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What is Telemarketing

What is Telemarketing?

Telemarketing is a form of direct marketing. More specifically, the definition of telemarketing means directly promoting one's products or services to potential customers by telephone, internet, or email. Such promotion can also be fully automated with special services or bots or completely transferred to outsourcing. You can also use Telemarketing in the B2C (Business to Consumer) and B2B (Business to Business) sectors.

You can use telemarketing for networking, making business connections, raising money for charity projects, collecting opinions on products and events, or gathering any other useful information.

What is a telemarketing call?

Promoting products using Medicare telemarketing calls (most often cold calls, i.e. incoming calls) to customers, investors, or partners is the most basic type of telemarketing. Additionally, you can use telemarketing to revive an existing customer base and to gather new ones, i.e., call potential customers who have not previously contacted your company and are unfamiliar with it.

As a rule, cold calls are also automated, and the contacts included in the calling plan get grouped into lists according to their age, gender, preferences, jobs, etc. So, for example, a telemarketer who needs to sell jewellery will call a list predominantly of women who have previously been to other jewellery salons or have visited relevant websites.

You can compile lists of contacts while developing your business, or by reaching out to your audience through other forms of marketing. To add, you can also buy them from special agencies. The first option, however, is preferable because only it ensures that your telemarketing contacts database is up-to-date because then the user must voluntarily sign up for telemarketing calls.

Inbound Telemarketing

Inbound telemarketing is a strategy in which the customer is the first to initiate contact with the company, i.e., to contact the representative to close a deal, obtain additional information or offer cooperation. The telemarketing companies' main objective is to meet the customer's needs and involve them as much as possible in the brand's life to turn a one-off relationship into a long-term one.

Inbound Telemarketing always starts with external advertising that motivates the customer to contact you, so telemarketing without the parallel use of other forms of marketing is considered ineffective. For example, a customer may call the company if they see its advertisement and number on television or if a close friend gives such a recommendation. Also, unlike outbound telemarketing, a CRM for inbound telemarketing can include significantly more diverse and flexible tools for working with the customer.

Outbound Telemarketing

Outbound Telemarketing is a strategy in which the company first initiates the interaction with the customer, i.e. the telemarketer contacts the customer independently. Unlike inbound telemarketing, where the representative primarily focuses on the customer's needs and interests, in outbound telemarketing, the manager has only one goal - to seal the deal. Therefore, this type of Telemarketing is considered more "clumsy" because it is based on many contacts at a time (mass calls) and the percentage of benefit derived from this. The use of high-tech CRM is also particularly important here to simplify the work of telemarketers, speed up the process of making calls and increase the likelihood of a sale through the retention of customer information.

Pros and cons of Telemarketing

Pros and cons of Telemarketing

Despite the popularity and versatility of Telemarketing, it has its pros and cons. The pros include:

  • Direct contact with the customer. Telemarketing allows you to establish an instant, direct, and real-time relationship of trust.
  • It saves time. You can go straight from brand awareness to sales during a phone call, accelerating the customer's passage through the sales funnel.
  • Instant feedback. You instantly see if the customer is interested in the offer; if they aren't, you can learn how to adjust it and make it more effective.
  • Ability to work from home. It is a great solution for employees with limited mobility or from remote locations. All you need is access to a phone and the internet!

The cons of Telemarketing are:

  • High complexity. The manager must find an individual approach to each customer, which is even more difficult to do over the phone than in person because you can't see the customer's facial expressions, looks and behaviour.
  • Bad reputation. This disadvantage applies only to the outbound type of Telemarketing, cold calls. The fact is that this type of Telemarketing is considered by many to be an intrusive and tiresome form of advertising, which may make it less profitable than inbound.

Telemarketing sales

Telemarketing sales, or telesales, as they are also called, is a narrow field of telemarketing, which is direct sales over the phone. A manager calls a customer, usually making an outbound call, and offers to buy the product after a verbal presentation. It is essential here not to give in to stereotypes. Moreover, do not let the client fall into them. That is because many people consider telesales synonymous with aggressive sales and scams. In such cases, they are being cold called by a stranger trying to sell them something they have no interest in buying.

In contrast to such aggressive selling, telesales employ many strategies, from offering to try a demo of a new product to cross-selling to a company's existing customers after their previous purchase. Telesales can also be advisory, i.e., giving customers information on the current range, or "warming up," i.e., motivating customers to contact the retailer for physical purchases.

