Telemarketing: Why It’s Still Relevant And How Your Business Can Master It

Cold calling is a controversial strategy and there are many businesses out there that simply won’t use it. If you didn’t already know, cold calling simply means reaching out to customers who have not previously expressed an interest in your product or had any interaction with your business. Most of the time, they probably won’t have heard of you at all. 

We’ve all had these kinds of calls before and, let’s face it, they can be quite annoying. You don’t want somebody ringing you up trying to convince you to buy a product that you’ve never heard of before and most of the time, you probably hang up pretty soon. This causes businesses to write off telemarketing as a whole because they assume that all of their potential customers will hate it and there are much better ways to reach out to people. Social media marketing, for example, allows you to connect with people all over the world and you know that they already have some interest in the product because they have followed you on social media. So, why bother with cold calling when digital marketing can offer a more targeted approach and help you find qualified leads?

The Benefits Of Outbound Telemarketing

Outbound telemarketing is actually more useful than people think. We often look at the statistics when trying to determine whether a marketing technique is worth pursuing or not and the fact that only 2% of cold calls have a positive outcome would suggest that it’s not. However, it’s not just about making sales and there are some other things to consider. 

Many people use cold emails as an alternative because it requires far less time. The thing is, we all get hundreds of emails a day and a lot of them are spam, so it’s incredibly unlikely that people will even open them. So, in that sense, a phone call is already better because people will at least engage with you, even if they are not interested. 

The other good thing about outbound phone marketing is that you can get a straight answer right away. When you call somebody up and tell them about your product, they will tell you there and then whether they are interested or not. If they aren’t, you don’t need to invest any more resources in that potential sale. But digital marketing requires far less commitment from the consumer, so even though somebody shows an interest, that doesn’t mean that they will ever convert. For example, somebody might follow you on social media because they like your posts, but no matter how much time and effort you spend on that lead, they may never have any intention of buying your product. 

Outbound phone marketing is also a brilliant way to reach the older generation, which can be difficult for businesses that focus solely on digital marketing. Although digital literacy is improving and more seniors are on social media, many older people still prefer a simple phone interaction instead. Considering older people are more likely to have expendable income, it’s always good to focus your efforts on them (as long as the product is applicable). 

The Benefits Of Inbound Telemarketing

Inbound telemarketing is also very beneficial to businesses but so many people neglect it and focus instead on digital options. While it’s true that things like live chat are useful, you shouldn’t underestimate the power of inbound telemarketing.

By putting your company phone number front and center on your marketing materials, you can generate a lot of qualified leads and the sales process will move along much faster. You have the customer there on the phone and you know that they are already interested because they called you, so now it’s just a matter of closing the sale. Even in instances where the sale is not closed, you still have a qualified lead that is happy to be contacted again in the future. 

Again, this is a strategy that helps you connect with the older generation. They don’t necessarily want to go through your website and use a live chat function or communicate via email. Instead, they want to be able to call you directly and either make a purchase or ask for more information about the product. 

In most cases, the reason that businesses don’t see the effectiveness of telemarketing is that they are making some big mistakes with it. These simple tips and tricks can help you improve your telemarketing campaigns and drive sales. 

Get A National Phone Number 

Getting people to pick up the phone is the first step, and your phone number has a big part to play in that. If people get phone calls from a locality that they don’t recognize, they are less likely to pick up. That’s why national 1300 numbers are the best option because they are instantly recognizable and most people will pick up. They’re also much better for inbound calls because they are charged at a flat rate, no matter where you are in the country. If your customers have to call a local number that is going to cost them more money, they probably won’t bother. You can redirect any calls to the 1300 number to your mobile or local landline phone, so you don’t need to make any changes on your end, you just make things easier for the customer.  

Use Rejection As A Learning Opportunity

Image by Moose from Pixabay

Outbound telemarketing is a numbers game and the majority of the people you will call will tell you that they aren’t interested. Most will be polite but some will use colorful language, which can be very disheartening. When you get hung up on over and over again, you might start to feel like this marketing strategy is a waste of time. But you shouldn’t let those rejections slow you down, you should use them as a learning opportunity instead. 

When a customer tells you that they’re not interested, ask them why. It’s important that you are not trying to sell to them at this point because repeated attempts to convince them after they have already told you that they are not interested will just frustrate them. Simply tell them that you understand they don’t have any interest in the product and ask them what their reasons are. Maybe it’s just not a product that they have any use for or perhaps they like the product but the price is too high. This feedback can be so valuable and you may find that you need to adapt your marketing strategy or even the product itself. If you find, for example, that most people tell you they don’t have any interest in the product, maybe you’re targeting the wrong people. As long as you act on the feedback that you get, these rejections can help you improve your business. 

Implement Technology For Improved Productivity 

Image by Oleg Magni from Pixabay

The time investment is one of the big downsides of telemarketing and it’s often the reason why businesses don’t like it. It’s not just the amount of time spent talking to customers that are ultimately not interested, it’s all of the admin around telemarketing that causes a problem too. Creating call lists, manually inputting numbers, taking down contact information etc. can all be very time consuming, but if you implement new business technology, you can get around that admin and improve productivity

There are some amazing services, like ConnectAndSell, which are perfect for B2B telemarketing. Instead of navigating complicated phone trees and wasting time speaking to the wrong person, you will be connected directly to the person that you actually want to speak to. You can also find some great software to collect customer data and track their position in the sales funnel, allowing the sales team to prioritize the best qualified leads and improve their conversion rate. 

Follow Scripts Like An Actor 

Cold calling scripts are effective because they help people stay on track and ensure that they get all of the most important information across. But so many people struggle to get a response from customers because they read their script straight from the page, making it incredibly dull. If you want to get the most out of telemarketing scripts, you need to approach them like an actor. All of their lines are written down but when you watch a movie, they talk just like normal people. This is because they have it memorized and they put emotion into it. Often they embellish it and improvise small parts to make it feel more natural. 

Consider Customer Schedules

Image by JESHOOTS from Pixabay

Randomly calling people throughout the day is not a good strategy and the percentage of people that answer is likely to be quite low. You need to think about who you are trying to call and what time of day they are most likely to answer. For example, if you are targeting middle aged working professionals, calling them at 10 am is pointless because they will be at work. But if you are targeted retirees, you will have more luck calling during the day. 

You should also consider customer schedules when developing an inbound strategy too. People are far more likely to call you outside of normal working hours when they have more free time, so you will benefit from extending the operating hours of your call center. 

Although there are some great alternatives to telemarketing, it still remains a very effective marketing technique that shouldn’t be neglected. As long as you follow these tips, you will find that it serves your business well. 

Top image: Tima Miroshniche from Pixabay

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