Telemarketing – Does it deserve the bad press?

Telemarketing has been around for over 30 years now and done well it works very well. Done badly and the clients reputation can be publicly be torn apart, recipients are annoyed and the brand is damaged. Unfortunately most people who get cold call will tell about how they have been called by people who they cannot understand, who are persistent, rude and they know they are being sold to. So my answer to this conundrum is largely yes its well-deserved and the industry needs to put its house in order before the government decide that legislation is the best option.

Now I said that yes there is a better way to do telemarketing and to kick the argument a bit more we always say to anyone looking to cold call consumer data “DON’T” With three quarters of UK domestic numbers on TPS there is not a lot of data to call and people are getting increasingly hostile to B2C cold calling. Don’t believe me look at the stream of companies fined for breaking the rules

Our view is the client has handed us his brand which he wants to promote to the right people in the right language and retaining and enhancing the brand is key. Some suggestions:

  1. No scripts – They do not work and the recipient know is a sales call because they are being script read to. Yes some sectors do require a script and we will not calls in those sectors
  2. Use mature confident staff with commercial acumen that can understand, articulate and evaluate if the proposition could be right for the prospect. We use those with gravitas in their voice and who are used to dealing with senior company decision makers
  3. Have a conversation with the recipient, ask questions
  4. The “gatekeeper” is a decision maker and you have to win them over. Getting round them or putting up their heckles get you nowhere.
  5. You need to establish a good time to have the conversation. Almost certainly you will have interrupted the prospect so trying to persevere is unproductive
  6. Establish how the prospect uses the services/product currently – Without information the proposition may not be right and you do not want to be driving 200 miles to a meeting only to find that it’s never going to work for them.
  7. Be prepared to make multiple calls – You are establishing the business relationship from scratch. Find out what is keeping these people awake a night
  8. If the proposition fits and you have agreement from all the people in the decision process then booking a meeting will be productive all round.

Result is that when the meeting happens our clients say “there is a deal to be done” and they have the key people present with no nasty surprises.

This works for us and our clients and its how we have kept clients for many years. In some cases we are their virtual sales department.

Many years ago another telemarketer whom I have great respect for, said his standard was simple, he wanted anyone that his company had called to have been glad to have had the call even if the proposition was not for them.

Remember the person you are cold calling could well be looking for just such a service now or in the future.