistently effective when speaking to the right people, you’re booking your time and date.
This is where everyone has his or her own style, and I would always recommend that you use whatever works best or is most comfortable for you.
My preference at this point is to offer the Prospect A/B choices to steer them when booking a time and date for the meeting as it gives more of a sense of control if they are making the decisions on when the meeting will take place. You can then narrow it down
Are mornings or afternoons better for you?
Are there any days we need to avoid in the next x weeks?
So I guess what I’m trying to say is keep it simple and remember what you’re paid to do. Be true to your call objectives, think about these lead generation tips and make sure you’re not suffering from premature elaboration!
Matt Blackhurst – Guest Blogger
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