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Telemarketing is Still a Powerful Sales Tool

August 08, 2013
By Tracey E. Schelmetic - Telemarketing Software Contributor

While the word “telemarketing” makes many people twitch – either they believe it be a relic of the past, or simply not appropriate for their business – it’s as relevant today as it was 30 years ago, particularly to the modern sales department. It’s still the best (and most economical way) to prospect and make introductions. E-mail blasts, while they have their place, are impersonal and generally get lost in the shuffle. Social media, while it’s great to collect potential prospects, is generally only a one-way operation.

A recent blog post by Belinda Summers, a business development consultant for CallboxInc., outlines some of the top do’s and don’ts when it comes to using telemarketing as a sales tool.

Don’t call cold. Summers notes that when the time comes to make the actual outbound call, multimedia prospecting means sales professionals needn’t do it cold. By using tools like social media and CRM databases in advance, sales personnel can ensure that they have gathered all possible intelligence about a prospect before dialing.

Listen first, talk later. By skipping a sales pitch up front and simply putting out some feelers, you can encourage your prospect to talk to you a bit, letting you better grasp what this prospect might be after. Be sure to listen for the word “no,” says Summers, because nothing irritates a prospect more than a continued sales pitch after he or she has already politely declined.

Keep your customers straight. Using your company’s CRM database and other tools ensures you have a grip on all available information about customers. Nothing will look worse than trying to prospect an existing client because you simply didn’t know that personal is already a buyer.

Don’t call too often. If a prospect says “no” today, don’t call again next week. It will make you seem like a pest, and it will decrease the likelihood of that person becoming a customer down the road.

Call in conjunction with other media. If you’ve got a qualified prospect on the phone, consider asking for permission to send an e-mail, for example, or a link to a PowerPoint presentation so you can both talk and demonstrate visually at the same time.

Telemarketing, while it hasn’t always had a solid reputation, is still relevant to business today for one primary reason: it works. Just as with any tool, however, it needs to be used properly in order to avoid doing more damage than good.

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