Sales calls are the lifeblood of aviation and many other industries. However, do you know how much money is being “thrown away” by poor call handling? Learn a proven 3-step method to capture this lost revenue by handling inbound calls effectively through analytics, technology, and training. This method has been used successfully by industries to increase revenues, improve customer satisfaction, and reduce acquisition costs. In this webinar, we answer:

  • What if a small change in how you handled inbound calls could dramatically change your revenues?
  • What if using each call as a sales training lesson could help you stop paying for the same mistakes?
  • What if you could increase your profits without any boost in call volume

Video Transcription

Kullan Buckrop: Hello, everyone and welcome to today’s webinar presentation titled, How Businesses Can Boost Revenue from Inbound Sales Calls. Today we will be talking about our proven three-step optimization process that organizations can take to really understand the value of phone calls and specifically find more value in inbound phone calls that they may be missing from their organization. Before we get started with introducing today’s presenters and actually getting into today’s topic, I do have just a few housekeeping items for you to make note of as an attendee. 

The first housekeeping item for today is that we will have time for questions at the end of today’s presentation and if you would like to ask a question, you can do so through the questions section of your Go-to webinar panel on your screen. What that means in case you are a little new to Go-to webinar is there is one window where you can see today’s presentation slides and there is another floating window on your computer screen where you can go and change your audio options if you want to switch between a headset and a phone for listening to today’s presentation. Within that section, there is an additional section that’s titled, Questions and that is where you can go to submit any questions that you have for either myself, if you are having technical difficulties or anything related to today’s presentation or relating to something our presenters speak on.

Please note that you are more than welcome to submit questions throughout today’s presentation if something comes up and you are curious about it and you want to learn more, but you won’t be having an answer to that question until the end of today’s presentation when we will actually answer questions with our presenters. That being said, today’s presentation is also being recorded, so if you would like to go back and watch the recording of this, you can do so tomorrow. You will actually be getting additional information on that via email tomorrow. But let’s go ahead and get started and introduce today’s presenters. 

Today’s presenters are Bryan Del Monte and Sterling Weiss. Our first presenter is actually going to be Sterling Weiss. He is a senior business development manager here at Marchex and he has a lot of great experience and understanding of ways that organizations use phone calls and kind of get more revenue and get more insights from the phone calls that they are generating at their business. And then our second presenter today, Bryan Del Monte, he is the president of the Aviation Agency. Some of you may be familiar with him, some of you maybe colleagues with him since he probably invited you. He is going to be speaking about ways that he has seen the value of phone calls really impacting his industry within the aviation industry. Sterling will be kind of more broadly talking about things across industries. So we will be giving you a breakdown for the aviation industry, but also really giving you some insights on why phone calls are important for every industry. 

On this next slide, you will see that we have an agenda for today’s presentation. Like I mentioned, we will be talking about why calls are important to kind of start us off. We will be talking about ways that you can optimize phone calls, ways that you can really improve the quantity, the quality, or just generally the conversations of phone calls that are coming into your business. We will wrap up today’s presentation with a summary of key takeaways. So we will make sure that we reiterate the main points that we are making throughout today’s presentation and remind you at the end and then we will follow up with an end of today’s presentation with time for questions. Without further ado, it’s time for me to pass things over to Bryan who will formally introduce himself since he has today’s guest speaker. Bryan, thank you for joining us today and thank you for presenting. 

Bryan Del Monte: Thanks, Kullan. I really want to thank Marchex for putting this together with me. For those who might not know me, my name is Bryan Del Monte. I’m the president of the Aviation Agency, which is an advertising agency that focuses exclusively on the industry of aviation and aerospace. Before founding this agency, I’ve worked with some of the largest brands in the world, like Marriott, Hilton, Medtronic and others. It was actually in hospitality that I first started working with our host, Marchex about 10 years ago. 

What you are going to see today is a presentation on inbound call strategies. I asked Marchex to put this together and they graciously agreed, because I feel this industry needs greater exposure to marketing strategy and technologies. In many respects, the aviation aerospace industry is years behind where other industries are in terms of marketing. My hope with today’s training is you will be exposed to the idea of call analytics, you will gain some insights from what Marchex has learned with other clients in other industries, and these things are going to help you learn today how to immediately put tactics and activities to work, making the phone make you more money. So with that, I’ll turn it over to Sterling who is going to be doing most of the presentation today. Sterling. 

