Here at Managed Sales Pros, we don’t onboard new clients between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day. While that may seem counterproductive, we know that we can’t get traction for brand new campaigns through the major out of office times when we haven’t laid a solid foundation for follow ups and call backs.
Every week you spend calling generates another three weeks of follow up activity. That’s why we tell clients that every month they wait to start calling is one full quarter of opportunity missed. One quarter of dead funnel means a full year that you’ll never be able to replace.
So, why wouldn’t we push clients to start calling right away? Well, if you have an empty funnel, with no scheduled follow ups or call backs, trying to do even the most basic calling activities will be frustrating for everyone. It frustrates clients – they want to know why their campaign doesn’t look like their buddy Joe’s, who gave us such a glowing reference and got two meetings his first month! (YMMV)
It frustrates callers. Outbound cold calling is a challenging job, and our team is great at it, but even they have their limits. Grinding out calls with no success in sight isn’t fun for anyone, especially when you’re used to a process that allows you to do something useful on each call.
What’s the problem with holiday calling?
Well, it’s the holidays. I’m not in the office today and maybe you’re not either. Anyone who tried to reach me earlier this month would already know that I’m out of the office until the new year, and they would have a call back scheduled that works for both of us! Not only am I out of the office, but this week our admin is also out of the office – so there’s no one for the caller to ask questions, no way for them to learn when I might be back, and there’s no way to find out who actually makes decisions about anything.
During this time of the year, many #MSPs find themselves asking: How can we use #ColdCalling to achieve our prospecting goals during the holiday season? #MSPsales
Had the calling campaign started a month ago, they would have a call back schedule created for hundreds of companies. Calls this week would be skipping over my company – and many others – where they know there’s no way to learn anything new or get any appointments. If you’re just launching a new campaign this week, you probably won’t learn anything.
If our clients were to measure us on the success of a campaign that began October 1 compared to a campaign that began December 1, I think the first company would be delighted right now, while the second company would be wondering why they had wasted all that money.
How does that translate to MSPs who are doing their own outreach?
Well, it means you don’t start a new employee dialing the phone tomorrow. Spend December training them, helping them learn, putting them through a cold calling class (we have on one demand, check our website for details), or role playing with other employees. Have them read articles and write and rewrite calling scripts. Hey, there’s even time for some of that work-avoiding-research that I complain about the rest of the year.
Let your caller learn about your current clients, have them call them and get to know them, and ask them what they like about working with you – the more your new sales team member knows about you, your business and your clients, the more successful they’ll be!
If you start a new telemarketing mid-December (or at Thanksgiving, or in the middle of the summer) you run the risk of burning them out before they even have the chance to become good at their job. You’ll find it harder to measure their performance (no historical numbers from the last five Decembers, no way to know if they’re doing well comparatively) and they’ll start wondering if they’re in the right place when the results you told them they could expect don’t seem to be materializing. If you start calling in October, you’ve got a viable follow up pipeline to manage for December.
Do yourself a favor
If you’re looking at outsourcing or hiring a new caller and you don’t have a pipeline developed yet, save yourself the money and the headache by being patient. The middle of January is almost here, and you can dial like a house on fire the minute we all get back from our Christmas breaks, shake off the holiday rust, and return to our jobs focused. There is zero point in burning your investment and starting right now. We’ll cash your checks in January, no problem.
Photo: bmszealand / Shutterstock.