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Coaching sessions can mean the difference between successful blood donor recruitment and unsuccessful blood donor recruitment. Our Conversational Marketing Experts (CMEs) depend on Formal Coaching Sessions in order to improve and enhance their skills. These sessions should be Durable, Actionable, Straightforward, and Helpful. You may remember these using the acronym “DASH”.

  • Durable: Written records from Formal Coaching should be easy to understand—not just at the moment but also in the future. Supervisors should spell out details and avoid abbreviations. A written record is durable if a tele-recruiter can understand it 5 days after the session just as easily as during the session.
  • Actionable: The tele-recruiter must have a crystal clear understanding of how to act upon the advice received and the benefits of doing so.
  • Straightforward: The tele-recruiter should understand each word, line, instruction, and piece of advice that is offered. The supervisor must be adept at recognizing confusion and at clarifying when needed.
  • Helpful: This is not just a “feel good” meeting. The content of the discussion must be honest and useful so that the tele-recruiter can use it to score more wins.

What kinds of tools do you use in your Formal Coaching Sessions?


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Great workplaces are built through day-to-day relationships that employees experience. To make Incept a great workplace, we follow 6 important values:

  1. Integrity – Integrity involves moral judgment, character, honesty, and leadership values. Individuals who show integrity in a workplace not only understand right from wrong, but they practice it in everything they do. This is beneficial in a business environment where trustworthy actions set the foundation for successful business relationships.
  2. Never satisfied – This means that we can always make improvements. We proactively identify new areas where improvements can be made regardless of current performance, which sets a great attitude! This also helps employees learn something new each day.
  3. Compassion – Compassion is having a positive impact on others. We want to view all of our actions through the eyes of others first. We also encourage and reward our employees for volunteering their time to help others. Compassion helps strengthen the relationship with clients, as well as teammates, which in return helps us to create better results as a company.
  4. Everyone’s a customer – This means creating a “wow” experience for our teammates and all of our clients. We ask customers what is required to make them our advocates, listen to their answers, and then deliver. At Incept, we anticipate customer needs and provide suggested improvements to address them. We make sure to work as a team to define success and achieve it.
  5. Present This means balancing work and home life and being present in both. Being present is having understanding and encouraging the fact that a strong personal life is the key to achieving a strong professional work life. We like to encourage the discussion of, and assist each other in achieving, our life goals. When working, it is important to avoid distractions (such as personal issues), and when home, it’s crucial to avoid stresses that come with your job.
  6. Tenacious – Last but not least, being tenacious is all about being passionate and determined. Showing enthusiasm helps accomplish any goal. As a team, we persist until we make improvements in efforts to be successful achieving every goal we set.

At Incept, we are relentless in supporting our values, goals, and teammates. Furthermore, we use all six of our values to help us achieve our goals as a company, as well as perform great results and continue to grow stronger as a team. This is why Incept is such a great workplace!

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Segmentation for blood donor recruitment is essential. It allows for calling to be more strategic and contacting a donor more likely for our Conversational Marketing Experts (CMEs). Consider the three following segmentation themes when putting together your next strategy.

Segmenting By Phone Type

Segmenting your database by whether the phone number on record is a day, evening, or cell number allows your tele-recruiters or predictive dialer to choose the best time of day to place the call.

The past 30 years have seen the rise of the mobile phone and decline of the landline. This ongoing shift has significantly impacted people’s behavior. It has changed the way we carry out nearly every aspect of daily life.

The increase of mobile phone usage has also significantly changed communication with donors.

Segmenting By Donation Type

Segmenting your database by the type of donation each donor should give allows your telerecruiters to only call donors who are appropriate to your current campaign. It also allows your script to match a donor’s attributes and the donor center’s need with the proper conversation.

The script should consider a donor’s gender (for platelet donations), blood type, and last three donation types.

Additionally, when calling donors for double red cell or platelet donations, a flag should be added to the donor’s profile if he or she doesn’t meet the requirements to give an automated donation. Donors with this flag on their records will then be recruited for whole blood only.

Segmenting Donors By Prime Contact Time

Calling donors at the prime time is critical. Calling when they are sleeping, making dinner, or working will frustrate them as well as your tele-recruiters. It will also lower productivity rates and waste precious resources.

Your database needs to record the times when prior conversations with donors have taken place. This allows your dialer to call donors only at appropriate times. It also allows you to determine your area’s “prime time” for staffing purposes.

How do you segment your donors?

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This blog post comes to us from Incept’s Erica Heath.

Some of the most important aspects of influencing company atmosphere are how well you build trust, communication, and rapport with the employees. In an atmosphere such as Incept, it is important to take these things into consideration when building a team. Strong teams are comprised of a strong leader and employees who have excellent communication skills with one another.

