Competition in business can be a good thing

Having industry competitors breathing down your neck can motivate you to work harder and become more innovative, providing better services to your customers.

But increased business competition can also be scary, particularly if you’re working in an already over-saturated industry. How can you stand out from the crowd?

How can you ensure your business is successful during slow periods when so many others are vying for your customers’ attention?

Increased competition in business doesn’t have to leave you feeling defeated, regardless of your industry. Instead, use it as an incentive to build your brand and find ways to excel.

Here are some ideas on how to set yourself apart from your competitors.

Why you shouldn’t let competition in business bring you down

How to manage competition in business

Get to know your customers

Knowledge is power, and knowing your customers well is a valuable power move for any business owner. Spend time getting to know your customers and attempting to understand their challenges and needs.

The better you get to know your customers, the more you’ll be able to tailor your marketing and services to them.

Highlight your differences

Some industries are more competitive than others. Take real estate agents, for example. Not only are you competing against other businesses in your area, but you often need to build your own brand within a wider company.

In cases like this, where it seems like everyone is offering the same thing, it’s helpful to remember that your individuality can be your superpower. While you may offer very similar services to other agents, they are not you. Focus on what makes you unique, and use that to stand out from the crowd.

Level up your marketing

Need to reach more customers? Don’t be afraid to invest in your marketing to help you get in front of the competition in business. Brand visibility is crucial, so getting your name out there should be a top priority.

If your existing marketing campaigns don’t seem to be working, experiment with something new. Telemarketing is one tactic that can give your brand a boost.

Recently, Vangie Philpott from LJ Hooker Huntly used the Hot Leads service to try and generate leads in a slow market. She had experienced an increase in competition with an influx of new agents in her area, so she wanted to stand out and put herself ahead.

The results were fantastic. After a telemarketing campaign, Hot Leads were able to generate 43 appraisal appointments for Vangie. While her colleagues were struggling to connect with customers, she was busy doing appraisals, making connections, and building relationships with her new leads.

Focus on what you can control

At the end of the day, you have no control over how many competitors you have or how they run their business.

But you do have total control over your brand, your marketing, and your services. Instead of wasting time and energy worrying about what the competition is up to, focus on the things you can do to help your business succeed.

Getting your name in front of customers, understanding their needs, and building relationships is never a waste of time. Telemarketing is a great way to achieve all those things, and provide you with an extensive list of warm leads to keep you busy while the competition are twiddling their thumbs.

If you’d like to be proactive about getting ahead of your competition in business, reach out to the Hot Leads team today.

Fundraising campaigns are a lifeline for many not for profit organisations and charities.

They rely on donations made by the public, corporate organisations and kind hearted souls to carry out their important work.

But, those donations don’t flow in like magic. It takes consistent work and follow up to maintain existing donors and generate new ones.

Unfortunately, this can be a job that doesn’t get the full attention it needs as it is so time consuming.

It is especially hard in a time of uncertainty where some fundraising opportunities are cancelled or postponed.

So, what is the solution?

Donations are required to do valuable support work. Yet, the support work takes up much of the organisation’s time so they can’t dedicate time towards encouraging

Luckily, if you find the right resource, it is a job that can be outsourced.

Partnering with the right callers

We have all had that moment where we pick up the phone to a number we don’t recognise and find ourselves trapped on the call with an aggressive salesperson.

That is telemarketing done wrong.

Rather than choosing someone who is all about the sale, you should select a telemarketing partner who actually cares. Not just one that cares about the results they are going to achieve for an organisation, but one who also cares about the people they get on the other end of the phone.

For us here at Hot Leads, it is an honour to help amazing organisations source funding so that they can carry out their valuable work. Which is why we treat everyone involved with the utmost respect.

We know that there are people out there who want to contribute to your cause and we are passionate about finding them for you in a respectful and professional way!

Testing interest

Cold calling can be hard if you aren’t sure what you are doing. If you don’t arm yourself with the right tactics, then you are unlikely to have much success.
You may find your call recipients hanging up on you or giving you a hard, flat no. That can be really disheartening and off putting! However, if you enter the call to have a conversation, rather than going for a hard sell, then you’ll enjoy greater success.

