6 Appointment Setting Steps That Prepare Your Business

Appointment setting is all about preparation. If your business is not prepared to study prospects, offer to fulfill needs, and use insight to deliver value, then expect only a small chance of success. The process of qualifying business leads in appointment setting is all about just that. The problem is not too many salespeople care to make use of what is already laid before them.

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Listening to Your Own Lead Generation Telemarketing Calls

lead generation, sales lead generation, cold callingHave you ever thought of listening to your own calls? If you are one who does lead generation through telemarketing, then maybe giving a listen to your own cold calls will help you improve on what you are already doing. Newbie telemarketing agents usually start having cold sweats during the first time they listen to their calls. At first, we tell ourselves that we can control how the call goes. When the call finally happens, it’s like we’re driving a car and the steering wheel broke off!

In lead generation telemarketing, good performance translates into leads. We can never really know how every call goes, however, we can control it to the extent of which we can get the best possible results. To do this though, one has to understand how he/she acts during a call. Maximizing results is all about trial and error when it comes to lead generation so it is best to try giving your own calls a listen. Continue reading

Lead Generation Tips – Clean Up Your Act

lead generation, sales lead generation, business to business leadDoes your sales pipeline look like it’s clogged and you are having a hard time at getting any leads into the pipe? If such a thing is happening to you, then you have to clean up your act and fast if you want to be able to keep going as a company. A jammed pipeline is not healthy as it can affect the rate at which you meet new prospects and close sales. So where does the problem lie if such a thing is happening? Well… maybe in your lead generation process, perhaps?

The process at which you acquire new leads is an important one and can affect your pipeline. If less are acquired, of course your pipeline won’t be full. If too many leads are acquired, then you can expect the opposite of the previous statement. However, did you know that just because you are acquiring leads at a fast rate it does not mean that it bodes well for your sales pipeline?

If you are experiencing trouble with all your business to business leads and have your pipes clogged, then here are some tips for you to keep your sales lead generation campaign flowing fine. Continue reading

Cleaning Leads Must Flow Out Of A Well-Aligned Strategy

Think of cleaning leads like water in a pipe. If the pipeline is properly aligned and connected properly, water flows out evenly and to the right places. It’s the same when they go down the drain. On the other hand, should there be some kind of mix-up in the pipeline, problems arise. You could have too little water coming out. Your drain might not empty properly. In fact, anything else improperly connected to the same supply could also be affected (and vice-versa).

If you think this analogy is for a sales pipeline or funnel, not entirely. It actually applies specifically to how each of your strategies are aligned in taking your prospects through the sales process and qualifying your cleaning leads.

For example, suppose you came across this article from Business Insider:

This comes in many forms, from companies creating a new Instagram persona to them integrating the photo stream site onto their actual company websites. Urban Outfitters owned Free People, for example, uses Instagrammers who post shots in the retailers’ jeans as models on the company website.

In the same vein, VenueSeen launched a management and CRM tool that that allows brands to run Instagram campaigns that integrate onto their company websites.”

The use of visual media to attract sales leads is not an uncommon practice even among B2B businesses. On the other hand, if you’re a commercial cleaner, how can you align the use of the aforementioned tools for your own industry? How can you align it with the rest of your other marketing strategies?

While it may be that you’ll need more than a single form of marketing these days, you’d still be better off getting them to work together as components than individual pieces. If you want another example, Search Engine Watch has another article that emphasizes the importance of aligning SEO with social media marketing:

If SEO and social media teams work in silos and don’t communicate nearly enough, they can’t form a well-coordinated, comprehensive marketing plan.Therefore, it’s extremely important that SEO is integrated into social media activity. What follows are some specific tactics that can be used to increase the impact that your social media activities have on SEO performance.”

This doesn’t just apply to purely digital channels either. Multi-channel alignment can also include offline marketing tactics such as telemarketing as well as attendance to relevant trade shows. Consider this: Today’s B2B prospect may now have the internet to search for relevant cleaning services but they could still use a phone conversation when it comes to making their inquiry. Some of these could also be too busy in their day to search so an outbound telemarketing call is still an option when it comes to driving traffic towards it.

Failure to align different channels runs the risk of giving different impressions (hence, the analogy with actual water pipes). You leave every, single channel on their own and they might struggle with their individual flaws as well compared to a higher number of commercial cleaning leads. Having one or two process outsourced is not much of a factor either so long as you’re closely cooperative with your providers. Start aligning your strategies today and get your leads flowing out right.

Hidden Sales Leads Are Like Hidden Places To Clean

When doing a major cleaning job, it’s not surprising to find certain areas that are hidden but require a significant amount of decontamination to maintain a healthy work environment. Hidden sales leads aren’t that much different.

