Q: I’m buying prospecting leads and need suggestions about making these calls.

A: An effective dialing system to contact leads is essential. Gail Wolfe, a Massachusetts LTC planning specialist with ACSIA LTC, has developed a successful system. Here’s her process:

  1. She follows her company’s phone script.
  2. She uses a phone tracker sheet to record the number of dials and results (no answer, not interested, not qualified or appointment set).
  3. She records the dialing dates and time of day. This way she knows how often she tried each number. She dials each lead 12 times–mixing morning, afternoon, evening or Saturday calls.
  4. Because of Caller ID, she leaves a message the first time she calls: “Hello John, this is Gail Wolfe with ACSIA LTC. I’m calling because you made an inquiry regarding LTCI. I’m sorry I missed you today. I can be reached at xxx-xxxx. I look forward to speaking to you soon.” If the prospect’s age is younger (40s to 50s), she says, “Hello John, it’s Gail. I have the answer to your question. Call me at xxx-xxxx.”
  5. She doesn’t leave messages each time she calls. But on the ninth dial, she leaves another message: “Hello John, this is Gail Wolfe. I haven’t been successful reaching you by phone to answer your questions regarding LTC planning. Please call me at xxx-xxxx or send an e-mail to (my address) to suggest a better time to reach you. I await your call.”
  6. On the 12th dial, she leaves the following message: “Hello John, it’s Gail Wolfe. We’ve not been successful in connecting by phone so that I can answer your LTC planning questions. I will try once more this Sunday, May 16th at 4 p.m. I look forward to speaking with you then. Of course you can call me at xxx-xxxx before then if it’s more convenient.” She specifically uses late afternoon on the next Sunday because that’s a family day. By giving him a time, she has, in essence, set an appointment to call.
  7. She calls on that date and time. Usually they answer. If not, she leaves one final message: “Hello John, it’s Gail Wolfe calling as promised. Sorry we didn’t connect again today. The ball is now in your court. Please call me at xxx-xxxx. If I don’t hear from you by the close of business this Thursday, then I’ll assume that learning about LTC planning is not a priority for you now, and I will be closing your file.”

She says that no one wants to have their file “closed.” She assumes that the timing isn’t right. The prospect now becomes a “B” lead, and she plans to contact them again in four months.