Sterling Weiss: Bryan, thank you very much. Kullan, thank you as well. Thank you everyone who is attending today. I’m very grateful to have you along and hopefully we provide you with some basic and foundational tactics and best practices around how to optimize calls that are coming into your business. Many of you probably have not heard of Marchex, frankly. In other industries that highly value phone calls, drive significant parts of their revenue through inbound calls, we’ve got significant traction. Marchex really is the leader in conversation analytics. So if you think in terms of… You are seeing more and more of this technology, frankly, in your daily lives. So whether you have an Amazon Alexa device or you are just barking a command into your iPhone and telling Siri to point me to the nearest pizza joint, you get a sense for what this technology looks like. 

But instead of processing as simple command and responding with some backend analytics AI that’s pushing a response your way, we are processing two way conversations, a much more complicated process. Think in terms of industries like automotive and financial services, Bryan mentioned travel a bit ago, real estate, healthcare; these are industries that really, the life blood is the inbound phone call. There are these moments of truth that these brands or these industries want to get right in delivering not only optimize revenue opportunities, but a killer customer experience. Hopefully that gives you a quick overview of who we are, what we do and kind of how we do it. 

Bryan Del Monte: Thanks, Sterling. I want to set the table today for the people that I’ve invited, The Aviation Group and I know there are others on the call. I promise I’m just going to let Sterling get to the good stuff in a moment here. I want to expand a little bit about why I think this is important for aviation and aerospace. I met with Marchex again about two months ago and they showed me what they have been up to. It was that discussion that led to today’s webinar, because the insights you are going to hear today are going to help you make more money with essentially the incoming stream you already have. I know I’ve harped on this before and anybody who talks to me knows I harp on this [inaudible 07:27]. 83% of the leads that companies generate, not just aviation or aerospace, but across the entire industry of commerce, 83% of the leads that they generate never go anywhere. That’s insane in my view. 

I know lots of you focus on your leaky bucket in your funnel. Where am I losing leads? Where am I losing sales? Most of you are focused on conversion. Conversion is indeed very important, but I doubt that many of you think about the top of the funnel activities and the leakiness there. For most of you, your entire sales process begins with a phone call, either people calling you who need something or people who call you back after you’ve initially contacted them. So inbound calls are indeed a contributor to that leaky top of funnel activity. The case studies today that Sterling is going to present are going to demonstrate this rather clearly, but I want you to keep in mind the big picture to apply it to your organization. 

Namely, one, reducing the calls that never get answered. Two, having better calls when your people or you are interacting with prospects and customers. Three, converting people on the phone, whether that’s a sale or a next step or a meeting. I can’t tell you the number times I’ve seen that problem, especially in industries that rely heavily, like aviation does, on the phone, where they don’t ask for the next step or they don’t build the relationship. Sterling, show us what Marchex learned about why calls matter. 

Sterling Weiss: Yeah, Bryan. I’m happy to do that. Let’s take a look at how we are going to frame this conversation today. When you think of the inbound call, there are three different components. There is the quantity, the quality and the conversation. We just want to talk to the quantity, how do we make this process, this journey seamless. The quality around again, enabling the sales channel to engage these people, get to the point of, the meat to why they are calling, and then offer a solution so the customer gets what they want. You drive revenue and they have a great experience. 

Let’s first take a look at why calls matter. It’s interesting because a lot of marketers today kind of disregard phone calls, which is interesting. It’s not unusual. I mean, we live in is highly a digital age. Your consumer, your customers are engaging you across different touch points, especially online through different devices and platforms. But believe it or not, there is a lot of research that shows that the good old phone call is a super productive, weapon for driving revenue. For example, this data here we are showing regarding a survey or research that Forrester had done showed that consumers or customers who call spend 28% more money. They convert faster, meaning the sales cycle itself is shorter by 30%. But the callers themselves are better customers. They have a life, a longer shelf life. They churn less, in fact, 28% less. Hopefully this gives you a sense for how important phone calls are as a means for driving revenue regardless of your industry. 

