Ashley Cleaning Supplies testimonial transcript

I'm Matt Arden, director at Ashley Cleaning Supplies based in Altrincham.

We're a relatively small company and the thought of bringing someone in specifically to do direct call marketing for us, I didn't really want to have the cost of that and also it wasn't necessary to bring on someone full time so by trying Straightahead it allowed us the opportunity to try it out and see how it would work for us in our case generating new leads would really fall on myself and limited success just because I don't have the time to follow up on all the calls so I know that if I've got a list of 30 potential new customers to try and call, you're not going to speak to them by making that first call necessarily but then you obviously need to follow that up and I just wasn't having the time to be able to do that, so someone who could specifically be doing that job for us and following up on those calls would make it a lot easier.

OK so in terms of recruiting internal staff because I wouldn't want someone doing the job of direct call marketing full time there wouldn't be anyone, or I've not managed to find anyone who would be willing to do it part time, maybe just a couple of days a month.

So that's really the main problem.

In terms of direct call marketing I wouldn't be comfortable doing it without being recommended by that company first and in the instance of Straightahead they were recommended to me by someone who'd had success doing this with them in the past.

I think the key thing that came across to me when I first met Vicki was that they would represent my company in the way that I want it represented.

The people who do the calls for us - and Vicki got across this to me very early on - it sounds like they work for your company and they go to the trouble of finding out what your values are as a company and what you're all about so that when they're making the calls it sounds completely like they're there in your office and they are invested in your business so the approach that comes across is exactly how you want to be portrayed to potential customers.

It was really from meeting Vicki and from having a recommendation, so I was introduced to Vicki at a networking event by someone who'd used Straightahead before and said they had success using Straightahead's services so then after being introduced to Vicki and having that recommendation and then hearing Vicki explain how they operate different to other direct call marketing firms it makes sense to give it a go and I'm glad I did.

I started off on a certain package with Straightahead where they were able to deliver two appointments with potential customers that I wanted to work with. To do that requires quite a lot of calling to actually speak to the right person but I was more than happy if I could get two appointments out of it then it's then down to me to be able to sit those appointments and convert them into business. That's a lot better than me just sending out flyers, sending out mailshots; this was appointments with the decision makers within the companies that I want to work with.

Yes, so exactly the two appointments that were promised to be delivered have been delivered and the majority of those have been really good opportunities. So it's not just been appointments and I've turned up just completely cold and there's not been any need for my services.

I've been turning up at these appointments and there's like a real opportunity for me so much so that the appointments that I've sat I've been able to convert around about 50% of those appointments into customers.

The most important part of the service to me is really that the person making the calls is representing Ashley Cleaning Supplies in the right way and that has definitely been delivered. I get the call clips sent through of the leads that I will be going to sit the appointments with and the way those call clips show how the calls have been made - it represents Ashley Cleaning Supplies exactly the way I want it to so when I actually go and sit those appointments I know that their first impression of us has been the right one and then it's been a lot easier to build a rapport with that customer and then ultimately for them to place an order with us.

Basically the day after the calls are made I get sent through a report and it tells me all the potential customers they've actually managed to speak to and the ones where I've got an appointment or it's a hot lead I get the call clip for. And that call clip is crucial so that I can listen back to that just before I go into an appointment with that person and it gives me a feel for what tone to take with them based on how they've reacted to the call that's been made.

So yes, the turnaround of the report is quick and the call clip is crucial to me for when I sit that appointment.

Yes, so, very responsive to the feedback that I've given. I tend to speak to our account manager in Straightahead once every month, once every couple of months, and if I've heard something on a call clip that needs changing that will be changed for the next set of calls.

But in all honesty there hasn't been a great deal of negative feedback to go because the people who do the calls for us know our business now well enough that they make the calls in the right way and it's working perfectly.

What I've noticed different about Straightahead that I would imagine other telemarketing companies do is that they start the relationship with that customer from the minute that call is made so it's a really friendly approach, it's knowledgeable to a point on the business that they're representing, i.e., our business.

What I'm looking for is a long relationship with my customers and that has to start with that first point of contact which in the case of Straightahead is the first call that they make.

As we're a relatively small company that's dealing with customers in a specific region one of the main points that people like dealing with ourselves, is they're dealing with a friendly company and that friendly feel comes across from the first call that Straightahead make for us.

So it's just our values that we have as a company are represented in the calls that Straightahead make and it allows us to build that relationship moving forward. We're not just looking for a one-off sale with a company, we're looking for a long relationship with us being their supplier and the only way to do that is by having a relationship with them.