There are so many cases where a problem can be solved with a simple phone call. Wondering why an employer posted one job on your board last year? Find yourself wishing you could help that new company from the news with their hiring?
Just pick up the phone.
That’s a phrase I have often heard from Careerleaf’s own CEO, whose recruiting and entrepreneurial background has given her many opportunities to test out her own advice. A quick conversation over the phone can be an incredibly effective way to qualify your employer or recruiter customers, build relationships with them, and solve problems.
You might be feeling a little wary about the subject of outbound phone sales, and that’s understandable. Telemarketing is not most people’s favourite form of sales and marketing. It conjures up memories of unknown callers asking if you’d like to replace the roof on your house, when you actually just rent a tenth floor apartment. Even worse, some may associate telemarketing with robocalls and scams.
But it’s not all bad. Really.
Obviously, you don’t want to be a bad telemarketer, so it’s important to understand good B2B phone etiquette. Bottom line, if someone doesn’t want to speak to you or asks to be removed from the list, respect their request and make sure you update your records to prevent you or your team from mistakenly calling them again.
When you’re on the phone, it’s a big plus not to sound too scripted or robotic – you want to engage them as people, and that involves you being human too. (In this age of automated algorithms and robots, a personalized human touch can make a world of difference.)
That being said, doing your homework ahead of time is going to make the task a lot easier. Whether you want to call it a script or a checklist, writing out and planning what you want to say will help you get better results from a phone campaign.
As with email marketing for job boards or any kind of sales campaign, it’s helpful to have clear goals, with a specific offer or request for the prospective customer. This might take the form of a free featured employer listing, a time-limited discount, or an exclusive package deal. Alternatively, if you’re re-engaging previous customers, you may also be asking them to help you by providing feedback or testimonials.
Here are a few checklists to help you prepare for an outbound phone campaign to help you acquire new customers or re-engage employers who have previously used your job board.
If you’re cold-calling, you will likely leave a lot of voicemails before you speak to most of your prospective customers directly. As such, it becomes really important to ensure you share the right information, so that you can get the best results from it. Here’s what you should include in your message:
- Your name and job board (including the URL so they can find you online!)
- Why you’re calling them – do you have something to offer? Are you asking them to do something for you?
- How they can reach you – Phone? Email? Should they go directly to your website?
- Repeat your name, job board name, and contact information slowly and clearly – don’t let poor sound quality prevent someone from calling you back!
- Pleases and thank yous – being polite on its own may not make sales, but being rude can definitely help you lose them
Once you actually get someone answering or they call you back, be sure you know what to say, including how to respond to questions. While your call script will evolve the more conversations you have, here are some good elements to get you started:
- Start with a friendly greeting
- Briefly introducing yourself, your business, and why you’re calling
- Ask if you’re talking to the right person – you don’t want to waste their time or yours
- Ask your contact if they have time to talk now (if they don’t, offer to call back another time or send them an email with the message you’d like to pass on)
- Explain why you’re calling them – your offer or request
- Ask some qualifying questions – these can help you determine if you’ve actually reached the type of employer or recruiter who will benefit from you job board’s services. Some examples are:
- Where do they post jobs?
- How often are they hiring?
- How much do they typically spend on recruitment advertising?
- What are their challenges?
- Would your job board’s value/offering help?
- Explain what happens next – are you sending them a coupon code or adding credits to their account? Are you following up with an email? Are you going to reach out again, or is the onus on them? If you want them to take an action, tell them what it is and how to do it.
Some General Rules
- Have goals, have a plan – don’t call someone up without having a clear idea what you want to get out of the call, and how you plan to get it, what you’ll say and what you want to learn, etc. This also includes criteria – if you’re targeting a certain kind of employer or recruiter, have a checklist to help you qualify them.
- Listen – if someone has questions, ideas, or pain points you hadn’t anticipated, take note. If it’s something that comes up more than once, it might represent a need you can address through your messaging or services.
- Take Notes – keep records of who you’ve called, for whom you’ve left messages, who you had conversations with, who you won’t pursue anymore, and any actions you need to take going forward
- Respect – respect the time of the people you’re calling, be polite, and don’t harass anyone. If someone wants off your leads list, take them off and keep a record of it.
- Follow-Up – if you have a successful call, make sure you know what should happen next and how you can move things forward to the next step. If the next step gets completed, make a note for when to reach out next to keep them engaged.
I hope you’ll find these checklists useful. Now, pick up the phone and get going!