Guys, let’s take a look. I mentioned the first phase of the phone call that we are going to take a look at is the quantity piece. When you think of… It’s baseball season, I can’t help but use a sports analogy here. Think of the inbound calls as at-bat. Every at-bat or inbound calls is at-bat where you have an opportunity to shine, to knock it out of the park or frankly swing and miss. What we know is the goal here is to provide a seamless customer experience. So you think of the customer’s journey, the first thing they do is they pick up the phone and give you a call because they have problem they are looking to solve. You want to enable a perfectly seamless process by which the customers dial the number and speak to someone on the other end of the line who is capable of solving the problem. 

The problem is there is often breakage in this journey and the first step in enabling this optimizing of inbound calls piece is eliminating that breakage. What we want to look at here is failed calls can represent any number of things and they are usually mechanical in nature, meaning the customer calls and the first thing they are prompted to do is select a prompt in an IVR. Select 1 for sales, 2 for customer service, 3 for financing. They’ve got to go through this wonderland of trying to figure out where they want to go. Sometimes they speak to someone and that person will transfer them to whatever appropriate department. That’s great because it’s a human interaction, but still we are bouncing them around. There are opportunities to lose the call. Sometimes people are put on hold for too long and they just frankly don’t care to leave a message and just bounce and go call a competitor. The goal again is let’s focus in this case on eliminating the breakage in that customer path to purchase. For example, we know that if you can answer the phone within four rings, you are going to be exponentially more successful in delivering revenue and value to the customer than after four rings. 

Let’s talk about specific tactics a little bit if we can. one thing we want to do is, we talk about this quantity piece as well, optimizing these at-bats, is get to caller the right place quickly. Again, make it seamless, quick and seamless, make it easy. Have a human answer each call. In this day and age of automation and minimizing head count and operational efficiencies and all that good stuff, there is a ton of data that supports that when a business interacts with a human versus a machine, the revenue opportunities and the customer experience go up exponentially. In the instance where someone is having to leave a message, it’s super easy to have the customer prompted to drop a voicemail in the machine. That’s often abandoned, a point of breakage. So if you can, have someone within the organization, whether they are in a sales or support capacity, take that message. It just really sends a strong message to the customer that we are interested in working with you or solving your problem. We care. 

Bryan Del Monte: If I could jump in for a second, I want to share some observations for the aviation and aerospace industry. One of the things I’ve noticed is the bigger the company gets, the less likely I am talk to someone ever, initially. I always got a sense of like how big they must be by how much automation there is. I want people to be sensitive to that because one of the stats on this slide, 60% of calls to sales department show purchase intent. Honestly for this industry, I understand Marchex works with, as I have been telling you, all different types of industries. For aerospace and aviation, nobody calls you to ask you what the weather is. Nobody calls for a social call and they are generally not calling just to get information. So that number is closer to 90%. I will tell you that the companies that focus on customer intimacy, regardless of how big they are, do better than the ones that focus on, I guess what I would call like prospect efficiency, just processing people that come through the door as quickly as possible.

Things like having a human take the message does matter in terms of how well that company does. The companies that I look at and talk to, they may not have the biggest revenue, but the guys who take home the best amount of their revenue, the guys who keep their strongest prices and hold the line, they focus on customer intimacy. Getting to the right person, talking to someone and not being treated like a number, matters a lot to this industry.

Sterling Weiss: Good stuff, Bryan. I appreciate that. Guys, let’s take a quick look at what this actually looks like, this opportunity to make the customer journey more seamless. In this effort to optimize inbound phone calls this initial piece is the low hanging fruit. Let me give you a quick sense for what this looks like in the real world. Marchex works with a major automotive manufacturer, Detroit based. They have over 4000 dealerships throughout North America. Their marketing team came to us with this idea that they wanted to get their head around what it really looked like to be a customer that called one of their stores. You own a car, you either bought it or you get it serviced and you probably get a sense for what their goal is here, having experienced it firsthand. But their goal was, yeah, we have all these disparate locations, they are independent franchises, so we don’t get a lot of insight into what this caller or customer experience looks like. So they came to us to help in that effort and they learned some really shocking things. 

