As postage costs, gas prices, and the cost of face-to-face sales calls skyrocket, the telephone remains a cost-effective alternative method of reaching prospects. Over the years, phone rates have actually fallen because of fierce competition in the industry. And how long does it take you to get in your car, drive to see a prospect, and find out he is not in or she can’t see you? With telemarketing, you only visit the ones who are expecting you, because you’ve already made an appointment on your initial call.
But not everyone can call unknown people and make a presentation— some can’t handle the rejections that inevitably come. Telemarketing is the quickest form of marketing because you get your answer right away with a sale, an appointment, a “not interested,” or a hang-up.
Telemarketers have gotten a bad name because of the unprofessional methods used by some of them. They are put at the low esteem level of used-car salesmen (sorry, guys). But it’s all in how you do it. If performed in a professional non-pushy manner, telemarketing can present valuable offers to the people you call. Let’s face it: If it didn’t work, would anyone still be doing it?
Businesses selling to other businesses telemarket regularly to set sales appointments, present new products to their customers, and make direct sales. Consumers can be less receptive to telemarketing calls because when they’re at home, they don’t feel like talking to a salesperson on the phone.
A smaller business should have some type of telesales program in their marketing mix to pick up new customers and prospects. This also provides you with feedback when trying to present new products or services. You’ll find out what percentage of people are interested and responsive and how many have no interest at all. You get quicker answers and indications of any real interest in your product or service.
Telesales can be inbound or outbound, and the two are quite different. Let’s look at some characteristics of both and what makes them work.