A good team should run like a well-oiled machine—the members should take accountability for their actions and the actions of one another, as well as build each other up in times of need. Having a strong team can decrease company turnover while also increasing the quality of production. In order to build strong teams it may be necessary to do team-building exercises.

3 Great Team-Building Exercises

The following are some exercises that can be used to create better rapport among your team members:

  • Two Truths and a Lie – Go around the room and have each CME state two things that are true about themselves and one thing that is a lie. Then have the team members guess which one of the items isn’t true. This game helps everyone get to know each other better.
  • Common/Uncommon Interests – Break the CMEs into pairs by having them count off in numbers. Tell the CMEs that (with their partners) they should come up with a list of three things they both have in common and two things that they do not have in common. The answers should exclude work, body parts, clothing, and the like, to encourage learning more in-depth things about each other. Tell the CMEs that one person should take notes, and the other person should be prepared to present the items to the group. This helps the CMEs make connections with people they wouldn’t normally get to talk to.
  • Four Squares - Give each of the CMEs a sheet of paper and have them fold the paper into four squares. Come up with a topic for each square and have them draw pictures that describes themselves for each topic. For example, here are some sample topics: favorite sport, dream job, if you were an animal what would you be, etc. The drawings don’t have to be detailed; they can be as simple as stick figures. Give the CMEs a few minutes to draw their pictures and then have them show their drawings and explain how they pertain to their interests.

These team-building exercises normally work better with CMEs who don’t know each other that well. However, these exercises can also work with a team that needs to reconnect. Remember, there are a lot of team-building exercises that can be used to create a strong team, and strong teams produce better results—meaning more lives saved!

What are you doing to build up your team?

Photo Credit: http://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newTMM_52.htm

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This blog post comes to us from Incept’s Erica Heath.

Here at Incept, our management team strives to live by the values of the company. It is also very important to instill these same values into the Conversational Marketing Experts (CMEs) on the floor. The best way to ensure that our CMEs live the Incept Values at work is leading by example.

Setting Expectations Through Leadership

Leading by example means doing things that you would expect a CME to do without expecting recognition for it. As a manager, every day that you come into work you have employees watching you and looking to you for advice and guidance. It is important to try your best to do what is right, because you are a role model for so many people.

The following items are ways that you can improve on leading by example:

  1. Stick to your commitments. There will be days when you have unexpected things come up that may cause your schedule to fluctuate, and that is understandable. However, showing the CMEs that you always follow through with your commitments helps to build rapport, because they’ll know they can always count on you.
  2. Keep a level head. As humans we are all prone to having tempers and occasionally getting upset, but it is important to remain stable and to keep a calm attitude when things get tough. Try your best to show that CMEs can trust you when the going gets tough. If it helps, try to find a quiet place for a few minutes to take a breather and regain control over your emotions.
  3. Be fair. Make sure you treat everyone as equally as possible, and don’t show favoritism. If one person gets punished for something, make sure that if someone else on your team does the same thing you give them the same consequence. This excludes people who earn their rewards and work hard to get them, because they should be recognized (just like anyone else who accomplishes the same).
  4. Be present. The CMEs need to know that their leader is there for them and part of showing that you are is by staying in the rows and building strong working relationships with your teams.
  5. Follow company rules. Companies put rules in place for a reason. If you expect the CMEs to follow the rules, then you should follow them as well. This means if you expect a CME to wear their lanyard at all times, then you should wear yours at all times. If you expect them to be on time after their breaks, then you should be on time after yours. The list goes on…

These aren’t the only ways that you are able to lead by example, but they are definitely a good place to start. As a growing company, it is important that we lead by example to ensure that we maintain a great work environment and ensure Incept continues to be a safe and fun place for everyone.

How are you leading by example?

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Numbers alone are not effective. They need to be applied to affect change. When supervisors share conversational quality audit reports with tele-recruiters in brief meetings (no more than 10 minutes), they have opportunities to congratulate tele-recruiters for things they did well, teach them to improve areas where they missed quality standards, and keep them motivated to continually grow. These measures ensure that conversational quality remains as important to tele-recruiters as it is to you.

