While it may not be popular, telemarketing is the best way to build your business. Many people assume that having a telemarketing business is hard, but in reality, it’s not if you decide what your niche is! Think of the unique value that you can bring to a customer’s life. If you answer this, the process becomes pretty simplified. There’s no need for bullying or focusing on the negative aspects of this type of calling. Instead, you can stay positive and keep your staff moving forward with a few simple rules.
Know the Difference
Before we get to the rules, every telemarketing business needs to understand that there’s a difference between telemarketing and telesales. Telesales is all about trying to initiate business and close deals over the phone. A telemarketing business, however, is all about trying to create opportunities, particularly with decision makers. Decision makers are the individuals who can make things happen at the business you’re calling. Telemarketing can be used for various things, including market research (polling the opinion of the decision makers) or collecting valuable information so you can utilize other marketing techniques (using those decision maker’s details to create a target demographic).
Don’t Believe the Hype
Because ‘telesales’ has garnered such a bad reputation, many companies are leery of attempting it. The Do-Not-Call registry is a real thing, and the legislation surrounding it isn’t a joke. The last thing you want to do is incur any fines or violations by not following the rules. Another pitfall of telesales is a high call failure rate. If your people are easily discouraged by rejection, then telesales is not for your business. If your company wants to avoid telesales and instead focus on the prospect of gaining new business, then here are 7 rules to follow to be a successful telemarketing business:
1. Have a Purpose:
Before you begin a telemarketing campaign, take the time to make certain that you (and your staff) know what your objective is for that specific campaign. If the campaign is about collecting e-mail addresses, you may be able to obtain these from the first point of contact (whoever answers the phone, also known as the gatekeeper). If your campaign objective is to actually talk to a decision maker, you’re going to need a way of convincing the gatekeeper (and possibly a second person, if they have a secretary or personal assistant) to put you through. If your people understand and believe in your purpose, it will filter down to every call made.
2. Have a Script:
Often telemarketing business owners balk at having pre-determined scripts, thinking it takes the human element or the caller’s personality out of the phone call. However, the majority of successful telemarketing campaigns start with well-written scripts. Scripts help to guide how the beginning of every call will be handled. It doesn’t have to be followed perfectly to be effective – once your staff is familiar with the scripts and comfortable with handling questions or problems, you will find that they will naturally improvise from call to call. Even if and/or when that happens, though, a call script is an important reminder of what needs to be said in case an agent forgets.
3. Handle the Gatekeepers:
As we mentioned above, the first point of contact in a telemarketing situation is known as the gatekeeper. A gatekeeper is the first person to hear your voice and listen to your pitch. Company receptionists or call operators are often taught to avoid putting calls through to managers or directors (the decision makers you’re trying to reach). Additionally, they’re often trained to refuse to give out information over the phone. If you find yourself stuck at the gatekeeper and have tried a few times, then you need to try a new strategy.
- You can try calling before the company is officially open or half an hour after it officially closes. Many receptionists only work the official hours of the company, but many managers and staff work earlier and later.
- Ask for somebody who’s lower down in the corporate food chain. Call and ask to speak to somebody on their helpdesk. The helpdesk staff isn’t trained to keep gates closed, and they’re only too happy to be helpful – it’s in their job description!
4. Have the Conversations:
Focusing on the customer is imperative when your goal is telemarketing instead of telesales. When each call is made, the person on the other end may have questions or concerns. Your team should be prepared to talk through anything they present. If a telemarketing business was simply about call quotas, it would be a much faster form of marketing than it actually is.
5. Hope for the Best:
Telemarketing isn’t for the faint of heart. While call ratios are more apropos for telesales, it’s still something to take into consideration for telemarketing. Sometimes potential customers are rude or negative. Perhaps they simply hang up before you can get a word in edgewise. Don’t let it upset you! If you feel confident about your pitch, you can try to politely argue your case, but sometimes a “no” really is a “no.” Thank the person for their time and try again another day. Telemarketing requires a lot of persistence to produce the best results.
6. Honor the Law:
Most countries have no laws governing telemarketing. However, before you start any telemarketing campaigns, check with your legal team to ensure that your telemarketing business honors whatever laws are in place in your state and country. You need to be particularly careful if your clients are small home-based businesses; telemarketing to consumers (which is how this could be interpreted) is governed by strict rules in many parts of the world. Following the TCPA (Telephone Consumer Protection Act) is imperative to make sure that you’re safeguarding the consumer’s safety. Ignoring any part of the law can ruin a telemarketing campaign. Therefore, you should always get legal advice on this subject before moving forward with your efforts.
7. Have the Best Tools:
Every job requires specific tools, telemarketing included. Most companies use some sort of phone system to handle their telemarketing calls, but there are a lot of options out there. You want a system that will keep all parts of your call campaign organized and running efficiently. Look for programs that are up to date when it comes to software options, one that’s Cloud-based (so you have the options you need for your office situation), and one that has options for customization to fit your calling needs.
If you want to improve your telemarketing campaigns and increase your call center’s success, make sure you have the right calling software solution. Call Logic is a Cloud-based, TCPA compliant system that was designed to help any size company implement organized and efficient call campaigns. Schedule your free demo today!