It’s popular notion that the dirtiest spaces in a given room are those under the furniture or behind the decor, where pests and germs can gather without being disturbed. There’s also the common image of these same pests hiding within the cracks in the walls or eating away at the woodwork. And just as your business works diligently in discovering these places, you should search diligently when looking for unlikely sales leads.

Here are just two types of examples that you can start with:

Buildings under construction

This doesn’t necessarily mean that you should market to those in the construction business. Rather, you should realize what a new building could stand for. If you want a hint, here’s an excerpt from a CNNMoney report:

Eleven years after terrorist attacks destroyed New York’s World Trade Center, the replacement towers are finally taking shape and attracting new tenants — even though most of the site’s buildings are still under construction.”

Your potential cleaning leads are the new tenants and perhaps even the owners of the building’s properties. Once their building is complete, they’ll be looking for a company to help keep it maintained. In the case of extremely large skyscrapers like the new WTC, you might either be in the race with competitors or you may even need to work together because it’s so large. Regardless, don’t be out of the loop whenever you hear construction of a new place because there will definitely be a need for someone to clean it.

Places that demand high cleanliness

NASA sounds like a really far off prospect but this article from The Atlantic describes how surprisingly rigid the space organization can be in terms of cleanliness:

The particulars are determined by two broad considerations: where a mission is going and what kind of spacecraft it’s using to get there. There’s an overall cleanliness standard that’s in place for every mission, Lavery notes – no earth bugs being the general goal — but beyond that, there’s a procedural spectrum NASA employs to determine its approach to decontamination.”

Of course, if you want a less high-end target, hospitals and schools have always made for good cleaning sales leads. Both are places where cleanliness can have just as much emphasis to ensure the health of not just workers but the people who will spending much time in their care (e.g. patients and school children).

You don’t leave any table unturned or any corner concealed when you want to make everything spic and span. Finding unlikely cleaning prospects is just the marketing extension of that. Before disqualifying your prospects, make sure you know that there is absolutely nothing in their work place or industry that will demand your cleaning work. (And even from personal cleaning perspective, that is highly unlikely.) Don’t despair when your usual suspects don’t turn up a sale. Think outside the box keep an eye out for your hidden leads!

Qualifying Sales Leads – A Little Bit Of Service Can Go A Long Way

There seems to be no end to the stigma of commercial cleaning as an industry of dirty jobs, literally. However, somebody has got to do it and you’re in this industry because you decided that it might as well be you. Despite all the odd looks you and your employees get, you already provide a service even when you’re still in the phase of qualifying your sales leads.

Now what do you do again when you’re qualifying B2B sales leads? After getting in touch with a business prospect, your marketers ask a few questions and send it to sales once they realize that the prospect might have a problem.

This already is your way of providing a service. People underestimate the dangers of poor work place maintenance. For example, according to this infographic from Co.EXIST, human feces is teeming with at least 234 known bacteria (such as salmonella). Aside from the other threats cited in the graphic, a lack of toilet maintenance can easily enable the spread of such germs.

The danger is that your prospect may not know that. You don’t have to be a medical doctor just to have some responsibility in preventing sickness in the workplace. A clean work environment can still be a significant factor in that prevention. Who better to evaluate that cleanliness than a commercial cleaning expert like yourself? The simple fact that you’re letting them know is already a decent favor.

With that established, this should give you more reason to really evaluate how you provide a service starting from the marketing level. Speaking of which, you’d be amazed how the various marketing tools and strategies can help shed some spotlight on the results of your work. Take this example from HBR. It’s from a touching story about a simple act of service was made know throughout the world just through social media:

It was a small act of kindness that would not normally make headlines. Except that Brandon told the story on his Facebook page, and Brandon’s mother, Gail Cook, retold the story on Panera’s fan page. The rest, as they say, is social-media history. Gail’s post generated 500,000 (and counting) “likes” and more than 22,000 comments on Panera’s Facebook page. Panera, meanwhile, got something that no amount of traditional advertising can buy — a genuine sense of affiliation and appreciation from customers around the world.”

Wouldn’t you like the same thing happening if your business was just telemarketing to qualify sales leads yet you ended up doing so much more? For example, your questions have actually provoked a prospect to heavily reconsider the state of their office. That prospect could then spread the word to their own contacts and recommend you via social media.

This does not mean you should invest in some effort to have them do just that. These results should be natural. In fact, social media exists just as a reminder that what you’re doing could be a lot more significant to other people than you might think.

Qualifying cleaning leads isn’t just about helping your business attract interest and help sales make money. It’s a service in of itself. You’re identifying problems that prospects might be underestimating and are there to offer a solution. That little bit of service can already go a long way.

Sales Leads Can Be Both Offline and Online

Sales Leads | Telemarketing | Appointment Setting - Leads JanitorialFor some, online marketing seems a better fit for commercial cleaning companies because it’s not a very disruptive means of generating sales leads. Meanwhile, using the web to attract decision makers who are actively searching for cleaning services indicates their need without ever having to make a phone call or send an email.

