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Lead generation with the intent of obtaining in-person appointments

This data is for educational purposes for both individuals and companies looking to increase sales through lead generation.  After a decade of lead generation, millions of outbound telemarketing calls,  millions more emails, and hundreds of thousands of in-person appointments set for our clients, our hope is to broaden the scope of this process for you and offer helpful insight as you develop and survey your own methods.  We’ll examine the tools used to generate leads, the frequency of contact, the ratios, and even the actual scripts and sales verbiage.   Apply the techniques to your own lead generation model and relish in your enhanced return on investment.

Often times the creative and optimistic nature of both the entrepreneur and the driven employee feel their marketing program is waning, and with all of our modern day advances there must be a missing key to unlock their treasure chest of goals.  Having tried direct mail, telemarketing, and conventional advertising with limited results, the missing key must be somewhere hidden in the newer viral marketing, blogs, improved SEO (search engine optimization), or a software application secreted somewhere.  Creativity, optimism, and innovation have made this the greatest country in history and it is no wonder that our inherent soul strives to find a better way to communicate our message. 

Search engine optimization companies hire telemarketers, telemarketers hire search engine optimization companies.  Radio and T.V. utilize print and likewise print media hires radio and T.V.  If one form of media is so good then why would they outsource to a competing media?  If Google Ads are so good, then why would an SEO go to other sources such as telemarketing, direct mail, and advertising to grow their business?  The answer is one that most do not want to hear because it turns the magic key into those of a dungeon master- heavy, copious, and disproportionate.  The answer is that there is rarely one single key to marketing success of a product or service.  

Since our society became an instant gratification, microwave, quick fix series of events, so too has our marketing waned from the past simplicity of one technique or application capable of bringing home the bacon.  In the past, a company could create the greatest outside sales force, or dominate their territory through mailers, or possibly have so few competitors that business roared even without energy focused on marketing and sales.  Unless you have a new hot product, those days are gone.

Today the prospect is fragmented and your sales and marketing approach needs to involve multiple techniques to reach a sufficient audience.  For many of our clients the goal of an in person appointment where they can sit face to face with the decision maker is still the crème de’ la’ crème and this sit down appointment becomes  their art of the deal. 

We’re often pushed by our client to set them in person appointments only and nothing else.  We try to explain that our job is to capture prospects of any interest, hand over those that are ready now as in person appointments while still nurturing those who are farther out.  Often the type “A” personality clients only hear what they want to hear and their expectations do not fall in to line with reality.

The beauty of all marketing is that everything works once in a while.  A dog with a note in his mouth can outperform a roaming donkey with a sign on his back every once in a while.  Place enough phone calls or send enough mailers or pay for enough clicks and you will find a hot prospect, ready, willing, and able to engage.  Surely the challenge becomes the true cost of acquisition of the new client is generally out of proportion or cannot be duplicated frequently enough.  Our program and any good, true, marketing system will find the best way to capture interest of the right target market, and then educate, inform, and impress them sufficiently until a sale is made.  Hence the in person appointment, with the exception of the afor mentioned anomaly, is a process that involves the seven magical moments we discuss frequently and any shorter term efforts are generally costly and fruitless.

Our program specifically involves perfect target lists that are then telemarketed in to, emailed to, faxed to, and recalled for a re-gauging of interest, all spread out over the prospects desired time frame.  We don’t miss, lose, or ignore, the hot in person appointments, we understand that they will come with enough outbound effort and along the journey we develop the weaker interest leads into future in person appointments.

It is easy to strong arm a prospect into an in person appointment with enough rebuttals to each of their objections, but who even wants to go out on an appointment like that and what is the likelihood of conversion versus just wasted efforts.  Our internal research continues to show that one full third of our clients sales come from prospects who were nurtured over time.  One full third comes from in person appointments and the final third from a phone appointment.  Generally the difference between a phone appointment and an in person appointment is more often the personality and geography of the prospect rather than interest level.  It is much harder for us to generate in person appointments in large Metro areas than say for instance more rural geography. 

Using the above reference of each type lead representing one third of final sales, clearly the in person or phone appointment are more valuable as they each represent a full third however only one in three or four leads generated is one of these type appointments.  Although results are skewed to the appointments, to forget or drop the longer term, weaker, prospects is to cut your annual sales by one third which few of us can afford.

Appointments are highly valued, strongly desired, and financially favored, and the better you can nurture all your leads until they are ready to come to fruition, the better your year-end numbers will be.  Don’t throw the baby out with the bath water because you “need a sale today”. 

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