We can show you the best sales techniques for exploiting qualified business leads—ours or anyone else's

This value-added advice is more than just telemarketing sales tips

The sad truth is that most businesses don't make the most of their prospects and leads, even if they are truly qualified business leads. There's more to it than just a good script or a well-rehearsed phone manner. That's why we offer you more than mere telemarketing sales tips.

Our inside track to what does work

BMR Leads specializes in office/business relocation leads. We've had feedback from many clients like you as to what does and does not work when using qualified business leads to secure new business.

What doesn't work

Here's what typically happens:

  • No advance preparation: The sales manager doesn't know the leads are coming (BMR gives you at least 2 days notice so that you can plan your work).
  • Delayed managerial response: The sales manager gets around to looking at the leads within a couple of days. Then he gives them to the sales reps.
  • Leads don't go to reps who can exploit them best: The top performing sales reps are typically busy, and are reluctant to take on new business development. So the leads are given to the reps who need the new business. But these are not your top reps, and they're typically not the top reps because they don't have an organized approach to developing new business.
  • Delayed concrete action: These second-tier reps are typically the ones who put off their new business development. Perhaps they have a lead group meeting soon after the leads are received. So instead of making the calls they go to the meeting and share the leads with the others in their group. Not only have they delayed action, but they've guaranteed that their formerly "exclusive" leads will instead by overcalled by many other sales reps.
  • Disorganized approach: These sales reps typically lack a carefully planned strategy for approaching new accounts and lack the sales tools for making a first-class introduction.

No telephone call plan + no structured introductory process = no success!

The upshot?

So by the time they finally pick up the phone the prospect has been bombarded with calls from both the original lead-service subscribers and everybody else the sales representatives have shared the leads with.

The prospect is totally closed to any additional new suppliers. The sales rep then tells the sales manager, "These leads are lousy!"

A confession
We know the above "approach" doesn't work. Many years ago we used to do it this way ourselves. We can sure tell you wonderful stories!

Guaranteed not to work:
We remember one sales rep who thought the perfect opening line for his initial phone calls was, "Hi, I understand you're moving." The prospect should never realize that you know they are moving: this elicits an instant negative defensive reaction.

Another classic was, "Hi, I understand you're going through a major restructuring." another zinger. Where is the business value equation for the receiver of these calls?

Effective sales techniques for earning the most from BMR Leads: Here's what does work

First of all, prepare
There are two schools of thought. Our sister company is now doing a detailed study with a client. When the study is done we'll be able to tell you which one produces the best yield.

  • School One: Don't send any introductory material, arrange all appointments from a very carefully structured telephone call.
  • School Two: Plan and design multiple contact points, using various media, with the prospect prior to any meeting.

Our sister company takes the second approach. Here's what they do:

  1. Edit: In any collection of 50 leads there will be companies that don't fit your ideal prospect profile. They may be too small, be located outside your geographic range, or operate in the wrong industry. Delete these from your collection. Following-up on the wrong prospects costs time energy and effort.
  2. Confirm: Call to confirm that the contact person listed is indeed responsible for buying your particular product or service. Ask the receptionist to help you: say that you are sending a letter of introduction to the company and would like to verify the information you have. It's imperative that everything be 100% accurate, and you should do this verification immediately. Even if you already know your information is accurate, this is a way to get to know the "gatekeeper." Ask the receptionist his or her name if possible. We believe that multiple short calls are more effective than trying to do everything in one call.
  3. Introductory mail piece: Next, get your introductory direct mail piece into the mail as soon as possible after the leads arrive in your office and after you have confirmed the correct contact person. Your introductory letter should be professionally written and should explain your value proposition. Attach client lists and testimonials. Mail merge is quick and easy once you're used to it. our sister company has their short run letter generation down to 2 minutes per introductory letter.
  4. Voice mail: Leave a message for the contact person you're targeting. This should be like a 30-second radio spot advertisement explaining your business value proposition, who you are, and what you do, and asking the recipient to look out for your introductory letter. Have an alternative script ready in case you make contact, in any case, the message is the same. Do this as soon as possible after you have received the leads, verified contact info, and sent the follow-up mail.
  5. Strategic follow-up by phone: Figure out the earliest possible day that the recipient may have received the mail piece, and call in the afternoon of this day. It doesn't matter what day of the week, any day is a great day to call to set an appointment. Don't ask if they have received the mail yet; just say that you recently sent a letter of introduction.
  6. Make sure you script is professional: Your sales rep should have a script outline that has been developed by a professional telemarketing script writer. The structure of a well-written script is beyond the capabilities of most people. Getting people to talk to you on the phone when they are busy is difficult. There are structures that work far better than the approach you can come up with in-house. Professionals don't charge a lot for a script outline, so it is money well spent. Believe it or not, it takes 2-5 hours of phone work to set each appointment.
  7. Set an appointment: Use the call outline to close for a face-to-face appointment.
  8. Send a confirmation: When you have arranged a face-to-face appointment, send a confirmation e-mail. Include a link to your website.
  9. Orient the prospect: Our sister company also sends out a bio incorporating company background info of the rep attending the meeting. This ensures that the prospect, as well as knowing the rep's voice from the phone, knows what the rep looks like, and knows something about your company before the initial sales meeting.
  10. Prepare yourself: Finally, prepare well for the meeting. Read about the prospect on their web site. Check the local business press to see if they have made the news. Be reasonably informed about all aspects of the prospect's business. The days when you could sit in front of a new prospect and ask them to tell you something about their business are long gone!
  11. Be prompt: Show up on the correct date and at the correct time. Never reschedule that first appointment.

