As a Conversational Marketing Expert (CME) for Incept, I can say that I have been through many different call scenarios when it comes to professionally recruiting blood donors. What I’m here to talk about today is how focusing on the actual quality of the call can make all the difference when it comes to recruiting blood donors over the phone.
One thing I always keep in mind when making calls is the fact that I have a very small window of time to make the most positive impression I can on whoever it is that picks up on the other end of the line. First impressions are everything and so is the ability to be able to audibly feel out who it is you’re speaking with.
Get A Feel For Who You Are Talking To
One of the easiest things you can do as a Conversational Marketing Expert (CME) is be ready to emulate the donor.
If I am speaking to an elderly women who has been a lifetime donor for the blood bank I’m calling for, I’m going to want to speak more clearly, with more volume, more deliberately, and in a way that makes her feel comfortable to speak to me. If I am speaking with a donor who happens to be a businessman in downtown Chicago, I’m going to speak a little faster and try to be more direct about why I am calling. When speaking with a donor who has donated considerably and has a high level of loyalty, I am going to place most of my emphasis on acknowledging, recognizing, and appreciating their past support before asking them to donate again.
The key to building any sort of relationship between us as recruiters and the donors we talk to is always acknowledging and showing legitimate appreciation for any type of past donation. Saying “thank you” to a donor for their past support not only shows them that we do care about their efforts to help out, but it will also serve as a tool to establish rapport and get them to listen to your pitch.
- New donors or donors who have recently made their first donation – When calling donors who might be new donors to the blood center we are calling for, I think it is of the utmost importance for a CME to go the extra mile to not only be incredibly appreciative, but also be available and open to answer any questions that that donor might have about their experience. Making these folk feel valuable is crucial to receiving their future support, which, ultimately, is the goal. We want to really drive home the fact that the blood bank we are representing truly relies on the volunteer blood donations of individuals like them.
- Young donors (high school and college-aged) – Much like anyone who is a first time donor or a new donor, we need to be appreciative of what these younger donors have done by donating blood. We want to focus on speaking to them in a non-condescending manner (for example, avoid trying to talk to them like they are younger people or kids) and more in a way that promotes their future support. It truly does make all the difference to interact with them this way. If you are signing them up for a college blood drive, don’t be afraid to ask what their major is. Be considerate of their class schedule and ask them what time works out around their study time or class schedule to donate. You’d be surprised how often a busy college or high school student is willing to consider donating if just asked to do so. Emphasizing text message reminders for these folks is a great way to convey how easy it is to set an appointment.
- Middle-aged donors (parents, business professionals, etc.) – The donors within this age range are most likely parents with families leading busy lives. For many of these people, donating blood is simply an issue of finding time between the many different responsibilities of running a household or working around their professional obligations. Acknowledge this. The key to speaking with these folks is to acknowledge that even though they might be busy, they are doing a great service to the local community by visiting their respective blood bank. Convey how easy it is to schedule even a week out from the current date and how they will receive a reminder call the day before just because we know plans can change. Many times folks will be willing to work with you and, if they are a long-time blood donor, might even ask you to wait while they check their calendar for the best date to come in. These are folks who, without a doubt, you will need solidly second attempt or your success will be limited. Many of these folks donate while at work or another sort of mobile drive. Be a step ahead by reviewing their previous donation history and looking for that same drive to see if it is available.
- Elderly donors – Elderly blood donors are some of the most frequent blood donors. I have seen a good amount of blood donors of elderly age around the century mark for lifetime donations. That is quite impressive. All you need to do when speaking with an elderly donor is show them an old-school sense of respect while talking to them. Make them feel valuable for their contributions to their blood center. You should focus on speaking slower and with more volume. Voice inflection will be of huge importance when trying to be clear in your explanations and pitch. This age group of donors will naturally have more medical issues and limitations when it comes to donating blood, so never forget to be adamant about giving these donors the eligibility number for their blood center depending on their circumstances.
Why Does It Matter?
When it comes to blood donor recruitment over the telephone, the success of any Conversational Marketing™ Expert (CME) relies not on the ability to be able to read a script, but rather on the ability to translate and transpose different parts of the script in their own ways. The key is to sound less like you are reading a script and morelike you are simply talking.
Stay tuned for more expert advice and blood donor recruitment tips.