Creating a conversation about donations takes practice and skill. AND a well-crafted script. These are the things that professional telemarketers have in their back pockets. They have been trained to create opportunities for your team, whether it is a call back opportunity or joining an email

By having a telemarketing firm test interest on your behalf, you don’t waste internal resources. It also helps you to gather valuable insight into where your organisation is positioned. Armed with extra insight and sentiment about your market, you can then make informed decisions.

Maximising your resources

Most charity organisations do not have the internal resource to make hundreds of calls a week. And to be honest, that wouldn’t be the best use of their time!
Especially when you may have a number of campaigns with different audiences and objectives. Each one will require a different strategy and calling objective. You need people with diverse and flexible calling skills.

Maximise your resources and allow your team to focus on what they do best by sourcing some help.

By engaging a telemarketing firm, your team will get to focus on the quality, warm leads only.

As a reputable telemarketing firm, we can utilise your own databases or you can gain access to ours. We make initial fact finding calls to gauge the interest of potential donors. Once we have compiled a shortlist of those that are interested, we pass them on to you for the next stage of communication.

Working in an uncertain market

No one truly knows what the coming months have in store for us. With a new protection framework to understand, new variants of the virus evolving, and uncertainty about how long this health crisis will last, your usual marketing methods may be off the table. And even if you can still utilise those methods, they may not be as effective as they once were.

So, what can you do?

There is one marketing method that will always cut through and generate results. That method is having valuable conversations with people. Conversations create a connection and an opportunity to build trust, plus they allow for a question and answer situation.

Unfortunately, conversations take time to have. And there is no way to speed up that process. You can’t hit fast forward on people! The best option is to outsource the initial conversation process to trusted telemarketers like the team here at Hot Leads. We love conversations. And the conversations we have with people open the door for your team. We start the conversation for you to continue.

Want to have a conversation about how we can make conversations for your organisation? Then reach out to us today!

What is a sales pipeline?

Funnels, pipelines, leads and conversions – sometimes sales lingo sounds more like a plumbing job than a marketing process!

In the practical sense, a sales pipeline describes the process you use to deliver consistent leads (aka potential customers) into your business.

It can help to visualise your pipeline as the journey a prospective client takes with your business, from the first time they become aware of you to developing interest and (hopefully) making a purchase.

Every business is different, but when it comes to sales, there are generally five stages to the salespipeline:

  1. Initial contact
  2. Qualification
  3. Meeting
  4. Proposal
  5. Close

How a hot pipeline can help your business

Wouldn’t it be great if all your prospective customers found you on the internet, approached you, and made a purchase on the spot?

This may happen once in a blue moon, but to really grow your business, you need to be proactive about discovering and nurturing your leads as they move through your sales pipeline.

A study by the Harvard Business Review revealed an 18% difference in revenue growth betwee companies that had a defined formal sales process and those that didn’t.

When you have a healthy pipeline, you’ll have the data necessary to improve your sales process and forecast business results. Plus, you’ll have a better idea of how and where to allocate resources to close sales and get a more precise overview of the health of your business – now and in the future.

Why outsource your telemarketing?

In the real world, pipes allow something (such as water) to travel from a source to a destination. But of course, you need there to be a source! If your water pipes are connected to an empty tank, they’re not going to be able to deliver.

The same goes for a sales pipeline. You need a steady flow of interested customers to grow your business.

One of the most important aspects of a sales pipeline is the number and quality of leads. Naturally, you’ll get the most value out of sales-ready, warmed up customers rather than people who aren’t really in the market for what you have to offer.

But getting these high-value warm leads requires skill and time that many businesses just don’t have. Would you rather have your sales consultants spend hours every day cold calling to come up with a list of warm leads? Or would you rather hand them a list of prospects who are already interested in buying and let them spend their time closing deals?

By outsourcing your telemarketing, you can do just that.

This is what New Zealand’s largest independent insurance brokers, BrokerWeb Risk Services (BWRS), discovered when undertaking a test campaign with the Hot Leads team.