What happens if they turn you down?
If they said no today, maybe they'll say yes tomorrow!

If the prospect fits your criteria, don't give up. There probably won't be another chance in the next five years or so that this company will come into play again. Remember: It's a zero sum game. It's now or never!

Just show up!: The prospect may have refused to meet with you, or may have put you off. If you are convinced this prospect is a good fit for your company, revert to the strategy of showing up. Drop by the prospect's office with some literature or another letter of introduction. Or walk into the office and start another introductory strategy.

In any case, you'll learn a lot about the prospect and will have started a different introduction process. Remember, it's less bother for the prospect just to stay with the status quo, the incumbent supplier. So as a potential new supplier your business value proposition must appear considerably stronger than that of the incumbent.

Call back: These businesses are planning to move and when they do they will need your products or services. So the first call got a "no". How often do you say "no" reflexively because you're in a rush? They will need what you offer, so call back as often as you can. Plan a series of calls to provide information or assistance. They could well change their minds right before moving. Remember, it takes 8 touches on average to close a sale.

Tips for Sales Managers: Don't fall into this trap

Initial prospecting is the most difficult and least rewarding of all sales work. Even the best rep might call many prospects, "failing" again and again before closing a single sale. For this reason initial prospecting prompts the most negative comments from both sales managers and reps.

It's all too easy for a sales manager to kill the hunting spirit. One sales manager actually said, "So that was a complete waste of time then! They'll never buy anything!" Such negativity stops any new business development initiative in its tracks. The sales manager must find positive things to say and constructive advice to give about all prospecting efforts.

So listen carefully to how reps are describing their prospecting experience. Are they deadening each other's enthusiasm by harping on their difficulties? Make sure you don't contribute to the problem. Make constructive comments. Be sensitive to how negative language can help create and reinforce a cycle of failure.

Best sales management methods:

Have reps share success stories: During your sales meetings ask one rep to tell a story about how they were successful in landing some new business (it must be new business developed from scratch). When the rep shares the story with his or her peers, the attention will reward and reinforce the behavior in your organization.

Plan a multi-step approach: An average sale requires eight touches, but most sales reps plan an all or nothing one-time-shot assault. Each sales action the rep performs should set up the next sales action in the process. It's the sales manager's job to develop a carefully prepared and paced strategy.

Keep score: Most businesses don't keep track of how their new business development is going. How many new business opportunities were pursued each month? How many face-to-face meetings were arranged? "What was the dollar value of potential sales? What was the dollar value of new business actually closed?

For an excellent new business planning tool contact us and ask for the New Business Exponential Growth Chart.

Rep Management

Top sales reps should handle qualified leads from BMR: Truly qualified business leads are gold. They are your best shot at closing a new substantial sale.

Emphasize the priorities: Make sure the reps know that it is crucial to act quickly on these qualified business leads because they are time sensitive. Emphasize the importance of following up.

Explain the confidentiality agreement: We know sales reps want to swap leads with others. However, you must explain to them that BMR will instantly cease supplying leads to any client that re-distributes the information. We are intent on making this an exclusive and profitable service for our subscribers!

Let the reps decide if they want to turn back new opportunities: If one rep doesn't succeed with a given lead quickly, don't take it away. Many leads have a long gestation period. A rep should be able to provide an update on their progress with a prospect within two weeks. If the rep wants to give a particular lead back to the sales manager it should be at the rep's discretion.

Case Management & Tracking

Tracking system should be appropriate: Make sure your lead tracking system meets the needs of such time-sensitive, qualified business leads. Your tracking system should record the confirmed prospect moving date, date of initial call, follow-ups, lead feedback, stages of the process, and finally when the sales was closed or lost. Look for patterns and you will find them.

Reps should keep detailed records: Your tracking system should allow reps to record special details on individual leads. There might be relevant information on a particular lead that doesn't fit a standard tracking form. Our sister company uses Act, a very inexpensive, easy to use contact management program.

"Your suggestions are concrete and relevant—they opened my eyes to matters I'd never thought of. Thanks."

—Stephen S., British Columbia
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For more details on how we can help ensure your reps use effective sales techniques, please contact us.


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