On the other hand, online marketing has its fair share of criticism as well. More and more people are saying that there has been no way to measure how clicks, page views, visitors, and even ‘Likes’ translate into sales leads. These same people are also the ones saying that the information available on the internet has done away with the need for both online advertising and even traditional advertising.

The unique thing about online advertising however is that it’s in the same space. Furthermore, Inc.com has cited findings that are calling marketers and their businesses to rethink the way they measure the results of online marketing techniqes:

The company said that it found a significant correlation: when brick-and-mortar stores ran Google AdWords campaigns, they saw double-digit increases in the number of shoppers and in the time people spent in retail stores. In some cases, apparently, the offline results of the campaigns exceeded the online results.”

Including offline results not only proves that there might be some power behind online marketing but that power could also be maximized by using offline tools to qualify your online sales leads. For example, another report by Ad Age is stating that Facebook is now giving social media marketers greater accuracy in terms of targeting users in its database:

Now brands can target their posts at different segments of their fan base based on a huge range of factors. It’s not just age, sex and location – this goes as far as relationship status, education, university/college and even workplace.”

That last word should catch your eye as a commercial cleaning service. Knowledge of a decision maker’s work place can already indicate the sort of cleaning and maintenance services required. If you have fans on Facebook (most likely your current clients) you can now broadcast messages more specific to their needs and to the services you’ve offered them. Still, what about the results? You can target more accurately and send more relevant messages but where do the offline results come in?

Remember, they can maximize the interest generated by online marketing. Don’t just rely on a ‘Like’ as a means to identify and communicate with who clicked. Have your CTA involve a phone call (which is certainly a more powerful measure of customer action). Have your telemarketers use the conversation to qualify the callers and then place the results in an accessible database.

The resulting sales leads of any marketing technique doesn’t have to be exclusive to online or offline measures. Rather, it’s more likely that they reflect each other. For instance, something even as insignificant as views that don’t result into clicks can still lead to phone calls and those phone calls could result in qualified commercial cleaning leads. Hence, you can consider these types of leads as both offline and online.

Maximize Customer Support And Make Commercial Cleaning Leads Out Of Complaints!

A few weeks ago, Forbes published an online story detailing the experience of entrepreneur Ranjith Kumaran during a night when he invited all the employees of his startup company to do customer support. One of the values of his story is not just about how startups “force you to wear many hats” but also why it’s really good to maximize your customer support. It’s an excellent source of customer feed-back and insights from it can shape up the organization (including the process that generates your commercial cleaning leads):

What’s more the feedback that was heard during the exercise was taken to heart and brought up during product, marketing, and sales discussions. The ability to apply market learnings to company building is perhaps the only thing that matters for the organization and for the individual.”

Getting customer feedback helps in marketing because it’s a direct way of knowing how your market thinks. And by market, this includes potential commercial cleaning leads as well as your current B2B customers. Once you know what they think, you’ll not only know how to develop your business but also how you’re going to market those developments. Maximizing customer support can expand the way you gain more insight by getting more feedback. Aside from just asking everyone to join in for customer support (like what Kumaran did), you can also gain even further additional support by outsourcing a call center. (This is a really cost-efficient strategy if your total in-house personnel still can’t keep up with a growing number of customers).

However, one of the things that people dread most in customer support is hearing complaints. By now, you should’ve probably accepted the reality that complaints are inevitable in business (as well as in life). Take note though that complaints actually have a value in themselves. If you haven’t realized it, they’re still a form of customer feed-back. It may be negative feed-back but it’s still feed-back and it will tell you what the market thinks and how you can act in response.

Luckily for you, Inc.com has just recently published an article detailing five different types of complaints and how to handle them. Furthermore, you can not only just handle these complaints but you can use the unique feedback from each of them to shape your future marketing messages:

  • First Time Complaints – These come from a customer who has only had smooth sailing with your services so far. First impressions last and can have long term effects if you’re hoping to extend business-relationships with all your customers.
  • Serial Complainer – While it says that you can’t please them all, the existence of their constant complaints can serve as constant reminders of what needs to be fixed, what needs to be improved, and ultimately, what you can market to new prospects who have had similar complaints.
  • Best-Customer Complaint – The article doesn’t joke about how complaints from your most loyal customers take top priority! If they’re a steady source of sales, then you need to maintain your relationship with them.
  • Multi-Media Complaint – Different forms of media require different channels but guess what? This complaint can actually do a lot of the research work for you! You now have physical evidence to help you address the problem as well as more stock for marketing content!
  • Scandal Complainer – Be warned, scandals abound in the commercial cleaning industry. Even if it’s just crying wolf, be as transparent as possible. It shows how far you’re willing to establish a trusting business relationship.