Feeling out of the Loop?

You’re following a discussion on Twitter, then all of a sudden it stops, you’re left hanging, you want to know more, you want to join it – but it seems the discussion just stopped – you feel you’ve been left out of the loop.

What happened to the discussion?

Is it really an issue?

Firstly, what happened – it’s quite possible the discussion went ‘private’ the couple of people having the discussion thought rather than fill everyone’s timeline that they’d continue it with DM (direct messages), not a biggie really.

Was it really an issue that the conversation went private? In short – no. If you hadn’t joined in the conversation it’s how sad too bad really, but that needn’t be the end of it, you may feel you were left out of the loop, but unless you had joined in, how would the others have know you had an interest and had something to share about it.

It’s not too late to say something about the conversation, perhaps you could @reply the people and refer to their discussion, or you could blog about it and ‘reignite’ the discussion.

Being sour faced about a conversation going private is only your problem. You have the ability to keep a conversation going, but on the other hand if there was only a couple of people talking about it, perhaps they felt it was something no one else was interested in, so they took the ‘polite’ path by taking it out of the public timeline.

If you want to engage and join in conversations only you can do this, you need to be proactive in finding the conversations that interest you, and you need to be the one who joins in, others won’t know that you have an interest unless you wave your arms and say something.

Get in the loop – join in the conversations that interest you, and remember they don’t have to be about you, your organisation – they can be about anything you have an interest in.

Outbound Telephone Campaigns

Do you manage your calling cycles around events taking place in your community?

Do you collate a calendar of “usual” events taking place? 

Anyone doing outbound calls, membership drives, fundraising or sales calls should be monitoring what else is taking pace that could have an impact on the “call outcome”. 

If there’s a major event on TV this will impact on how your call is received, it’s hard enough to get a good reception, don’t make it harder by calling when people are at their most distracted. 

By collecting, or sourcing a calendar of events, outbound telephone campaigns can be scheduled at a time most likely to have a better, more positive impact. 

You could programme your calling around a TV documentary scheduled that covers something aligned to the work you do in the community. This would give you a “lead in” to the call, or give something as a reference point when talking to people. 

Remember too to alert people that you’re going to do a telephone campaign. Talk about it in your updates to your supporters. 

Don’t forget to update your website to let people know you are doing a campaign, update your Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other online social channels. 

Spread the word, people will then have a heads up and will likely have recall of your updates when you call. 

Build a calendar of events, keep it updated your campaign is likely to benefit from doing this. 

Is what you’re doing news worthy -tell the media. The more people know about what you’re doing, they better all round. 

Do you have tips on managing a fundraising telephone campaign that you can share, post them in the comments below.


Stop being a wallflower

People often ask “how do we get noticed?” They’re referring to people connecting with them on the likes of Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn etc. 

A great analogy is – You won’t meet anyone if you go to a bar and stand around like a wallflower – so why be a wallflower when it comes to social media. And it’s dead right.

It doesn’t matter what social media you’re using, unless you let yourself be seen – post information others will be interested in, and check others profiles, connect with them; “butt” into conversations – you’re going to be nothing more than a wallflower. 

You’ve probably said something on the lines of “social media doesn’t work, I’ve not seen any benefit.” If you have, have you looked at your activity, has it been all that it could have been, or have you simply been doing updates – without trying to get any engagement or build connections? 

You can’t scramble an egg without breaking it – you won’t make any inroads in social media if you don’t break out of your shell, if you don’t join in conversations. 

Stop sitting on the sidelines, join in the conversations taking place – you don’t always have to talk “shop”, behind every account is a person, be a person, show your personality and you will soon find connecting, sharing and gains will be made.

Prepare before Telemarketing

After some recent discussion around telemarketing and now having just had a telemarketing call, I thought I’d share these thoughts. 

Yes, I’ve done telemarketing both B2C and B2B, I’ve trained telemarketers and seen some real success and also some spectacular failures. 

The call I just got was about telecommunications and how I could save on phone calls with the savings being used for other technology in the business. 

