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Outbound Telemarketing Isn't for Making Customers Offers They Can't Refuse

May 06, 2013
By Tracey E. Schelmetic - Telemarketing Software Contributor

Over the years, outbound sales calling (telemarketing) has earned itself something of a dubious reputation. It’s not because it doesn’t work as a technique – its continued presence after 30-plus years is a testament to the fact that it does. It’s not because most telemarketers don’t play by the rules of common courtesy and federal and state regulations: they do.

But a small number of shady players have misused telemarketing grievously, and this has put a dent in the practice’s demonstration.

Telemarketing and software used to make the effort more efficient is still a very useful tool. It can be used for prospecting, information gathering, customer surveying, customer follow-ups to boost loyalty and relationships and even direct selling. But there is a list of “don’ts” that companies should examine before they engage the dialer, according to a recent article.

  • “Lying for spying,” or presenting your business under a false guise is a no-no, according to the piece. Never have telemarketers lie to prospects that they are not working for you. After that, you end up using the information they obtained without their knowledge or consent.
  • In the case of event marketing, avoid “inviting without warning,” or calling without warning, which could result in fewer attendees to your event. Smart companies will ensure their event telemarketing strategy is augmented with the means to let prospects know a call is coming their way.
  • Finally, never try to “punish” those who reject your campaign, be it for an event or any other marketing campaign. Prospects who opt out are not personally rejecting you, they are probably simply a poor target for your efforts. Never sell or give their information away to those who will spam their inbox and flood their voice mail.

It is critical that you follow all the rules pertaining to outbound calling, including purchasing, implementing and updating all do-not-call lists (both federal and state), maintaining your own in-house do-not-call list for anyone who opts out (and updating it frequently), observing the legal hours for making outbound calls, observing rules about prior business relationships, list scrubbing and following the rules of etiquette on the telephone.

While it may sound challenging, following these rules can be a lot easier with a cloud-based outbound selling solution. Solutions like those from VanillaSoft, thanks to partnerships with compliance solutions providers, allow customers to ensure compliance with legislation surrounding federal and state do-not-call regulations. This helps companies engage in outbound telemarketing without fear that they will incur fines and penalties.

After all, you’re trying to boost your sales, not make customers think they’re living an episode of The Sopranos.

Edited by Jamie Epstein

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