Hot results

Throughout the telemarketing campaign we ran for one of our insurance clients, we were able to quadruple the number of leads for one of their key referrers and finished up the campaign with a mindblowing conversion rate of 55%!

Thanks to this investment in outsourced telemarketing, our client created a smoking hot sales pipeline with more than 80 telephone appointments and 75 email enquiries to follow up with.

A telemarketing campaign with Hot Leads helps your business skip to the good part: you spend less time cold calling dead leads and more time closing deals with clients who actually look forward to hearing from you.

Sound good?

If you’d like to work on your sales pipeline with a hot telemarketing campaign, contact Hot Leads today to find out how we can help.

Yeah, but nah. We understand that you may have had trouble finding the right mix of resource to bring onboard.

But while we agree that it’s hard to find that elusive person who can understand your technology, clearly articulate the business benefits it offers, and talk engagingly to your target market, it doesn’t mean they don’t exist. They just work for us!

Case in point

Meet ecommbi. They deliver fully integrated ‘best of breed’ omnichannel eCommerce and Online solutions. Their enterprise-scale platforms provide the all-important single customer, single product and single inventory views, with a focus on middleware and data management.

General Manager Glen Moody says their business considered and abandoned several potential sales models, including hiring salespeople to focus on pipeline building. “The people we found who had strong lead generation skills didn’t have the grasp of technology we needed. And the ones with great technical sales skills didn’t have the cold calling experience or initial contact skills. It was a real issue for us.”

Finding the right sales model (and people) was an exercise in frustration. Then ecommbi met us.

We do technology, and we do it well!

Now Hot Leads is not known for shying away from a challenge. Our investment in hiring local businesspeople to do lead generation has paid off time and time again when undertaking campaigns for the technology sector. We not only offered ecommbi the skills and experience to run sophisticated campaigns, but the ability to reach and have intelligent, robust conversations with the people they’d identified as hot prospects.

Our immersion approach to learning about their business and solutions paid off. “Our Hot Leads’ consultant now probably knows more about sales in our business than 90% of the people who work here, which is a powerful thing,” says Glen.

That’s a win in anyone’s books. But even better, we delivered ecommbi real business value. “Using Hot Leads has been extremely cost-effective because of the high value of each sale. Our ROI is much better than if we’d had to find, hire, and train an in-house lead generation resource.”

(Glen also said lots of other really nice things about us which you can read here).

We’re not a one-hit IT wonder

Glen and ecommbi aren’t the only ones to appreciate our expertise in the technology space. For example, Lisa Nicks, GM of Sales (NZ) for Australian business solutions company, Fusion5, also gave us the big thumbs up.

“Fusion5 provides ERP, CRM and HCM business applications into SMB and Enterprise organisations across Australia and New Zealand. Recently, Fusion5 hired Hot Leads to execute a telesales campaign in order to generate and drive new business leads specific to the ERP space. We found Lisa and her team extremely professional in their approach in understanding our requirements before the campaign kicked off, as well as the execution and follow-up. At all times, we were in sync with Hot Leads on the expectations and co-ordination of next steps, as there was constant communication. The campaign has been a success to Fusion5.”

So, if you’ve always thought that you’d never find the IT sales skills you need in a lead generation company, think again!

Sadly, it often takes a bad experience with a telemarketing service to appreciate a good one.

One of the most constant pieces of feedback we get from new clients is the difference they experience working with us compared with their previous lead generation partners.

In our latest case study, Brendan Drury, Orbit World Travel’s Managing Director said: “From my perspective, the difference between using Hot Leads and our results from the previous two to three years is like comparing night and day.”

Here comes the sun again.

After outsourcing their lead generation services to a local company for several years, Brendan wasn’t happy with the results. A lack of quality information combined with a disappointing volume of appointments led them to pull the plug on their investment. Dark days, indeed!

And he’s not alone. We’ve won the hearts of many clients who have been just about ready to give up on finding a telemarketing company they can trust to deliver results.

So what makes us shine so bright?