The goal, first of all, why are callers calling and then what does that experience look like? Then what can we control? How can we deliver a better customer experience and in that process, hopefully drive more revenue. The solution was this program they defined as Fixed the Phones. They wanted to implement call tracking, call analytics technology so they could automate this entire process. They wanted to learn where the opportunities were that they were dropping the ball organizationally. Again, getting back to that quantity piece I mentioned a moment ago, and then what action could they take based on the data that they were gleaning to fix this process. 

What they learned was, there were all kinds of points of breakage and really varies depending on the business model. If it was one where someone… A larger dealer group for example, many of them have call center environments where there is a lot of breakage in how different reps within that call center environment handled calls or callers. In the individual store locations where there is [inaudible 18:53], would transfer someone to a sales department and that person would stay on a hold forever and they would finally say, forget it. By taking these different insights, they were over, I want to say it was a 9 month, 12 month period. They started seeing benefits and results almost immediately. They were able to reduce their failed call rate from 15% to 7%, a pretty significant moving of the needle, just by understanding where the breakage was in that customer path to purchase. The average transaction in the automotive dealer space is about 400 bucks. By just addressing this low hanging fruit, they are able to impact their dealer network by about $150 million. 

Bryan Del Monte: That’s an amazing case study and I realize that for some people in my industry that may be tough to fathom it all in. But again, focusing on the $400 average ticket, they have a huge network. But there are a few things I want to point out here. One is they didn’t increase the number of incoming calls; they just answered more of them properly. They had this huge swing from a minor change realistically in the number of at-bats that they were getting, but they were connecting way more. For most of the people I talked to, what would this mean? Well, anywhere between one to five more sales a quarter. For many of you, that means a significant change in revenue. I realize it’s easy to get sucked in by the numbers, but this works whether you are big or small. 

Sterling Weiss: Beautiful, Bryan. I appreciate that industry insight. Now let’s take a look at the quality piece. What can we control from an internal head count standpoint to ensure that our reps are doing the right things in engaging these customers? Let’s take a look at some best practices around that and how we might be able to influence you in the area of optimizing the sales team. The goal here with this quality piece is, we strongly recommend in this effort to improve the inbound caller experience and optimize revenue and the customer experience, it’s really helpful to have some tools in place to measure where you are currently. One thing we talk about often times is, when we are talking with a large automotive brand or a health care provider or whatever the case, a hotel brand, what have you, oftentimes they don’t know where they are currently. What is my current state? 

The goal here is you’ve got to understand and identify where you are currently. Establish a baseline so we can set up goals and objectives for achieving performance metrics moving forward. The first step here is, how do we measure performance, what’s our current state? And then uncover opportunity; leverage that data to uncover opportunities for training. One thing we find there is a lot of value in getting buy-in based on data. The data says we are not even starting every call with a warm greeting, so let’s start there with our greeting and how we initiate a conversation with our customers. Then design the scripts. So you are delivering on the things you want to get done and get accomplished. The goal here with the quality piece is let’s focus on the sales team. 

Bryan Del Monte: I think that’s important, especially for larger aerospace companies where you are going to have a salesman. Some of you that I invited to the call manage incoming teams, whether it’s B2C or B2B. You have guys that are good and you know you have guys that maybe aren’t so good. One of the things that this does… Let’s face it, I mean, everybody has differing abilities. One of the things we are going to get into a little bit here is, why is the one guy mediocre and the other guy better? A lot of it has to do with what the quality of the call is like. So being able to measure that… That’s one of the things Marchex does. Being able to measure what’s going on in that call, you essentially can train up your weaker performing individuals. 

Sterling Weiss: Excellent. Let’s take a look at what that looks like again, from a real world context. We have a client, it’s the fastest growing moving services franchise company, two men in a truck. I absolutely adore these guys. The reason largely is this is a very blue collar industry, a very blue collar brand. But when they first came to us, the thing that intrigued me about their mission was they wanted to be the

[inaudible 24:18]

for delivering a killer customer experience. They actually used the term Nordstrom. We want to be like Nordstrom in that respect. I’m thinking, “Wow, that’s a reach”. I’ve used moving companies before. Nordstrom is definitely not the brand that immediately comes to mind when I’m thinking about the experience I had with moving companies. 

