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Cold calling not catching the interest of decision makers

Hello all,

It seems as if my cold calling efforts aren't catching the interest of decision makers. The service I am offering during the calls is an after hours answering service for dr's offices. We have all the features and benefits of other answering services and even offer a different pay structure that rivals most competitors. We charge a flat rate plan month to month that is unlimited while others give a plan with so many minutes and charge for overage. Our cold calling is as followed, give or take a few lines:

Hello, my name is _________ with ABC Answering Services. Make I speak to the person that makes your office decisions? Hello...Im calling with from ABC Answering Services to help your practice save hundreds of dollars per year in answering services. We provide 24 hours a day, 7 days a week answering services. Do you currently use an answering service? Are you getting unlimited calls with your answering service? With ABC, we provide you will an all inclusive plan that is unlimited, no additional fees or hidden charges. Just one low rate! We have professional, HIPPA trained operators, we use custom scripts for answering your calls and provide a designated number for your call forwarding. You even get a designated Client Services Specialist to ensure your satisfaction....
The script continues from there based on their interest but we find that most office managers/doctors are really busy and not really listening to what we are offering. They are ready to get off the phone and say they already have a service they are satisfied with. How can I overcome the reluctance? - by busybee
I do not think your script would be very effective in gaining the prospects attention or holding their interest.

I think a better opener would be asking a question suggesting a need --- if there were a way for you to stop losing so much money each year in answering services costs ---instead of stating a benefit --- help your practice save hundreds of dollars per year in answering services. - by Seth
that sounds good, I never thought of that. Thank you Seth - by busybee
Attention and interest are great sales topics. If you can't get their attention and hold their interest you are pretty much lost in space. - by Seth
How long have you been using this script?

It sounds like the results are pretty bad for you?...have you tried any other approaches?

What if you recorded a cd of you (or someone lese) pointing out the benefits of using a flat rate service.

Or you could record yourself being interviewed about why the service YOU offer would be of interest to potential customers.

You could then call and say.

I wonder if you could help me?

I'm Jim from (xxx) and I've been tasked with the job of contacting local practices to offer you a free cd with some really interesting information about new ways of getting the most from your answering service. Now I appreciate that you are immensely busy but can I just ask........who would be the person there that I could address this cd to...in order to make sure it ends up in the right hands?

I know it seems like a lot of work but it works extremely well indeed. You are effectively placing yourself as an expert in your field whilst at the same time acknowledging that the people you are calling are very busy.

Why not give it a try...it's easier than you think. - by helisell
I've heard it said, you have 10 seconds in the beginning to capture thier attention...do the first 10 seconds catch your attention?

Lisa - by lisamom
How long have you been using this script?

It sounds like the results are pretty bad for you?...have you tried any other approaches?

What if you recorded a cd of you (or someone lese) pointing out the benefits of using a flat rate service.

Or you could record yourself being interviewed about why the service YOU offer would be of interest to potential customers.

You could then call and say.

I wonder if you could help me?

I'm Jim from (xxx) and I've been tasked with the job of contacting local practices to offer you a free cd with some really interesting information about new ways of getting the most from your answering service. Now I appreciate that you are immensely busy but can I just ask........who would be the person there that I could address this cd to...in order to make sure it ends up in the right hands?

I know it seems like a lot of work but it works extremely well indeed. You are effectively placing yourself as an expert in your field whilst at the same time acknowledging that the people you are calling are very busy.

Why not give it a try...it's easier than you think.

This sounds like a great idea to catch their attention, it will take a bit longer to get the recording to them, for them to listen to it and respond but ultimately it is thier attention we are seeking. If they have something in hand to listen to, it is more likely they will listen to the entire message which would be short and to the point. I think I will give this a try in an interview format. - by busybee
I've heard it said, you have 10 seconds in the beginning to capture thier attention...do the first 10 seconds catch your attention?

Lisa
I think the first 10 seconds catch their attention with a new approach we are using but now its getting them to respond thats the problem. Wouldn't an office manager want to save their practice money if they could? I think when people are content with a service, its harder to get them to go through the process of switching.:dun - by busybee
Wouldn't an office manager want to save their practice money if they could?
Just because YOU think that doesn't mean other people do especially if it isn't presented in a method acceptable to the prospect. The benefits in your opener cannot be too specific (causes rejection) or too general (loses interest). - by Seth
This is what I would do...

After you introduce yourself ask:

Can I speak with the person in charge of your after hours answering service?

This is an assumptive question that gives you two answers for one question. If they don't have one then the receptionist will tell you. If they do you will no longer have to ask the question to the decision maker.

Once you get to the decision maker you re-introduce yourself, tell them your company name and in 3 words what your company does. Just 3. Then ask...

Would you be interested in getting information on how to save money on your answering service?

Here you are bundling your benefit with a question that immediately hooks your prospect into saying YES.

At this point you can now say. OK let me ask you a few questions so that I can send you the appropriate information.

Of all the questions you could ask... you have to ask powerful questions that will tell you A LOT. Asking who their current vendors will tell you a lot if you know your competition. In your case I would ask about their call volume. If they have low volume then they might not be as interested in unlimited calls if they usually fall under their existing company's limit.

What are your customer's hot buttons?

Sure cost is one of them but for doctors... it is trust - this stuff can't be messed with. And hassle free. They don't want to think about it once it's in place. Will switching over be hassle free?

Look back at the customers whom you've managed to switch over. What made them switch over and what did they hate about their previous vendor?

You could say...

I've had other doctors complain about this problem with other vendors... Is this an issue for your practice?


What is the rest of your selling cycle like? Do you have to visit them? Do you direct them to your website? Do you mail them info? What do you do? - by Andrea
This is what I would do...

After you introduce yourself ask:

Can I speak with the person in charge of your after hours answering service?

This is an assumptive question that gives you two answers for one question. If they don't have one then the receptionist will tell you. If they do you will no longer have to ask the question to the decision maker.

Once you get to the decision maker you re-introduce yourself, tell them your company name and in 3 words what your company does. Just 3. Then ask...

Would you be interested in getting information on how to save money on your answering service?

Here you are bundling your benefit with a question that immediately hooks your prospect into saying YES.

At this point you can now say. OK let me ask you a few questions so that I can send you the appropriate information.

Of all the questions you could ask... you have to ask powerful questions that will tell you A LOT. Asking who their current vendors will tell you a lot if you know your competition. In your case I would ask about their call volume. If they have low volume then they might not be as interested in unlimited calls if they usually fall under their existing company's limit.

What are your customer's hot buttons?

Sure cost is one of them but for doctors... it is trust - this stuff can't be messed with. And hassle free. They don't want to think about it once it's in place. Will switching over be hassle free?

Look back at the customers whom you've managed to switch over. What made them switch over and what did they hate about their previous vendor?

You could say...

I've had other doctors complain about this problem with other vendors... Is this an issue for your practice?

What is the rest of your selling cycle like? Do you have to visit them? Do you direct them to your website? Do you mail them info? What do you do?

sn; Thank you, this sounds great, especially the part about asking for the person in charge of their after hours answering service. Sales staff currently does not have to visit them, they are directed to the website, we fax, email and mail info, whichever they prefer. Sales people will start visiting to close sales and give an actual presense to the company in the near future. - by busybee
Hi Busybee...

Let me know how it works out for you. Hopefully this will get you more qualified leads. - by Andrea
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