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Telesales Dos & Don’ts

Newsflash: Following up your marketing letters or postcards with a phone call can double their effectiveness.

So you wrote a fantastic and compelling letter, researched your target market to find likely targets, mailed it out – now what?  I always compare not following up to being akin to climbing halfway up Mount Everest and turning back because you can’t see the top – you’ve already done the hard work!

You’ve accepted the reality that you just don’t have the cash to outsource this task to a professional.  Professionals are expensive because there are rare beasts who actually enjoy phoning up complete strangers and converting them into zealot fans of your service – it’s magical, very rare, and therefore has a high entry cost.

But the good news is:

  • That YOU know your company better than anyone
  • You get to reduce your marketing costs not only by doing this essential task yourself
  • But also by reducing the number of prospects you need to mail/call by filtering out those who won’t use the service

So how to make it more successful:

  1. Make sure your first contact with the prospect is memorable and explains what it is you do and why it might be useful to them
  2. Ensure you are targeting the right people – “warm” lists or people who have already expressed an interest in your service will be so much easier to call than people you have had no contact with.
  3. Don’t ask “Is it a convenient time to call?” because the answer will always be no. Instead use a phrase like “I wonder if you could help me?”
  4. Do ask about their business, find out when their busy periods are, what sort of tasks drop off their to do list, do they have staff etc.  This is about finding out whether they are a good fit for you as a client and what you might be able to offer them.
  5. Don’t do the hard sell.  It’s not necessary if the prospect needs the service because they will be begging you to let them trial the service if you pitch it to them correctly!
  6. Do ask if you can stay in touch if they are a good prospect.  They might not need anything right now, but keeping in touch keeps you front of mind for when they do need a virtual assistant.
  7. Don’t get disheartened – usual results from a cold list are less than 1% conversion, and perhaps 5% if followed up with a phone call.
  8. Do ask them “Do you know of anyone else who might be interested in this kind of service?”
See also  The Importance of Search Engine Optimisation


  1. Charlotte Burford on 6 October, 2010 at 6:41 pm

    Thanks for this Caroline, as somebody who is about to start her next batch of marketing to potential clients it is always good to get hints and tips from those who have been there before.

    I must admit I have been very lucky over the past five years as I haven’t really marketed my business that much, I have just let the free line in the Yellow Pages and the odd free website directory and word of mouth do most of the work for me.

    However now that my oldest son is at school full time and my youngest nursery three full days a week, I now have the time I need to market my business properly to help get more clients through the door. And we could all do with a few more of those.

    It is great to hear some do’s and dont’s as I must admit I would be the first to ask “is now a good time?” I will make sure that I don’t use that one in future.

  2. fenderbirds on 18 October, 2010 at 5:35 pm

    nice article, keep the posts coming

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