There are also special telemarketing sales rules, violation of which can be severely punished even by law in some countries (e.g., in the US):

  • It is forbidden to misrepresent the product's quality, characteristics, and price;
  • Telemarketers must respect the time limits for calls - usually between 9 am and 6 pm;
  • It is also forbidden to call consumers who have asked the company not to bother them any more;
  • A ban on goods whose value exceeds a certain amount - the amount varies from country to country.

As with any other type of marketing, Telemarketing is most effective with a multichannel approach. Then, the value of telemarketing doubles!

Telemarketing lead generation

Telemarketing lead generation

Telemarketing lead generation is the attraction of new and potential customers via telemarketing. Unlike, for example, telesales, this type of telemarketing aims to convert a telephone contact into something: a customer, a subscriber, a website user, a visitor to a specific event, etc.

Telemarketing scripts

Telemarketing experts do not recommend using telemarketing scripts when communicating with customers because every customer, as mentioned earlier, requires an individual approach. It requires soft skills, especially public speaking and emotional intelligence. Communicating based on the script can end further interaction because there is no universal way of winning the heart of absolutely any interlocutor. Nevertheless, you can use various techniques in the process to increase the effectiveness of communication.

But first, let's look at the basic structure of an outgoing call, which you can use as a basis for developing your own scripts:

  1. Introduction. The very first thing you must do when making an outbound (cold) call is to introduce yourself and the company you represent. It would be best if you sounded as friendly as possible but as confident and clear as possible so the customer won't have to ask you again. If it's an incoming call, it's enough to give your name and job title.
  2. A short pause. You don't have to jump right into a sentence and gibberish. Ideally, the client should ask: "Are you the lawyer Mr. X advised?" or simply, "Do I know you?" This way, you will distinguish your call from the masses of others, and the person will be involuntarily involved in the conversation.
  3. Build rapport. Demonstrate to the person that you're already familiar with them and their company to win them over. Use social media (e.g., LinkedIn) to do this, and gather as much information about the customer as possible. People are more likely to contact people with whom they have interacted indirectly or who are at least aware of their field of work.
    3.1. Working through objections. The step is optional because the client does not always raise them. However, suppose they start to refuse to continue the conversation. In that case, you need to offer them a good reason for continuing it, for example, by saying that you have some insider information.
  4. Positioning. It would be best if you showed the potential client that you have dealt with similar cases, understand their problems and can resolve them. It's very important to focus not on yourself and your area of expertise, but the client and their concerns. Storytelling is the best way to do this.
  5. Proposition. The final part of the telephone conversation. It would be best if you only moved on to it after you have understood the client's issues and formulated a way to solve them. The proposition should be realistic - no "I can do it in two minutes!" - and push them to take the targeted action.

What this telemarketing scheme looks like in practice:

"Hello, [client name], my name is [your name], and I work for [company name].

Recently, my line manager asked me to research the market, and I discovered that [potential client's company name] had been in the top positions for two years in a row, but this year, for some reason, it didn't rank at all.

I work mainly with FinTech companies, and previous managers had also experienced a decline in productivity due to the economic crisis and increased competition. So tell me, is this your case? Could you please tell me more about it?

Yeah, I got it. At [your company name], we have been dealing with such cases for many years. Usually, it would be best if you had [value proposition 1] to solve your problem, but sometimes [value proposition 2] or [value proposition 3] is enough.

Do you think this is something that would help your company get back to the top of the rankings next year? Then let's set up a meeting at a convenient time for you and discuss the details."

If at any of these stages, you encounter an objection, you need to replace the rest of the template with the following:

"Yes, of course, I understand. It's just that I recently received [a passing reference to the value proposition], and I thought that was just your case. So could I please email you a brochure to read when you have some free time?"

Three effective techniques for Telemarketing

Three effective techniques for Telemarketing

There are a lot of techniques and tips for telemarketing, but you can start with these three:

Technique 1. Offer an alternative

Many people find phone sales annoying because they leave the potential customer with no choice - either you buy or you quit. However, what exactly to buy is also predetermined - when making a call, a manager usually knows exactly what he must sell at a given time. Therefore, offering the customer several options for action and conversation will pleasantly surprise them. For example:

"Hello, this is [name] from [company name] speaking. We are currently working on new solutions for start-ups. Would you be interested in hearing about offers in the e-commerce or supply chain sectors?"