A Step-By-Step Quality Audit Discussion

Let’s assume supervisor Demetrius is holding a Quality Audit discussion with tele-recruiter Janice, who received an audit score of 90%. The Quality Audit discussion might flow like this:

  1. Demetrius allows Janice to make herself unavailable for calls.
  2. Demetrius sits down with Janice, preferably in a neutral location away from the phones, to review her quality scores with her in detail.
  3. After presenting Janice’s Quality Audit Report to her, they review the specific things that caused her to receive 90 points. He congratulates her and reinforces her positive actions.
  4. Demetrius and Janice review the specific things that kept her from receiving the other 10 points. He clearly explains exactly how particular parts of conversations affected her score.
  5. After discussing these violations, Demetrius explains how Janice should handle similar situations to avoid future deductions.
  6. Janice and Demetrius engage in exploratory conversation, question/answer dialogue, and perhaps role playing.
  7. Janice is now clear on how to improve, so she sets performance and quality goals for her next Quality Audit.
  8. Janice signs and dates a copy of her audit.
  9. Demetrius photocopies the signed Quality Audit, and gives a copy to Janice so she can continue to refer to it as a reminder of the areas in which she must improve.
  10. Finally, Demetrius files the completed Quality Audit and notes in Janice’s personnel file.

How are you using audit reports to have meaningful conversations with your tele-recruiters?

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Thank-you calls help to establish respectful, long-term relationships and build loyalty with those who selflessly donate life-saving gifts.

Timeliness is Crucial

Call donors the day after their donation to thank them for their generosity and reinforce how important their donations are to the community. Use personalized scripting for first-time donors, automated donors, and donors with special blood types and antigens.

Sincerity is Too

It is important that thank-you calls strengthen donor relationships without asking for anything in return. People do not like being called upon only when they are needed to give something. Simple thank-you calls let donors know you care about them. In addition to saying thank you, ensure that the donation experience was a positive one. If you have a donor loyalty program, recap details on how to check status and redeem perks as well.

If you reach a voice mail or answering machine, leave a brief thank-you message and a contact number to call with any follow-up questions or concerns. If there is no answer of any sort, try again the next day. But remember, you want to share your appreciation; you don’t want to become an annoyance with numerous phone calls.

How do  you thank your blood donors?

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If you know your prime times, staffing at the appropriate times is a relatively simple decision. But all too often blood donor recruitment departments are staffed from 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. because that is when tele-recruiters or managers prefer to work. That, however, is typically the least effective time of day to tele-recruit. Our experience indicates that attempts to reach donors after 5:00 p.m. are 11% more successful. Set your Contact Center’s hours according to your donors’ preferences.

Identifying Ideal Staff Levels via Dials Per Hour

How many tele-recruiters to staff is also a relatively straightforward decision. You will need to know your Dials Per Hour. Here is the formula:

Simply multiply your Dials Per Hour times the number of days per week that your contact center operates. Then divide that number by 8 hours, which represents one Full Time Equivalent (FTE). That will tell you the number of tele-recruiters to staff.

If you suspect that your Dials Per Hour is low, look closely at whether your tele-recruiters are spending longer than necessary on phone calls and also how they are using non-productive time.

How are you staffing you blood donor recruitment center?

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Every now and then, we speak with a blood donor who really drops a bombshell of reality on us all at once through our conversations.

Conversational Marketing™ Expert (CME) Vicki Monsour recently had a conversation with the family of a blood donor who, as she sadly found out, was deceased. He was a young man who was actually a big advocate of donating blood and had helped out many folks with his own blood donations; this was something the family mentioned to Vicki as their conversation transpired. As Vicki continued to talk with the family and show empathy about the situation at hand, one of the family members asked how they could use their son’s death as a way to encourage others to donate blood. They even mentioned that in lieu of flowers they were kindly asking friends and family members attending the service to make a blood donation at the local blood center in honor of their son, since it was something he truly believed in and made a practice to do himself. It takes an amazing group of people to keep other folks in mind during such a tragic time.

This conversation really resonated with Vicki, even as she hung up the phone. Vicki is a Conversational Marketing™ Expert (CME) that takes extreme pride in her job at Incept recruiting blood donors. She herself has experienced tremendous personal loss in her life and understands the need for blood and how the actions of blood donors help families with terminally ill family members. She actually brought this call to my attention after being touched by the family’s gesture.

Why Giving Blood Truly Does Matter

As human beings, we are all going to die. That sounds so morbid and simple to just say like that, but the sooner we accept our mortality the sooner we can truly live. That being said, people should be able to live a healthy life in this day and age. We shouldn’t have to worry about a losing a loved one to cancer. We shouldn’t have to wait on pins and needles in hopes that a parent’s heart surgery went well. We should all be able to have a serene and last moment with an ailing family member when their time has come and be able to say a meaningful goodbye. At the end of the day, it really is blood donors who make it all possible.

We always tell people their blood donations have the power to save up to three lives apiece, which is true. But sometimes that isn’t the case. Sometimes sickness can prevail over treatments, and our biological bodies act more like failing machines, as they break down and deteriorate. If you are a blood donor, at the very least, you can take pride in the fact that your blood donation might have kept someone alive long enough to say goodbye to their spouse or kids. Your blood donation might have helped alleviate some of their pain while they were hospitalized during their final days as well. Your blood donation has the power to improve the physical living conditions of those who are sick and dying. Isn’t that something to consider when donating blood?