1. We keep a tight focus on the quality of the data we collect – making sure it’s accurate, current and appropriate. As far as we’re concerned, near enough is never good enough.
2. We find the people you need to connect with – we’re great at tracking down those hard-to-find-and-even-harder-to-reach decision-makers. Yes, we’re rottweilers of the telemarketing world, smart, strong, tenacious and well-trained!
3. We make you look good – we’re professional, local, friendly, approachable and take pride in representing your brand and explaining your value proposition. We think on our feet and don’t use scripts, so the people we call won’t even realise that we aren’t your employees. Our consultants get rave reviews!
4. We help you break into new markets – we’ve delivered significant, high-value opportunities to our customers in industry sectors they’ve only dreamed of penetrating. We’ve literally seen jaws drop when our clients see who we’ve arranged for them to meet.
5. We generate detailed reporting – we collect a wealth of valuable information, so you always know what’s in the pipeline.
6. We give valuable advice – we can help you improve outcomes through our knowledge and experience.
7. And we do it all with a smile. Because we’re doing what we love.

Ready to walk into the light? Call us.


However, that’s exactly the problem one of our clients recently had after engaging us to generate leads for their sales team. Keen to increase membership numbers, but lacking the internal resources to run a telemarketing campaign, Master Plumbers asked us to work through their contact list to identify hot prospects.

So, we did. Except we did the job a bit too well – if there can be such an outcome!

Overachieved and over-committed!

It was a hugely successful campaign. Of the 1033 calls we made, we talked to 400 decision makers and made 125 prequalified sales appointments. The only issue was that we generated so many meetings that the (very happy) Master Plumbers sales team had to reschedule some of them just to keep up with demand!

That’s what happens when you have a good list, the right message and offer, and a professional approach. Having too many sales appointments is a greatproblem to have, but we all know that following through in a timely fashion is critical to the end success of any campaign.

The uptake test

If you’re unsure about what volume of leads to expect or feeling under-prepared for a heavy uptake of the offer you’re asking us to promote, then we recommend you consider either a trial run or a staggered approach to your campaign.

Undertaking a trial campaign to a sample of your contact list will give you a good indication of how many prospects we can generate for you – and how much activity you need to allow for at your end to follow through. And it also gives you the opportunity to tweak (a technical term) your offer and potentially improve overall results.

Alternatively, a staggered or drip-feed approach divides the campaign into manageable stages. This strategy gives your sales team time to draw breath, regroup and refocus before we drop more leads in your lap. It also ensures that you don’t drop the ball, or have to perform triage on the prospect list and potentially miss opportunities that just need a little nudge to turn from warm to hot.

Tap into great results

We loved working with Master Plumbers and were delighted to be behind boosting their membership numbers, even if we stretched the capacity of their sales team. Sorry – not sorry!

“It would be fair to say that we were very surprised by the level of engagement,” said Margaret Dawson, Operations Manager for Master Plumbers, “and probably a bit under-prepared for it!”

If you’d like to read more about the Master Plumbers campaign, then check out the case study.

We’ve just published our first Hot Leads ‘Essential Guide’ to Lead Generation. It’s packed full of practical, step-by-step ‘need to know’ stuff that you well…need to know, to run a telemarketing campaign that will seriously boost your sales pipeline. As written by the experts (that’s us).

Why do you need to read up on telemarketing? Isn’t it all pretty straightforward?

Telemarketing is one of the most effective methods of lead generation. But its success isn’t random, and it doesn’t come without planning.

Great marketers and sales professionals apply best practice to deciding on, setting up, running and measuring a campaign that delivers value – and, importantly, a return on investment. They understand how to amplify a campaign’s impact and to present their brand professionally and consistently.

Become a lead generation know-it-all – for FREE

It doesn’t matter if you’re an experienced sales or marketing manager looking for new tips to boost your campaign outcomes, or you’re just exploring the possibilities for your business and want to understand the process.

Either way, we’ve got you covered. Because one thing is for certain – when you download and read our FREE eBook you’ll improve your know-how, starting with:

  1. Know your objectives and define what constitutes success
  2. Know your target market
  3. Know how to get a great prospect list
  4. Know how to design and test a compelling campaign
  5. Know how to work your CRM
  6. Know how to put together the perfect lead gen team
  7. Know your next steps! (Your campaign checklist).