Technique 2. Micro-yes

This technique aims to get the customer to answer at least one question positively. Psychologically speaking, this disposes the client to say "Yes" to other offers if they have already agreed to something at least once. It gets done by asking the simplest and most discreet question that is obvious and does not require the client to think about it. It is also possible to ask several such questions so that the "Yes" answers are also several in sequence. For example:

"I help companies increase profits by 200%. Sounds good, don't you think?" or "You're in sales, right? And you've been in them for years? Do you like your job? What do you think about…?"

Technique 3. "A friend sent me."

It is also a way to remove the most common "I don't have time for this" objections and turn a cold call into a warm one when both parties are interested in collaborating. All you need to do is to communicate that you have been referred to the client by someone they know. It would help if you didn't give a name at random, nor should you lie. It should be someone who exists or someone the client has crossed paths with in the past but is unlikely to call to verify your veracity. For example:

"Hello, this is [name]. Mike and I met at a conference recently, and he said that you are working on a new project in the EdTech field. What you are doing is impressive! Tell me, can we discuss [the value proposition]? It would help solve your problem that Mike was just mentioning…"

Telemarketing services

Automating telemarketing through CRM and virtual call centres allows managers to save time on maintaining a database of contacts and calls, directing all their resources towards successfully closing deals instead. We can recommend the following telemarketing services:

  • Aircall - telemarketing service with a free five-day trial and different rates that range from $30 to $60 per month per manager.
  • DialAmerica is the largest US telemarketing company, founded in 1957. It offers a full-fledged call centre with the possibility to hire specially trained managers who, by the way, do not use scripts!
  • Callbox is one of the most popular telemarketing services, suitable for sales and generating leads in B2B and organising online and offline meetings.
  • Go4customer is the optimal option for outsourced Telemarketing originating from India. It is a multifunctional call centre, perfect for companies with a wide range of services.
  • 8×8 is a service with three rates from $87 to $146, also offering quality management tools and speech analytics with a detailed report.

Examples of Telemarketing

Telemarketing can be applied to completely different areas and market sectors. Here are a few examples:

  • Sales of products or services. A manager calls a customer whose contacts they have found in a database they have purchased from an agent or obtained through a previous purchase. During the call, a manager introduces a product to a potential customer and offers to place an order for it.
  • An offer of cooperation in B2B. A manager calls a company director or decision maker and offers to participate in a project, cooperation, wholesale goods at a good price for the business, etc.
  • Survey. Companies, like government officials or ministries, may call the audience/population to find out what the public thinks about a product/service/event.
  • Technical support. A potential or current customer calls the company to solve some problem related to their product.
  • Political Telemarketing. During an election campaign, parties may organise calls to voters to inform them about the start of voting or to gather valuable opinions.

How to stop telemarketing calls

Subscribers sometimes complain about intrusive calls they receive to their phones from unknown people seeking to sell an unnecessary product or service. It would be best if you made it clear here that such practices cannot be regarded as Telemarketing because Telemarketing is synonymous with intrusive advertising only in the stereotypical perception of society. Real Telemarketing is simply a sales strategy that you can only use with the consent of the user who has added their number to a company's contact database (or to the general database of telemarketing agencies).

It would help if you took immediate action in the unlikely event that your phone number is associated with a questionable brand or potential fraudster.

You can stop telemarketing calls in one of the following ways:

Method 1. Activate the "Anti-spam" function

Most mobile operators offer this feature, and it is usually completely free. However, you must open an application for your operator or contact them directly via the call centre and ask to activate the restriction of calls from numbers, from which intrusive advertising has been fixed before. Furthermore, it typically solves the problem.

Method 2. File a complaint with the telemarketing registry

Almost every country has a registry of telephone numbers prohibited for use in Telemarketing. You may enter your number in this register, and if telemarketing laws get violated, you may file a complaint against the offending company, resulting in a hefty fine.

Method 3. Express your grievance directly

You can solve almost any problem with words. For instance, tell the bothering company that you don't want to buy anything and didn't agree to have your number used in their telemarketing service. Then, ask them to delete it and not call you again. Surprisingly, this works too.

You can also block unknown numbers manually, which takes some time and effort but is also effective.