Voice of the Customer Emails for setting appointments – comments

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After an inquiry about a study, (give your email address and get the table of contents) the study provider started emailing.  Every single day the creative, hopeful marketing / sales guy would find a new way to say the same thing “please buy my study” with the implied subtext ” I’m starving for sales”.

As one of the presidential candidates would say, “It was a disaster”.  Response rates for unsolicited emails are low, really low.  One article http://www.magillreport.com/Email-Response-Rates-Pathetically-Low/  pegs responses at 1 per thousand or so.  It is better than the lottery, but no way to make a living.  In the same article, direct call responses are over 12%. Creating a script and learning the phone and how to make calls work is best.

Better to offer a friendly direct, customized email than to do nothing.

First name,

Please forgive me for writing you out of the clear blue sky.  I tried to call, but no one answered at the front desk.  The reason for my call (and this email) is that (company name) is bringing (product name) to market soon. 

(Product name) offers a new to the (industry) way to (name chief benefit).  Like all proud innovators, we believe our product to (the names of other benefits).  

Because you are (compliment, and industry) [do homework on customer] a potential customer that we will eventually market to, we would like to have a brief call to hear your thoughts on our new (product name). 

During this call, our (inventor, and one of the founders) will present the invention and ask you for your opinion about (product name)’s relevance, benefits, and price.  

If a new way of (main product benefit) is of interest, perhaps we can set a call later this week (name a date and time).

Thank you!  (product name) is a great product; your comments will make it better. 

Kind regards,

 

 

VOC Setting Appointments

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Voice of the customer, setting appointments.  Straight down the middle.

 

  1. If not entered, enter the customer information into the database
  2. Research less than 10 minutes put the information into the database along with relevant links
  3. Call.  If you know who to ask for, ask.  If you do not know, briefly explain the call and ask the telephone receptionist to direct your call.
  4. When connected introduce yourself with your name and company name
  5. Give the headline, and if they have a minute:

“Hi, this is Nathan with Gears Unlimited (replace with your company and invention). We have a new product in the works and are in the customer discovery phase.  From our research, our company, Gears Unlimited, has selected your company as one of the main companies in your market segment that benefits the most from better gears.

Our company has learned that it is best to hear what companies like yours thinks about our new patent pending invention.  Since you are the “put title here”, and face the problem of gears every day, do you think you might have time to talk to the inventor or one of the founders?  We sincerely want to build great products that solve the problem of gear failure and your thoughts, and other customers thoughts go into the design, so what is presently good becomes great.

I’m setting up the initial 20 calls and if you would like to be on this short list, perhaps tomorrow at ___ PM Central?

Great.  I’ll send you and the inventor, Michael an invite.  What is your email?  I’ll be on the call to make introductions, and after the introductions, I’ll get off the phone and continue to tackle my to-do list.”

Categories: Voice of the Customer

Voice of the Customer

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Setting appointments, who to call, what not to do.

By the time that Voice of the Customer work starts, the hypothesis is made.  The customer segmentation is complete.  The founders and the team know which customers to hear.

The chart has an industrial focus; other product types vary the chart format. To save time, a team member sets interviews, the principal

To save time, a team member sets interviews, the principal investigator (PI) or founder holds the interviews.  Fifteen to twenty site visits are best.  Secondarily, telephone interviews.

Before interview appointment calls to the hypothetical customers, the customer contact data is discovered by purchasing a list, social networks, web searches, present customers and experienced, connected sales people.

It is a good idea to cold call some of each customer segment. Fundamentally, the new invention has to sell to unknown customers. The team member assigned to the task of setting appointments has a vital mission.  The member sets the appointments without tainting the thinking of the customer.

“Taint” is an interesting word.  Tainted meat is spoiled meat. Tainted customers are contaminated with the notions of the venture or team member.  For example, if the product was a “smart” gear that provides wear updates, and the member asked the customer if he would pay “x” for a smart gear, then the customer is tainted because now the customer has the venture’s price in his head, instead of thinking about the value to his business.  On the other hand, If the member asks if the customer used gears in their business, the customer remains untainted.

Data is important from the member cold calls setting up appointments.  The team member should document how long it takes to perform each task.

  • How long does it take to find a customer to call?
    • Eventually, the sales persons need assignments.  How long it takes to find a customer affects quota requirements.
  • How many customers are called before an appointment is set?
    • Speaks to innate interest.  If the invention does not solve a pressing problem, more approaches are necessary.
  • What is told to the customers that don’t agree to an appointment?
    • Beginnings of the elevator pitch.
  • What was the conversation when customers do agree to set an appointment.
    • Discovering hot buttons.

Regarding the call itself, it is important to start with smaller customers (so as not to burn through the large ones) and of the small customers, talk to middle management.  It is better to practice with the less important accounts first.