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How would you like to make 800 prospect calls a day?

From selling health care, extended auto warranties, lower credit card rates and more, we've all received "those" calls. It seems lately that telemarketing calls have reached a new level of annoyance.

Because I's a perpetual student of the sales process, it took me several weeks, but I finally had a real conversation with a telemarketer. Most hung up on me when I started asking real questions. So, what's the secret to their success?

In a word: Volume.

The young lady I spoke with, let's call her Sandy, shared that their daily call goal is a minimum of 800 calls. That's 100 calls per hour in a typical eight-hour day. Sounds exhausting. Of the 800 calls she makes per day, Sandy considers it a good day when she can get eight people to buy. Eight hundred calls, and a closing ratio of 1% — eight sales. Wow!

The formula sounds like something we would never want to do. It's classic Product Peddling behavior. Sandy says the calls are scripted. Like we can’t tell. She starts with a question, "Would you like a lower interest rate on your credit card?" A question, she admits, always ends with either the person hanging up or answering yes. Then more calculated, scripted questions follow, which allow her to pre-qualify the person on the other end of the phone, then she will either pass them on to a licensed agent or continue asking questions.

Last week on our Leadership MasterClass coaching session (next class starts in a few weeks, get details here), Stephanie was sharing that she has initiated Friday morning call blocks. I remembered those and hated those, but hear me out... There is something to be said about a shared experience, a shared challenge and shared results. It’s really quite magical. Stephanie enhances her call blocks with prize giveaways. After the two hours, you get to reach in the "box" for a certificate for various priz es — from restaurants to movie theaters. Each appointment you’ve booked gives you the opportunity to reach in the box. You get the certificate, but you can't use it until it's signed and Stephanie signs it when a seller completes the meeting with the prospect. This gives her a great chance to do a debrief and identify how the call went and how to help the seller do even better.

Stephanie started that at the beginning of the year. She reports that the anticipated team-building is happening. That's the shared experience I spoke about. And Stephanie's stations are sold out in March for the first time in a long time. Coincidence? I think not.

Arm your sellers with a Valid Business Reason and have them do the recommended homework before making the calls. What a great way to end the week — making a bunch of calls to fill next week's calendar and winning a free meal while doing what you’re already supposed to be doing anyway!

I could never last in the 800-call-a-day environment my new telemarketing friend was living in. But we can try to have fun and create some team-building out of a task that is required for success, but is often pushed aside because nobody likes doing it.

What are you doing to drive new business? We would love to hear your thoughts. Just email me at Jeff.Schmidt@Rab.com.

Jeff Schmidt is SVP-Professional Development at RAB. You can reach Jeff at jeff.Schmidt@Rab.com or follow him on social media: Twitter, LinkedIn.

Source: Jeff Schmidt, SVP of Professional Development, RAB