Get your FREE DOWNLOAD here! Happy reading!

We do a lot of work in the not-for-profit (NFP) sector. And while all our clients are important to us, I must admit that helping others ‘do good’ gives us a big case of the warm fuzzies.

There are countless businesses and organisations doing wonderful work in New Zealand, so trying to catch the attention of the people who can help make the difference to their critical and ongoing fundraising efforts is critical.

That’s where we come in. You see, we know that a friendly chat goes a long way towards reminding people that their help is genuinely needed and appreciated.

In the Pink

We recently had a chance to help New Zealand’s Breast Cancer Awareness Foundation. Like most NFPs, they need to be sure every marketing initiative is targeted and cost effective.

Nicky Sinclair-Perkins, the Foundation’s Campaigns Manager, called us as they were looking for a way to get new businesses to support their work – in particular their Pink for a Day campaign.

With a limited budget she said it was super important to know that the Foundation’s brand was in safe hands.

Her confidence in us was well placed. We’re passionate about everything we do but this one really struck a chord, as almost everyone in our team knew someone affected by breast cancer. Shockingly, one in nine Kiwi women are diagnosed with breast cancer at some point in their lives.

Here are some far more positive figures. We made 2030 calls and signed up 158 new businesses that wanted to be involved in the Foundation’s work.

We also followed up all those calls with a personalised email, so they really felt they were getting involved and were part of the team. That made a huge difference.

Great results

In the end, one in every four organisations that registered for Pink for a Day came from the people we called.

That meant the Foundation was able to speak to thousands more people about breast cancer awareness. Better still that helped raise over $150,000 for breast cancer education, research and support.

Not only that, but we were also able to give Nicky and her team a list of new businesses that were keen to be involved in the future.

“The results were great,” says Nicky. “It was a successful campaign and we are very happy with the outcome.”

If you’d like to read more about the Breast Cancer Awareness Foundation NZ campaign, then check out the case study.

Having a great pipeline of properties is the lifeblood of any successful real estate business. Of any business, really.

I repeatedly hear of property agents taking a passive approach to building their sales pipelines and wondering why they aren’t doing as well as others. They try everything (including passive tactics like social media, Google AdWords campaigns and paying search engine optimisation specialists) exceptpicking up the phone and putting in the hard yards.

The real estate industry is highly competitive and it’s all about building one-to-one relationships. And like it or not, that requires human contact. Lots of it.

The smart sales team

Steve and Miriam Davis, aka the formidable Team Davis from Harcourts Real Estate, tried all the passive sales methods (see above) on top of their normal strategies, but weren’t getting an ROI on their time, effort or investment.

They knew that their success was based on building strong pipelines using Miriam’s personal touch. Now, she’s a real go-getter when it comes to finding new listings, but the time making calls took her away from doing what she loved – helping people buy and sell properties. While other agents were calling it a day and putting their feet up with a G&T, she was typically back on the phone driving that pipeline.

Great attitude and great for business, but not quite so positive in terms of work/life balance! Team Davis really needed to clone Miriam and her formidable lead generation skills!

Hot Leads to the rescue

Steve checked out our website and was impressed by what our clients had to say about us. And when he discovered we had real estate experience – he was sold.

“Their consultant proved to be extremely good,” said Steve. “She knew the right questions to ask and the right information to gather. She added valuable information to our database and encouraged 50 additional people on our list to sign up for our marketing emails. We’d been struggling to grow our email reach, so what she achieved was superb.”

We ran two 40-hour Team Davis campaigns, generated 27 qualified appointments, and identified a significant number of ‘warm’ leads for Team Davis to nurture. And as Steve said, we grew their marketing list.

Top tips for building pipelines

  • Just do it. It’s an active, one-to-one process. Yes, the passive lead generation tactics all help, but nothing is better than personal contact!
  • Think smart. Pre-empt a telemarketing campaign with a marketing promo (think letterbox drops with a special deal) to significantly raise response rates.
  • Don’t sit on your laurels and admire your pipeline. What’s next? What leads (no matter how distant in the future) should you be keeping ‘warm’ with emails and calls?
  • Get a life. Let us do the prospecting and nurturing calls for you, so you can do what you do well. Sell!
  • Last, check out the full Team Davis case study here.