These guys are on a mission to do that. They have a couple of key challenges though. One, their business is absolutely dependent on inbound phone calls, unquestionably. One of the challenges though is their 300 plus locations are all franchise locations. So again, there is this additional layer of losing insight into that customer experience. They have no idea how these 300 plus locations and local markets are engaging with customers. The VP of marketing at the time, mentioned here, Caleb, he told me that he felt like they were individual rogue nations and he felt that they were just doing and saying whatever and it wasn’t in alignment with the brand they were trying to build. 

What they wanted to do is, again, optimize these inbound calls, get their head around what was currently happening so they could establish a baseline and understand where they were. But then the next piece was, and it’s interesting, Bryan, you mentioned this a moment ago, we want to know what our best franchisees are doing and saying to drive killer customer experience and drive higher conversion rates of say, estimates to actual jobs, that kind of thing. And then once we know that we can scale these learnings across the organization. Marchex, can you help with that? 

What they learned was, once we implemented this program there were a number of operational improvements. They were able to improve the customer experience, make it more seamless. What they found was ton of the… the highest percent of calls that were failing were just the staff was out in the field conducting a move, so people were being asked to leave a message. The average move was over $800. That’s the average move value, transaction value. But on top of that, they have additional services they offer that can easily double the cost of a move, double their revenue.

What they found was their best performing franchisees we are asking simple questions like, “Hey, do you need help packing your stuff?” More often than not, customers didn’t even know they offered that. But by simply asking some of these key questions, these franchises that were successful were literally doubling their revenue versus the lower performing ones. Anyway, the goal again was, hey, let’s gain insights into how we are engaging these customers so we can then take what we learn and scale the best practices across the entire organization and improve the sales channels performance overall. 

Hopefully that gives you a sense for how you can leverage insights into the sales channels performance itself to improve the quality piece. Let’s talk about the conversation itself. What are some of the tactics we can employ starting today to guide improvement with how we handle conversations, how we structure them. A couple of things to think about here as you talk and you as you think about how we are literally engaging these customers that call. A couple of key things to think about; one, it’s a good practice to think about the three stages or the three segments of the call and employ tactics around each of them. One thing I want to stress, it’s going to sound silly because in industries perhaps like aviation, I know in automotive, for example and others, there is this term we use called active listening. Many of you may not have heard of what that is, but I will explain what that means here in a second. 

The goal here is to break the call down into three stages. Think of the first phase of the call, the early part. One thing we have learned through processing millions of calls across our platform, across various industries, there is this concept of a warm greeting that outperforms a more typical scripted greeting. I’ll give you a sense for what that looks like. One of our key clients is the fastest growing wireless provider here based in Seattle. They had, at the time, they came to us, three call centers. Their CEO, who is today looked at as a rock star in the wireless space, came to us and he wanted to know how… He felt in this age of automation, you know, all our competitors are looking to automate the sales process. You want a wireless plan, you go to the website and you select a plan. It’s all automated. You enter a credit card, bang, bang, boom. He felt by making the process more personable, they were going to win. Today, he proved them right. 

What he wanted to learn was what are our best agents doing to drive higher engagement and better customer experience. One learning they learned immediately within 90 days of implementing some of this technology was their best reps were starting with a warm greeting and basically their best reps were starting a conversation. A typical conversation would be, “Hey, this is Sterling with brand X. Thanks for calling. How can I help you?” Their best performers, however, were starting the conversation like this, “Hey, this is Sterling with brand X. Thanks for calling today. Hey man, how’s your day going today?” That simple, subtle difference they identified as a warm greeting was driving double digit revenue growth and conversion rates and higher rated… They were finding the reps were actually being mentioned by name in customer surveys. By starting the conversation, be polite with a warm greeting. Tons of data supports that by being warmer in that context, you are going to drive higher conversion rates and higher revenue. 

If you look at the mid call, the goal here is to establish why the caller is calling, what’s the need? The goal here again, is use these active listening techniques to be empathetic. What that means is you want to understand why the caller is calling so you can solve the problem as quickly as possible. By being empathetic, what I mean is, show that you are listening and you can do that by using simple phrases like, “Oh my gosh, you sound like know this is an urgent situation”, or “I hear your pain”. Just really put that exclamation mark on how effectively you understand their pain point and how you are going to solve it. Then at the end of the call, understand you are going to be prescriptive here. You are the expert. Describe to the customer, repeat back to them if you have to, what your understanding of the problem is and how you are going to solve it. “Here is what we will do. What I recommend is” or “Here is how we are going to solve your problem”.

