Lochlan Choules is the telemarketer for Douwe Egberts and responsible for appointment setting for this internationally renowned coffee brand that’s 260 years’ old. For such a famous client to employ The Lead Lab shows how this small firm can compete and win large contracts based on the quality and return on investment that their telemarketing campaigns deliver. Within the first couple of months of engaging The Lead Lab, Douwe Egberts had to increase their sales teams just to keep up with the volume of bookings they were receiving.
Lochlan’s daily job is to ring round the prospect list provided to him and book appointments for Douwe Egberts Business Development Managers to then visit them and win contracts. The leads are mostly in the hospitality sector and Lochlan mainly books new leads, where no previous relationship exists, so he is the first point of contact, which means his manner and approach has to be welcoming, informed and professional.
“I have been handling the Douwe Egberts account for nearly 18 months now and the prospects I speak to are all across the UK. When I start a new campaign there is usually a script in place which I use for the first couple of weeks only, and then after that, I know how to tailor each call based on the indicators that I receive from them on the phone. It’s all about creating that personal connection on the phone as I don’t want to come across as a robot and that’s something we all work hard at here at The Lead Lab.”
By having a dedicated and consistent telemarketer such as Lochlan on their side, means that the Douwe Egberts campaigns can be very seasonally driven, for example, stadiums tend to look to renew their coffee contracts at the end of the football and rugby season. That’s when a very targeted campaign can win those contracts from incumbent providers. The Lead Lab also targets hotels and leisure centres year round, so there is always scope for growing the sales outreach for Douwe Egberts.
One downside often highlighted by companies employing an outsourced telemarketing company is that staff turnover is so high. A key company ethos at The Lead Lab is to find and retain loyal staff and look after them well, so the relationships they establish with their clients are nurtured so both telemarketer and customer feel secure and confident.
“Once a personal rapport has been established with a prospect then the next thing is to make sure I am talking to the decision maker and I introduce myself as the PA to the Regional Director and then I establish their requirement. I need to know if they are tied into a long term coffee contract and if they buy the sufficient volume of coffee that warrants setting up an appointment for Douwe Egberts to go in. I know so much about their service now, so I can talk around how they can get equipment for free on loan if their orders reach a certain volume level, so this can then lead onto discussions about cost savings. It’s always important that I am fully aware of the pre-requisites needed to qualify the prospects, and I know how to ask questions about whether they hold large conferences or if wedding receptions take place at the hotel, or how many bedrooms they have etc. These all reflect the volume of coffee products they need.”
Once an appointment has been set, Lochlan then issues a calendar invite and electronic confirmation of time and place.
One of the reasons that Douwe Egberts remains a long standing client is Lochlan’s relationship with them, and his feedback is welcomed, as it is there to drive appointments first and foremost.
“They always welcome our feedback as we are the experts at what we do, we don’t just read a script and we do input into what makes the campaign successful. If I suggest a change to make it easier to book an appointment or establish a lead, then my thoughts are listened to. If I notice a pattern in the conversations I’m having then I’m encouraged to feed that back so we can target a specific sector better – such as a particular day or time to call that gets the best results. I like that.”
Lochlan also has a good relationship with Douwe Egberts’ National Sales Managers who look after the Regional Managers. Every couple of months they come down and they all have a meal and go out socially. This goes a long way and makes the business relationship friendly and respectful and it is a testament to the different approach The Lead Lab takes as a business. Unlike other telemarketing call centres they don’t take the ‘Big Brother approach’ but empower their telemarketers to take pride in the appointments they set and the relationship they nurture with their clients.
“I come into the office in the morning and they make me a cup of coffee and then I’m on the phone all day. The coffee’s Douwe Egberts of course…another perk of the job!”
Want to find out more? Check out our site here: www.theleadlab.com