Telemarketing has shrugged off years of bad publicity and a stranglehold of federal legislation to retain its value in a comprehensive marketing plan. Even in the digital age, telemarketing calls and direct mail are dynamic conduits in the consumer information exchange. With a little strategic focus, telemarketing efforts can put businesses in the black.
What to Do: Creating Personality
It isn't hard to find a mixed bag of opinions on how to conduct the telemarketing process. Myths and misinformation are common; sound advice, on the other hand, is rare. Most industry sources agree that forging a bond with prospects involves a certain amount of personality sharing. No business better demonstrates this maxim than Ryla Teleservices Inc.
Featured in SmartMoney, Ryla Teleservices takes a novel approach to their telemarketing calls, starting with their employees. With an unheard of turnover rate of just 27 percent (as compared to almost 43 percent in similar call centers), the company makes training and compassion an integral part of their corporate culture. The lesson to learn? Aligning telemarketing activities with a business's mission makes everyone happier.
What Not to Do: Pushing the Envelope
There are a few major mistakes that telemarketers make that sabotage their efforts to connect with prospects. Gene Gerwin's marketing blog outlines the worst of the worst.
- Asking for Money. The habit of trying to close the deal without first establishing community with the prospect can come off as insulting
- Confusing the Outcomes. Is the prospect supposed to share contact information? Provide answers to a brief survey? One call to action at a time, stated clearly and concisely, makes things easier for everyone
- Applying the Pressure. Most business people are analytical in nature, so applying high-pressure telemarketing calls can inadvertently foster a defensive attitude
- Talking Jargon. Removing complicated terminology and industry jargon from the pitch, without being condescending, maximizes understanding
When to Outsource: The All Important ROI
Perhaps more important than knowing how to telemarket is knowing when to outsource the process to a third-party provider. Businesses often find that growing up means growing out of many complex, albeit necessary, functions. According to Business Know How, the specialized nature of making consistently effective telemarketing calls makes it impractical to perform the duty in-house. Combining that fact with the requirement to allocate a large portion of human resources to cold calling produces a strong case for outsourcing.
Telemarketing services are not one-size-fits-all--so finding the right one is paramount to the success of the project. When it comes to the evaluation period, the AllBusiness Buyer's Zone suggests comparing such factors as operational cost, industry experience, sales rep strength, and a la carte services. Asking for--and checking--references is always important. A list of satisfied clients is a good indicator of ability.