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Telemarketing: Success of Failure?

Quick Notes - Telemarketing Techniques:
  • The success or failure of telemarketing depends on your business model.
  • Successful telemarketing techniques involve: Using telemarketing infrequently, offering to meet with your customers, staying friendly and professional, creating a campaign for public relations.

We all hate telemarketers. They usually have you on speed dial, call during dinner or before bed, and usually pressure you to buy whatever it is they are trying to sell. If we all ignore them and ask to be removed from their phone list, why is telemarketing still a popular method of prospecting and making sales? This article will not only examine why telemarketing exists, but it will also explain common telephone sales techniques and ways in which telemarketing can work for you. Once you have read the article, it will be up to you to decide whether or not telemarketing would be a success or failure in your business model.

How to Use Telemarketing Successfully

Telemarketing is a method of marketing that involves maintaining an exhaustive list of household land lines and cold calling them in an effort to make a sale. They start from the top and go down the list, calling every single residence in an effort to make a successful sales pitch. They usually are telemarketing on behalf of one of their clients who remain anonymous in order to save reputation. Telemarketers are typically very deceptive, very persuasive, and usually do not take no for an answer. The origins of telemarketing trace back to the 1950’s when DialAmerica Marketing, Inc began telemarketing schemes for various publishing companies. Initially, telemarketing was very friendly and customer-focused. However, over the years telemarketing had lost its reputability. More and more telemarketers were being forced to reach sales quotas and make a certain amount of calls per hour instead of giving the proper time and diligence to each customer. This has caused telemarketers to call during dinner hours or call while we sleep. They do not care at all about talking with you. They care entirely on the amount of calls they can make in any given time frame. For the purposes of this article, we’ll call this kind of telemarketing, “hyper telemarketing”. The silver lining for the practice of telemarketing is that companies who engage in it can be successful if they have a mutual respect for those that they call. Modern telemarketers have lost the very humanistic qualities associated with salesmanship.

A successful telemarketing campaign can be used if you’ve acquired their phone number through previous sales or customer records. In order to conduct a campaign, it is advisable that a script be designed for all callers to use and follow. It is also advisable that you allow the customer to say no at any point in the discussion, and cater specifically to their needs. Train your callers to be sympathetic and understanding. Do not put quotas over their heads, and do not force them to make a certain number of calls in a certain period of time. Your employees and customers will mutually appreciate that from you.

Use Telemarketing Infrequently.

Aim to place a call to your customer base once every quarter, and make sure you have an offer or deal ready for them to listen to. If you do not give them incentive to purchase from you over the phone, they simply will not and will wait until they come into your store or go to your web site again.

Offer to Personally Meet with your Customers.

Any customer who has an ounce of appreciation for your business or product will be more apt to meeting with you and discussing what they like and dislike about your product. This is very valuable information in developing sales management techniques. This point extends into making each phone call personal. Address your customers with the utmost respect and understanding. If they are busy or not interested, do not call again until next quarter. They will still remember you.

Be Friendly and Professional.

Do not recite the same script every call. Use some variance in what your telemarketers say and add some appropriate humor where possible. Your customers will appreciate unorthodox telemarketing calls with personality.

Issue a Telemarketing Campaign Purely for Public Relations Purposes.

This is a fantastic basic sales skill that is vastly underused. Most business owners do not understand or appreciate anything that does not directly bring revenues in. Initiating public relation campaigns around Christmas or any other big holiday is an excellent idea. Cold calling customers on their birthday to wish them a happy birthday is also an excellent idea. Simply saying thank you for your prior business can go a long way to affording you future sales.
If you do not have the employees or resources to create a telemarketing campaign, consider decreasing the frequency from once per quarter to once per year. If that is too difficult still, consider developing a customer management system that will automatically send e-mails to your customers instead of phone calls on a predetermined date. This is a very cost effective way to launch a parallel telemarketing campaign.

At the end of the day, your success or failure in utilizing telemarketing will come down to your ability to separate selling techniques from simply connecting with your customers on a personal basis. If you can make this separation, telemarketing will work for you and your business!