Telemarketing: dialers and scripts

Feb 19, 2008

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  1. retread
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    Since there has been an interest in telemarketing on the Senior Forum, I thought I would start a thread others can build upon.

    I made this reply on the General Forum regarding this subject:

    'I started "dialing for dollars" this week, too. Several disconnects, some no answers, a couple of answering machines, some "not interested...hang-ups", but a couple of good responses, but no appointments.

    Basically, I have been working the kinks out of my dialer and my script (generic Medicare). Tech support for the Cheetah has improved. I found out they have recently completed a government project that absorbed a lot of their attention, and now re-visiting this consumer product. I have been told that most of the short-comings of the unit I have is being addressed in a soon-to-be released new version. (As a matter of fact, an update came out today!) In the meantime, I have developed a couple of "work-arounds" that allow me to sort my dialing lists by county, etc. The program is designed for B2B, not to individuals, but I am using fields such as "company" to store "county", and it works!

    I have a thorough script to cover most objections, but haven't really put it to full test yet. I am going to give it a try again tomorrow.'
     
    retread, Feb 19, 2008
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  2. retread
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    I have thought about scheduling my calling times in this manner:
    1) Call Mondays and set appointments Tues-Thurs, keeping Fri open for Administrative work.
    2) Call an hour/day, set appointments any day, keeping Fri open for Admin.
    3) Call Mondays, set appointments for Tues/ call Wed set appoinments for Thurs, (keep Fri open for admin)

    I find that #2 seems to be best for me, however, I try to establish fixed "slots" for appointments, i.e., 10:00a.m. and 2:00p.m. and try to direct my prospects into those times.

    Anyone have experience that they are willing to share?
     
    retread, Feb 19, 2008
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  3. retread
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    About dialing lists:

    I know state telephone lists can be obtained for $199 or less. Problem is, you are calling a lot of non-seniors. Wastes too much time.

    I don't use "Lead" lists, because I don't mail drops (I don't work response cards), but ask just for the phone list which I get by email in csv format. This gives me the opportunity to get a selected market. The cost is less than a response card mailing and is comparable to the state telephone directory in the first paragraph.

    (ed.) I ask for separate lists: one for T-65s, and one for 66+. I am sure most of you will understand why.

    Feel free to comment.
     
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2008
    retread, Feb 20, 2008
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  4. retread
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    I have developed a VERY thorough script, designed to handle all objections I can think of... (will obviously need additions as time reveals my list is too short).

    I am having second thoughts about a lengthy script. (My design allows for a short, medium, or long presentation, depending on the client response).

    I am thinking more on the order of giving my wife a short script that will be designed just to find those willing to talk further on a call-back basis. I am a little nervous about having anyone but myself make these calls. What is the general consensus?
     
    retread, Feb 20, 2008
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  5. senior-advisor-indiana
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    I too have thought about having my wife make calls. But then we decided tat she does not know enough and it would be a waste of time.
     
  6. salpro22
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    Choose time slots for marketing, presentations, breaks and goals. If somebody calls while you're on the phone and you still have call waiting turned on, do not answer unless it's a client. I do admin work in the evening as I don't see myself doing that kind of works for 8 hours.
     
    salpro22, Feb 20, 2008
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  7. Frank Stastny
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    Working the senior market is totally different than selling health insurance to people under 65. Setting up "time slots" for certain tasks is not going to work well for you. You market when you are not going on appointments or from your cell phone while on the way to an appointment. This isn't a union job where you take scheduled breaks. Your only goal should be to write as many apps each week as you can.

    When seniors decide to change Supp companies it is as much or more of an emotional decision than it is an intelligent decision. If you have them on the phone and they indicate they are ready to buy you damn well better hang up the phone, get in the car and go see them.

    If it is 10am or 4pm when you talk to them and they say that they are busy tomorrow and the next day, ask them if they have time now. You'd be surprised how many will say yes. If they do, drop what you are doing and go see them.

    Calling on Monday and making appointments for Wed, Thurs and or Fri will be very disappointing for you. 80% or more of the time they won't be there or will have changed their mind. My most successful time to make calls has been between 6pm and 8:30pm to set appointments for the next day.

    Do your "admin" work when you can't market or sell. If you are not selling anything then what are you going to do during the time you have scheduled to do "admin" work? Don't make this whole process more involved and complicated than it needs to be.

    Pick up the phone anytime after 8:30am and until 8:30pm and start calling. Forget about scheduling breaks, admin work, separate times for "research" (more commonly called "posting here"). Your only priority is to make calls, set appointments and write apps. This can be and is done every day of the week including Sundays and holidays.

    Make the calls yourself. Seniors want to talk to the agent, this is the first step in building their trust. Trust is a huge issue in the senior market.
     
  8. Frank Stastny
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    Why do you need a "script". If you are using a script it probably sounds like a script as opposed to a conversation. (I would think you will have trouble getting them to stay on the phone long enough for you to read them a script.) If you know all the details of the products you are selling then handling objections should not be a problem.

    Answering objections can be a very effective way of showing them that what you are offering is far superior to what they currently have. The majority of their objections will be based on the personal experience they have had with other companies.

    Throw your script away and simply call and have a conversation with them. Be sure to give them an opportunity to ask questions and use logic and facts to give them the answers. If they ask how much the premium is, tell them. Ask some qualifying questions to make sure going on the appointment is worth the effort.
     
  9. retread
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    Thanks for all the input. I realized when I started this that there would be differences of opinion. (Different strokes for different folks) I think I know what works best for me, due to my own personality requirements, but am always willing to try a different approach to see if it works better.

    As to the use of a script, I use it as a guide, not a rigid dictate. It helps keep my thought flow in a pattern that will lead to either an appointment or a presentation. Having a prepared reply to the more common challenges keeps me from stuttering and sounding like an amateur. I designed it with decision trees familiar to computer progams, so if I find myself anywhere within the script, I know where to go next. (If Y, go to 100 else 900, etc.) Also, I can speak from written text very well, which some people cannot do.

    The use of my wife as an aide in telemarketing can be workable if I had a script that restricted her to just fielding interested parties for callback. I would not have her speak to Medicare issues, but insist on having them get in direct touch with me. The reason I even entertain this idea, is that a lot of my first contacts result in more than one call before the prospect is ready for an appointment. This may be my faulty approach, but nevertheless, I need to get around it, and this is one alternative. My wife has expressed an interest in getting her own license, which may happen later, so it would be warming her up to the expectations of this line of work.
     
    retread, Feb 20, 2008
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  10. Cenla Agent
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    Frank,

    Thanks for your input, as always. I too don't like scripts. But I am curious as to what your approach is (or would be) with T-65 lists and of course input from any others is welcome as well. ;) I don't have much experience with calling from lists, and what I'm mainly looking for is a way to open the conversation, although I know there's probably not one "silver bullet" approach. Almost all of my sales in the past have been either from company leads or referrals, and most of them have been MA's, although I'm starting to focus a lot more on Med Supps now. I do have a pretty sizeable book, but I have relocated several hours away from most of them (long story) and want to start writing business where I am now, although I am going to continue to work the old book as well.
     
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