How to choose the ideal clients to call

Darja Grabeljšek / / Inbound Marketing

If you do phone sales and your salary doesn’t depend on your performance, you ought to call up my boyfriend David. He’s your ideal customer. David is friendly, doesn’t interrupt you, and always promises he’ll think about it. Even when you make a follow-up call, he’ll be just as friendly, even though he’ll probably admit he hasn’t thought about it at all yet. And if you call him up a third time, during his Saturday dinner, he’ll “just” gently dismiss you, while grumbling to me about how they dare call him up on a Saturday afternoon. Sorry, but I speak from experience . . .

How do they find him?

Whenever I witness these calls, I keep wondering how on Earth they find David. Whether they’re selling insurance or a vacuum cleaner, or “merely” completing an innocent survey, it seems my boyfriend is often on their call list. I’m not sure what kind of logic they follow, but they never pick me. I have two theories for this.

Perhaps they call up all their lost customers. David has never bought a vacuum cleaner (or insert any other item that is currently being sold by phone), but he may have taken out insurance with a different company in the past. Just like I don’t know all of his ex-girlfriends, I’m also not familiar with all of the insurance companies he’s previously been with.

My second theory is that he must be in the “right” demographic group. He’s a thirty-two-year-old man with a young family and a good income. Is this the target demographic group for selling supplementary health insurance? It could be, but I can’t really be sure.

Save your call center agents’ time by instructing them to call up only the promising contacts. Click To Tweet

But there is something I do know for sure. David has never bought a thing after receiving these calls. If the call center agents were aware of this behavior, they could at least save themselves from making the second and third calls even if the first one can’t be helped. He doesn’t seek out additional information from friends or on the internet after these calls, which is how someone that is preparing to make a purchase typically behaves. We established this while profiling typical customers for one of our clients. This client doesn’t compile his call list based on demographic data or a list of lost customers. It all starts with the assumption that their agents’ time is valuable and therefore shouldn’t be wasted on calling non-promising customers, which, however, brings up another issue.

Who to call in order to maximize the likelihood of a successful call

The simple answer would be to choose those that are already showing interest in your product, but haven’t decided to purchase it yet. A great idea, but hardly feasible in practice, right? Well, I could tell you to call up all those that have experienced 30.95 of your online touches (this includes opening your e-mail, visiting your website, downloading your content, and so on) because they need just a little bit more encouragement to buy the product from you. But we simply can’t treat the myriad of products on the market all the same and so there’s no uniform answer to this question. You need to perform a behavioral analysis or customer profiling for each product separately. If you know how many online touches an average customer has experienced, you can make sufficiently good conclusions that it’s best to call those prospects that recorded one or two touches fewer than the average. But this isn’t the only way to tip the scales in your favor. You can also do this through e-mails, text messages, or a remarketing ad that encourages people to explore your product further.

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Is behavioral analysis the only right answer?

If you call up your prospects based on a demographic or behavioral analysis, or their past purchases, I suggest you first isolate these or compile a more accurate database of your lost customers. Before you call these customers, make sure you restore your credibility. If they haven’t written you off entirely, it’s better you nurture them with useful content. When after carrying out the behavioral analysis you find out that they’ve experienced the ideal number of 30.95 of your touches, you can encourage them to make a purchase.

It’s best to draw data for calling up prospects from behavioral and demographic analyses. Click To Tweet

At that moment it makes more sense to hand over to the call center the list of contacts that have remained after you’ve carried out both a demographic and behavioral analysis. You wouldn’t want to call your neighbor’s teenage daughter, who has experienced 30.95 of your online touches, but will be covered by supplementary health insurance for another few years anyway because that’s already provided by law. And likewise, you won’t be any better off if you call my boyfriend David. There’s no way you can find out that he’s contractually bound to a different insurance company for another two years, but his behavior can tell you that he couldn’t care less about your insurance.

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P. S. The above example of an ideal number of online touches (30.95) is just an example. If you come across a problem in your behavioral analysis and defining the specific number for your product, we’ll be happy to help you out.