When most people think of telemarketing, they think about making cold calls that really do nothing but annoy customers. Unfortunately, this is a common misconception that takes away from some of the ways that telemarketing can really help a company and a consumer. Telemarketing allows your staff to use lead generation methods, up-selling tactics, and customer satisfaction surveys to help increase your sales. It saves your staff time because they do not need to be sent out to meet with a client or customer.
On that same note, telemarketing makes things easier on the customer. It is much easier for someone to understand complicated information over the phone, and asking questions is an important element that can sometimes be confusing through email. Although chatting over the web is slowly becoming more and more popular, many startup companies are still sticking to telemarketing to meet these needs. There are two types of telemarketing:
- Inbound – This refers to putting your company phone number on promotional material such as an email marketing campaign or a newsletter. Consumers will then use the number they see to call and make a purchase and the telemarketer will take down all the necessary information and close the sale.
- Outbound – This describes the process of trying to sell a product or service by calling a list of customers and/or potential customers.
Because telemarketing is so cost effective, most companies will actually use both inbound and outbound telemarketing in order to help grow the company. VoIP phone systems are the most popular way to get started with telemarketing although traditional phone systems work just fine for a startup.
However, outbound marketing can fall into the “annoying” stage if done incorrectly. Consider some of the things you should tell your telemarketers before you set them free to talk with consumers:
How to Make Sure Your Telemarketing is Done Right
- 1. Get the right list of people before you begin making your calls.
It can sometimes take time to figure out who your target audience is and where you can get contact information. You want to get this information organically as opposed to buying it for a better chance of success. If the people on the other end of the phone are quality leads, your telemarketing time will be spent well.
- 2. Create goals for your telemarketing team.
Telemarketing can be a strenuous job, so it’s important to set achievable goals just as you would in any other department. You want to make sure that each member of your staff has an equal number of people they should be calling in one day. It’s also important that telemarketers get frequent breaks so that they sound energized on the phone.
- 3. Have a plan for all of the different scenarios that could occur on the phone.
You want to set your telemarketers up right. Make sure that you a have a routine that your employees can use when talking to a potential customer. This will help create a quick response time for customers and will help alleviate some of the stress that often hits a telemarketer. The more knowledgeable your staff, the more apt someone is to choose your company over another. However, it is important to make sure that your staff is not reading off of a script. This is often obvious, so simply make sure this “routine” is nothing but notes and a clear understanding in the employee’s mind.
- 4. Be prepared for what happens after you make a sale.
Many startups put a lot of time and effort into setting up the call and making the sale. However, it’s also important to be prepared for what happens after a sale. Make sure that your employees are equipped with this knowledge whether it be an immediate email message that must occur, recording something down in a document, or mailing something that day. This will help show the customer that he/she did not make a mistake choosing your company.
- 5. Always ask questions to determine what it is a potential customer needs.
Some startup companies forget that telemarketing is probably most important because it allows for questions. Always make sure that your employees understand the important of listening while on the phone. This will allow your company to make sure you can give a customer exactly what they need; thus helping improve his/her experience.
Have you used telemarketing as a way to jumpstart your startup? What were your experiences?
Photo Credit: telemarketingdialer.org
Amanda DiSilvestro is a writer on topics ranging from social media to document scanning. She writes for an online resource that gives advice on topics including document software to small businesses and entrepreneurs for Resource Nation.