Outbound Calls Can Grow Your Business
In our coaching program, we teach how to do outbound calls and place a lot of emphasis on how important they are to grow your sales business. Inbound calls are a no-brainer. They are ours to lose. They are calling us, already interested, but outbound calls are different. Outbound calls are made from a past list of customers or potential customers you want to do business with.
One Client’s Outbound Success Story
Here is an outbound success story from our one of our clients, Jasmine from Rebounderz Apopka,
“I called a party mom, and she told me how wonderful we did last year and that she doesn’t have any plans but knows all the information and will keep in touch. Just before we hung up, she stopped me and said she appreciates us so much. We are a great company, and she was shocked and really appreciates that, almost a year after her son’s birthday, we called to follow up, wish him a happy birthday, and check on the plans they have for this year. She also said that most companies don’t do this and she definitely wants to bring her son back.
This call inspired me and made me realize there are parents that appreciate us following up, and that outbound calls have a huge purpose. Even if we don’t get the business, we are still putting our company in their minds.”
That is the power of an outbound sales call! Here is how to get started with successful outbound calls.
Have Lists of Whom to Call
To get started, you need to have lists of whom to call. You know the saying, plan your work and work your plan. If you schedule a time to make outbound calls but don’t have a plan, you are going to spend more time searching than doing calls.
The easiest list to create first is your past birthday party list. Take all of your past parties, not just last year, but from all of your previous years, put them on a spreadsheet, and sort them by party date. Plan on calling them at least six weeks (or 45 days) before their birthday and be the first to wish them a happy birthday. It’s a great opportunity to talk to them about your party packages if you have made any changes to your parties, food, or center. Just like the story above, you may not always get the booking, but you are putting your center at the top of their mind.
For groups, we suggest making four different lists: youth groups, company and adult groups, churches, and fundraisers. Here are some ideas for each category:
|Youth Groups||Companies/Adult Parites||Churches||Fundraisers|
|Elementary Schools||Human Resources||Youth Groups||Sports Fundraisers|
|Middle Schools||Dentists||Singles Groups||Drill/Cheer Fundraiser|
|High Schools||Accountants||Church Picnic||Choir/Band Fundraiser|
|Sports Teams||Chamber of Commerce||Vacation Bible School||Leukemia & Lymphoma Society|
|Bands||Retail Stores||Weekly Bible Study Groups||Susan G. Komen|
|Choirs||Hospitals||Church Leader Meetings||Big Brothers Big Sisters|
|Drill/Cheer Teams||Banks||Mothers of Preschoolers||March of Dimes|
|School Clubs||Advertising/Media Services||Women's Ministry||Children's Miracle Network|
|Boys & Girls Club||Car Dealerships||Men's Ministry||St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital|
|YMCA||Mechanics||Couples Ministry||Local Food Bank|
|Day Cares||College Departments||Bar & Bat Mitzvah||Toys for Tots|
|Girl Scouts of America||College Organizations||Church Choir||Wounded Warrior Project|
|Boy Scouts of America||Hotels||Senior Groups||Batter Women's Shelter|
|Home School Organizations||Doctors Offices||Fellowship of Christian Athletes||Room to Read|
|FFA||Rotary Club||Missions Groups||Make-A-Wish Foundation|
|4-H Club||Junior League||Sunday School Classes||American Heart Association|
|D.E.C.A.||Red Hat Society||Parents without Partners||ALS Association|
|Kindergarten Graduation||Police/Fire/EMS||Dress for Success|
|Booster Clubs||Local Government Offices||Bowler's Veterans Link|
Creating lists will take time and research, and during the research phase, you can gather information about the company. You will have a lot more power if you can hold a conversation about what the company does and how you can help them create the best event possible.
Set Weekly KPIs
Now that you have a plan on who to call, you need to set KPIs (key performance indicators) to determine the success of your outbound call strategy. Our goal is to increase party and group events. Our coaching program focuses on three main KPIs for outbound calls: 1. The number of outbound reaches made. 2. Meaningful conversations. 3. Parties/events booked.
Number of Outbound Calls
Making outbound calls is all a numbers game. The more outbound calls you make, the more you’re likely to book. It’s that simple. Here is a formula we have created that works for increasing events. The goal is to make 100 outbound reaches per week. That is 20 contacts per work day.
You don’t have 100 birthday parties to reach? The plan is to call 45 days in advance and then have at least two follow up calls (unless they tell you to bugger off). Those follow up calls will help you fill your goal of reaching out to 100 people!
For groups, if you are a center without alcohol, spend your time like this: youth: eight contacts per day; companies/group events: six contacts per day; churches: four contacts per day; fundraisers: two contacts per day. If you have alcohol and a bigger attraction for adults, switch the companies/adult groups to eight and youth to six contacts per day.
Connections and Meaningful Conversations
A “meaningful conversation” has a next step. That means getting them for a tour of your center, a follow-up phone call or email with more information, an agreement or proposal to review, a not now but in the future response, or you actually booked the event. At least 50% of your calls should lead to meaningful conversations.
Booked Parties and Events
Once your outbound reach efforts have geared up, you should have an increase in booked parties and events. We see that for every 100 outbound calls made, you should book 5 – 25 events each week. We track the number of events booked to see the correlations between outgoing calls and meaningful conversations in relation to booked events. Almost all the time you will see the fewer outbound calls made, the fewer bookings you will have per week. If you are reaching your 100 outbound calls, have 50 meaningful conversations, and still see no bookings, it’s time to look at the process.
Have an Outgoing Call Script
Having a script is a great way to feel confident when you are on the phone. A script helps you retain information on who you are calling, follow the CQPC process, and remain consistent on all your calls. The script is your guide. It’s like having a checklist of all the questions you need to ask and the points you need to make. With practice, you will make the words your own and it will make selling easier.
We have created two great resources to help our sales teams plan their work and work their plan. The first is our Reach Calendar. The reach calendar is your guide to whom you should be reaching out to each week. We take flows and trends and give you information on specific targets each week such as reaching out to community centers to start booking their spring break field trips or calling tax offices for team building or fun events after tax season is over.
The next resource is our sales planner. Our sales planner includes the reach calendar along with incoming and outgoing scripts for birthday parties and group events. These scripts are all located in one easy and convenient place for you to access. The best part is you can track your goals and KPIs. Each quarter you have a place to state your monthly goals, the top five groups you want to contact in each area, make daily notes and track your weekly reached, connected, and booked events. It’s been an amazing tool for our salespeople to s