Let’s face it, as a business owner you probably don’t place as much value on your data as you think. Just take a look at your accounting system, vs. your sales system, vs. your marketing system.

Yep, your sales team want to make sales. But they aren’t worried about updating the bill payer.

Your accountant just wants the books to balance, they don’t care who the decision maker is.

Your marketing team are focused on correct email addresses and the number of times some transient or external telemarketer has used instead of Xtra. Fixing those sorts of mistakes can be time consuming and annoying.

As for you, the business owner, you just want growth and a return on investment from your inbound and outbound sales teams or your external marketing partnerships. And of course, you want your client’s billing details to be accurate, so the bills get paid on time.

So, what’s the problem if a few contact names are wrong? Why should an incorrectly populated address field worry you? If telephone numbers are in multiple different formats, who cares? if email addresses are missing a letter, a full stop, or the correct service provider address – is that such a big deal?

The short answer is ‘yes’.

Here’s why you should care about the accuracy of your data (the long answer)

If a phone number is missing a digit when you need to chase a debtor, your accountant has to check online, or elsewhere, for the correct number. Sure, only a 60 second job. That’s unless the same record has a missing letter in the company name, or part of that name is incorrectly spelled, or maybe the branch address is listed instead of the head office. Okay so now it’s a couple of minutes to sort out. All good. But then again at the rates accountants charge, aren’t you paying over the odds for data cleansing when they do it five times a day?

Or perhaps you think it’s sustainable at that level. But if you looked at every minute your accountant, sales team, marketing team etc. spends each day researching the right contact name, number, job role, phone number, mobile number, DDI, email address, street address, postal address and multiply that by their hourly rate over 12 months – we’re not talking peanuts (as we’re sure you don’t employ monkeys).

And it’s stealing productive time that should be going towards growing your business and making it more profitable.

Another reason why you should love your data

As a professional lead generation business, we utilise a sophisticated, intuitive cloud-based system to run your lead generation campaigns. This maximises the opportunity to generate qualified leads for your business.

We use a streamlined, cost-effective and efficient call making and recording process. We can’t do that off a spreadsheet which has been printed out or has to be kept open on their screens. That’s just downright nasty and cumbersome (and old-fashioned).

Why does this matter? We aim to deliver accuracy, clarity, and brevity in all our reporting, and minimise the time spent in project management and set up. We can’t do this if we are diverting time to repairing unloved and neglected data.

The dirty data list of shame

Lead generation is our business, so we see a lot of data. And sadly, we spend a disproportionate amount of our time correcting that data before we can get on with contacting with your prospects.

Here are some of the issues we most frequently encounter:

  • Incorrectly or inconsistently formatted phone numbers – e.g. – 091234567, 6491234567, +64091234567, +6491234567 and more.
  • Mobile numbers added to the Main Phone field, or vice versa.
  • Multiple phone numbers added in one field.
  • Email addresses in the incorrect field.
  • Incorrectly spelled first and/or last names resulting in incorrectly addressed emails.
  • Inconsistent naming conventions for company names – e.g. ABC Company LTD, A.B.C Company LTD, ABC Limited, and other variations. This often results in duplicate records or multiple calls being placed to the same company unnecessarily – and annoyed prospects.
  • Various business address details, especially in data systems running NZ formats versus US formats. Most CRM, ERP and SAP systems use the US format for addresses.

Who you gonna call?

So, what’s the fastest way to verify address details and update the correct contacts? Picking up the phone is always the quickest option – but your team don’t have time for that, it is Christmas rush after all!

That’s where our Dirty Data Hit Squad comes in. Let us start the big clean up now, so you and your team can start the New Year with clean, green data.


  • Your sales team will have the latest decision maker details for renewing contracts or upselling.
  • Your accountant will have a clear contact to deal with, potentially minimising slow payers.
  • Your marketing team will get minimal to no email bounces.
  • And as the business owner, you’ll have clean, current data so you can hit 2019 hard!

Give me a call. Send me an email. Let’s talk.