 Repeat back next steps or whatever action you are going to take and then lastly, ask for the darn order. Provide your contact info in the event they need to call you back and always thank them for calling. The goal here is by utilizing active listening techniques, you are showing empathy, you are showing the customer that you care and that you are actually tuned into their problem and interested in solving it. 

Bryan Del Monte: I would argue for aviation, the thing to remember is WIIFM, what’s in it for me. Be friendly, be oriented towards the caller, have a conversational appeal. And especially, I mean, guys, especially those of you that are in sales, that I talk to all the time, it’s all relationship based. We talk about B2C and B2B, but in the end, a person makes the purchase decision whether it’s a consumer purchase or a business purchase. I think Sterling, what your data shows is, be helpful, be personable, be friendly and try to solve the problem. Is that fair? 
Sterling Weiss: Absolutely. It’s remarkable how being warm and fuzzy, as silly as that sounds, how effective that can be. We have an expectation when we call someone on the phone, especially in a call center environment of this is going to be a highly scripted, highly robotized, robotic, whatever. It’s going to be completely void of emotion or feeling. For those who contrast that experience or that expectation they are going to win huge. 

Bryan Del Monte: Well, I think again, for aviation, Southwest Airlines has done pretty well actually treating its customers as people, wouldn’t you agree? 

Sterling Weiss: Agreed. I think Alaska immediately comes to mind as well. 

Bryan Del Monte: Yeah, that’s true. That’s true. They are both very good at that. Well, I want to thank Sterling and Kullan. Kullan, I’m sorry and the entire team at Marchex. This has been a great seminar. I know we are coming up against our timeline here. I know that for some of you this may be a fire hose of information, so I wanted it distilled down for you guys, some key takeaways. I’m going to show you some things that Marchex can do in a moment. One, I want people to start thinking about every incoming call as a sale. You saw two case studies where how they changed how they answered the phone increased their revenues. They didn’t advertise more, they didn’t need to get more at-bats. All they needed to do was handled the pitches coming to them more effectively. Every time that phone rings, treat them as orders, not just calls. I will tell you that as I call on businesses in this space, it’s very erratic how people handle an incoming call.

The second thing is the caller experience matters, human interaction, solutions that are focused on the customer. I know for some of you that are larger, you’ve got IVRs, you know, the whole press 1 for this, press 2 for this. If there is any way for you to circumvent that to a certain extent, I will tell you I’ve dealt… In dealing with companies that are very large like GE and Honeywell and Boeing, being able to break out a division and have it go its own way within brand cohesion, but being able to somewhat break out from underneath the enterprise so that the customer can find them quicker, leads to a big change in the outcomes. Similarly for you as salespeople that are taking in inbound calls or business directors taking an inbound calls, if they don’t have to go through the IVR again to reach you, that’s better than not.

 The third thing is empathy in listening. All you’ve heard from Sterling and the case studies is care. What does it really cost for you to care? Not much, especially if you remember one, which is the guy on the other side of the line is probably looking for reasons to buy from you. That’s why they called. If you care and you build that relationship… And let’s face it, in this industry, it’s always about relationship. Most customers aren’t going to know exactly what they want. So tease it out of them be friendly, focus on that mid call, but be empathetic and care about their issue.

 Fourth, have a point. I can’t tell you how many I talk to where you don’t communicate what matters to the caller. You don’t care enough about the underlying solution and you’ve got your, “Well, so-and-so’s not here”. I can’t tell you how many business I’ve called, I’ll call somebody and I’ll say, “Hey, I want to speak to so and so”. “Well, he is not here” and never actually tried to figure out what it is I need or if anybody else can help me. When you are communicating to the caller, try to give them something that matters most to them and not so much that matters most to you.

 Finally, again, I know it sounds dumb, actually ask for a resolution. Maybe that’s a sale. Maybe that’s a commitment. That’s a clear next step. You have a prescription. But do it on each and every call. Because again, the case studies that you’ve seen today… Again, Marchex, Sterling said they’ve processed a billion minutes. That’s 1900 years’ worth of phone calls. One of the key things to tease out of that was, actually ask for the sale. I can’t stress that enough. Just changing how you answer the phone, asking for the sale for their one client increased revenue $150 million. For two men in a truck, changed their game. The same thing can happen for you. For me, when I went through and I saw the technology and we were putting this presentation together, these were the things that I think are most important to this industry. But Sterling, any last thoughts? 