The caller started with – Hello how are you – to start with I know a telemarketer doesn’t want to know how I am, they just want to sell me something – so get to the point. 

Then she proceeded to tell me how the service could help me, she told me she “knew” it would be useful and beneficial to my business.  Ok, now for the fun. 

I stopped the caller in her tracks and asked her where the business was located – “in New Zealand” – ok – he strong accent still had me wondering. 

I was told how the “concept” would be beneficially good for my business – um, I asked ok, “what sort of business is that?” – she didn’t or couldn’t answer and continued with here spiel again brushing my question aside. 

Ok – she may have been nervous, didn’t know how to answer or just had no idea as to what to say so used the “let this question slide and I’ll keep going” tactic, spouting on more about something I had no interest in. 

I thought I’d see if I could pinpoint where she was calling from and asked for her phone number. She said she didn’t have a number I could call back on um – what? Surely there’s a number, she rang me after all – I’m sure it was from a landline, it sure wasn’t jungle drums. 

Since she didn’t know who I was, what I did or wasn’t able to give me a phone number, I suggested the end the call and hung-up. 

Where did this call go wrong? Firstly she asked me how I was – a waste of time. If anything she should have said something on the lines of “have you got a moment to talk?” or “I hope I haven’t got you at a bad time” – either of which gives an impression of understanding that I’m not here to take the call and have other things to be getting on with.   

Also, saying something on those lines can leave the door open for the caller to be able to call back at a later – pre arranged time.                 

My caller also indicated she had knowledge of what my business does when in fact she had no idea – if you can’t back it up, don’t say it – you will be caught out. 

She didn’t have a number for me to call back on, come on – even outsourced call centres will normally make sure there is a number for people to call back on. If there’s no number I don’t want to know about them. 

I’d suggest a call be ‘staged’ on these lines


“Good morning/afternoon it’s __________ from XYZ – have you got a moment to talk? 

If yes

Great thank you – I’m calling about …. blah blah blah 

There should be questions to make sure you understand who you’re speaking with – qualifying too that you have the right person. 

Also, and this is really important – if you have the persons name use it, and use it at least three times in the conversation. People like hearing their name, and it also helps to bring someone back to the conversation should they have become distracted by other things in the surrounds. 

If the caller got a No when they asked if it was a convenient time, or similar: 

“Ok – would you mind if I gave you a call back perhaps later today, or would tomorrow be more suitable?” Often this will make the “prospect” ask what it was about, or suggest that  a call later would be suitable. 

If the person says yes to being called back, offering a choice of times makes them feel as though they are now controlling the call and will be more receptive when they’re called back. 

These are basics, and if someone doesn’t know how to make a decent telemarketing call – they should be taken off the phone and offered further coaching. 

Not long after this call I received another, this time from an insurance agent – he started off perfectly, asked me if it was convenient to talk, summarised in maybe ten words what the call was about – then when I said I wasn’t interested he apologised for the ‘intrusion’ and the call was terminated. 

If you’re using telemarketers give them the tools to do the job – not just a headset, give them some background, give them contact details should someone want to call back, and let your agents be people, let them do their own script using their own words and personality. If you don’t do this then just get a bank of phones and a pre-recorded tape of what you’re pitching – it‘ll have the same results and also cost a lot less.

This originally appeared on adagebusiness

A Visionary

It may surprise some to know I only have one Apple product, I’ve admired Apple as a company, and Steve Jobs as a visionary, someone from humble beginnings –  growing into a person who has done so much to change the way we interact, engage and enjoy life.

After the passing of Steve Jobs, I saw and read many postings about him, and one of the most moving (in many ways) has to be his Stanford Commencement Address

I found several messages in it, messages that will come to you when you watch it. Listen to the words yourself and I’m sure you will come away with some gems that will reassure you that you’ve done the right thing, or if you haven’t they’ll give you the ‘nudge’ you need to take the plunge.

One quote struck me “even if you’re struck by a brick, don’t give up” (8:13)

Whatever you’re doing – don’t give up!