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Reports of Telemarketing's Demise Greatly Exaggerated

October 02, 2014
By Steve Anderson - Contributing Telemarketing Software Writer


Telemarketing might seem like the kind of thing that should have been dead a long time ago. With laws forbidding its use outright in some cases and locations, and popular culture painting its practitioners as an evil of unfathomable scope, the idea that calling people on the phone and having said people get interested in what's being sold might seem too lunatic to be believed. But new reports suggest that, used correctly and in the right circumstances, telemarketing can still be a powerful tool, and that telemarketers can turn around the results of the craft with a few key points to bear in mind.


The first thing to remember in telemarketing is that much of life is, as the song once said, all about value. If a telemarketing call can't quickly show value to the target—within seconds, ideally—the call is lost. Yes, much of telemarketing is ultimately about trying to sell things, but if the value proposition is clear and quickly presented, the chances of that call working skyrocket. This may require a note of research that many telemarketers, working from a list and firing calls into the ether in hopes of getting someone who is interested out of same, may not be putting to work.

There's a second point to consider here as well, and that's immediacy. The value proposition may be clear, but if the target doesn't have a need for that particular value at the time of contact, the call will fall just as flat. While a value proposition is always important, value requires not only objective value—saving a certain percentage over other alternatives—but subjective value, as in, having the ability to take advantage of the offer posted. For instance, it was recently found that companies had a marked interest in SIP trunking, and for those who didn't, the reasons had almost nothing to do with the quality of the service. Some places couldn't get access to SIP trunking services at all, and others were under contract elsewhere, unable to even consider a shift without violating said agreements.

The numbers of telemarketing bear this concept out: consider the possibility of a particularly skilled telemarketer who can make an average of 20 calls in an hour. Maybe only one in five calls will actually reach a decision maker as opposed to a gatekeeper, be it a secretary or voice mail system. That means only about 30 calls in a day will hit someone who can do something about the call, and of those 30, how many of these will have a truly pressing need for the telemarketer's goods or services—potentially none at all.

The hope for telemarketing comes in changing the way it’s used. Hoping to hit those handful of people who both need something and need it right at that moment just doesn't work as it once did. But using telemarketing as part of an inbound marketing campaign, however, might just be the proper use for this breed of marketing. After all, inbound marketing campaigns can take months to deliver real results, but using telemarketing in a different way, as a reminder service or as a “get-out-the-vote” breed of operation can yield much better results. As time and technology change the field of business, marketing must make changes as well. Telemarketing isn't completely out of the picture, but it must change from its current state in order to get any real use out of it. 




Edited by Maurice Nagle



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