Sterling Weiss: No, I think you nailed it, Bryan. There are some real simple tactics you can employ today on by gaining insight into where this customer breakage is, you know, the breakages in that customer path to purchase. That’s the low hanging fruit. You will see immediate results there. The next step would then be to focus on the sales org itself. How do we understand what our best reps are doing and saying to drive a better customer experience, higher conversion rates, more revenue, whatever metric you are interested in, and then scale those learnings across the org. Lastly is the idea of, hey, let’s focus on closing more business, driving more at-bats [inaudible 39:59] optimizing media, that kind of thing. 

Kullan Buckrop: Alright. Thank you both. It’s now time for some questions. The first question that we have is, what phrases or words do you recommend agents use on phone calls? 

Sterling Weiss: Words or phrases? Good question. I’m going to go back to what I mentioned earlier in the conversation piece, thinking in terms of the quality aspect. Be empathetic, and I know… My gut tells me within the aviation space, I’m going to look at the automotive industry as kind of a comparison. Particularly if I’m ordering parts, my dad… I grew up in a household where my dad owned his own German car repair business. So he had to take time out of his day to order parts from parts suppliers. It was a very blue collar thing, my macho dad calling the parts depot or whatever to get parts delivered, not a lot of warm and fuzzy conversation going on. But to Bryan’s point earlier, take that opportunity, that at-bat to be empathetic, to show through your words that you are listening and that you care.

Those again, can be words like, “Here is what we will do to solve the problem. Hey, Mr. Weiss, I understand your need to get these parts in immediately. We are going to be prescriptive in solving that for you”. Again, don’t be afraid to show your warm and fuzzy side, I guess in being empathetic that can… It’s just remarkable, how effective using those kinds of words and phrases can be in establishing a relationship. 

Kullan Buckrop: Alright. Thank you very much. The last question that we have is, how much of what you talked about can be applied to cold calling or inbound activities? 

Sterling Weiss: I think with regard to cold calling, well, the last… I think what we find so much in so many outbound environments is that we have a script. Oftentimes that script is kind of canned, again, robotic. I could speak to, again, making it unique to the caller, pardon me, to your target. Whoever you are calling, do some research and understand; make some perceptions around what you think their pain points might be and learn something about their business, so whatever initial messaging you have for them is tailored to them and what you believe their needs are based on your experience in serving others like them. 

Bryan Del Monte: Well, one thing as a guy, if I could just jump in.

Sterling Weiss: Sure.

Bryan Del Monte: As the guy who makes a lot of cold calls, just because you call them doesn’t mean everything you’ve learned today goes out the window. You still want to be friendly. You still want to have empathy. Yeah, you have a script going in, but let’s face it, as a guy who was with the Pentagon for a long time, no plan survives contact with the enemy. Things change as soon as they agree to listen to you. Part of what I would say applies is this, the stages of the phone call that Sterling presented are true, whether it’s inbound versus outbound. Granted it’s a little bit stronger when the guy calls you. He is a better defined need, whereas in an outbound call you have to develop, is there a real need, is this the right guy and all of that. But eventually you get over that hump and so then the rest of what we’ve talked about today, more or less applies as if he called you. 

I would… Being friendly, not being robotic, especially a lot of people that cold called me, they don’t at all focus on what I’m interested in. They’ve got their script and what they need to say. Actually having a conversation and being solution oriented is going to be better than just plowing through your script. Cold calling is definitely harder. It’s better when they call you, there is a demonstrated intent, but once you get over that intent part and you are in the qualification and the discussion and whatnot, everything that we’ve talked about today comes into play immediately. 

Sterling Weiss: Yeah, I agree, Bryan. If I’m thinking in terms of engaging someone in an outbound environment, early part of the call, again, we are being polite, establishing… trying to bring down your target’s defense, if you will, that inherently is in front of you. But the next piece is, hey, establish why you are calling and get to the point quickly. Again, hopefully your effort in this process to solve a problem, you perceive this person has a problem. You haven’t identified that yet. Let’s establish that right up front.