You aren’t always just saving lives when you donating blood. Sometimes you are granting time and extending life to someone who might not be on this Earth for much longer. You are giving them and their families that opportunity for real closure. That is a truly inconceivable gift to most folks who haven’t been in a position of losing a loved one to a terminal illness.

It is funny, because when we talk to a blood donor who donates due to their own family members having received blood in a time of need, you can hear it in their voice. They give because they relate to the cause. They unconditionally understand the importance of being a blood donor and sometimes even get emotional talking about the act of donating blood, because they do it in a way that posthumously honors their deceased loved ones. They continue to carry their love for that person through the act of giving life to others.

Everyone has their own reasons for donating blood, but hopefully now you can better understand that donating blood isn’t just a way to get out of class or something you do on your lunch break. It is a way to remember a loved one and keep their memory living on.

Why do you donate blood?

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Let’s be honest, does anyone ever really want to donate blood? Do you think a blood donor woke up one day and just thought, “Today is the perfect day to have a needle stuck in my arm and bodily fluids taken from me!” Probably not. Fear not, though. That is why people like me are here. As a Conversational Marketing™ Expert (CME), it is my job to conversationally wrangle a donor who might be on the fence about donating blood into willingly setting up an appointment at their local donor center.

Donating blood is a great thing and it honestly does take a certain willingness to commit to giving your blood as a blood donor. It isn’t that current or lapsed donors don’t understand the concept of giving and the general good that a blood donation does; it is just that sometimes they can need a little cajoling.

The LAMA Technique & How It Helps Rebuttals

At Incept, we heavily weigh on the LAMA technique as a method that gives us the ability to reset a call to the moment before our pitch. It is an invaluable technique that we have used with success on our for-profit side of the company, as well as in our non-profit calling campaigns. Here is how it works.

Let’s say that a donor says, “I’d love to come in and donate. I can’t pick a specific date or time to schedule right now, but I’ll make it in soon. I promise.” In an age of ailing donor bases and when every unit counts for our clients, the LAMA technique can help us turn this no into a yes.

  • L stands for Listen. Donors and customers want you to hear what they are saying, but, more often than not, you will have to listen to what they aren’t saying to get a good idea of what they are really trying to convey. Someone who says they are too busy to donate this weekend due to a jam-packed schedule is sometimes actually saying they would be more likely to donate if you offer them a more convenient time at a later date. Listening is a skill that gives you the ability to pick up on certain verbal cues that allow you to personalize your rebuttal.
  • A stands for Acknowledge. In telecommunications, the absolute easiest way to build immediate rapport with your customer or donor is to simply reverberate what they have said to you. This clearly lets them know that you understand their initial concern or problem and you can empathize. All this step is doing is putting your listening skills into verbal action. “Sir, I can definitely understand that you might currently be in a position that prevents you from scheduling your next blood donation. This time of the year with the holidays coming up is pretty busy for everyone!”
  • M stands for Make a Statement. For me, making a statement means giving a realistic explanation of the features and benefits you can offer the donor to make them feel good and, more importantly, comforted by scheduling an appointment to donate blood. I also like to throw in real facts about the current need for blood to add viable meaning to my statements. “What we are able to do for folks like yourself who are busier but still want to help is actually set you up with a date next week instead of this week. That will enable us to make sure we give you a reminder call back the day before to check with you and make sure your time is still OK. If it doesn’t work out for your schedule after all, we can simply change the time however you see fit. We’ll also make sure you receive our direct number should you need to contact us ahead of time. We really try to schedule to help with blood unit estimates for the hospitals we serve, as well to prepare the staff to accommodate any given number of donors such as yourself.”
  • A stands for Ask a Question. When asking the question, this is the moment you’ve been waiting for. The pitch. You’ve just made a very clear-cut statement on how you can make this appointment convenient for you donor and have clearly stated the features you are able to offer your donor. Simply and smoothly roll your question into the end of your statement, and make sure it is in trial close format. A trial close format is just a question that doesn’t give the donor a “yes or no” choice. Instead, it makes them choose. “With that in mind, sir, we really appreciate O+ donors like yourself and could use the help around the holidays more so than other points of the year. Would you prefer to donate a life-saving whole blood donation on a weekend or would a weekday be easier for you?”

The LAMA technique is really a chance for you as a rep to set the pitch up a few times in a call as opposed to maybe just once. The best thing is this: it is a technique that works for multiple programs and not just blood donor recruitment!

How have you successfully used the LAMA technique in your calls?

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