Like e-mail marketing, telemarketing tends to get a bad rap, because when it is done incorrectly or badly, it can be a great annoyance with which business owners risk driving prospective customers away and even alienating their existing ones.
Many naysayers might argue that the telephone has become obsolete anyway in this social media era. Yet a recently released report by marketing data outfit Custora finds that tried and tested solutions should not be blasted so fast, especially not when it comes to selling and marketing your products or services.
Louise Robinson, Managing Director of CG Consulting, a strategic marketing consultancy based in Cape Town, South Africa, which specialises in lead generation services, says that telemarketing is still used in marketing, because when done correctly, it can be incredibly effective.
She adds that while most people mistakenly believe that using telemarketers is limited to cold calling, telemarketing can used in a number of other ways to turn opportunities into sales.
“Appointment setting is one,” Robinson says.
“Generating new business always has, and always will, rely on getting in front of the right decision maker. Follow up calls are an equally effective way to make the most of other marketing initiatives.”
A time-tested use of telemarketing is market research, which is a highly cost-effective method of conducting large-scale market research and can cover vast geographical locations from a single base. Similarly, the telephone is a vital tool in keeping databases up to date. “By using telemarketers to work through your data, you can correct, delete or amend the details of your existing customers, leads or prospects. By making sure that your data is up to date and accurate, you can increase the rate at which your sales staff can make sales,” says Robinson.
She points out that telemarketing can also be used to enhance the value gained out of events. In addition to doing follow-ups with attendees after an event, telemarketing can provide a constructive way to conduct profiling and ensure the right people attend your event. This applies equally to new market initiatives.
“Getting to the right people is important in any marketing or sales project. Whether you’re entering a new market, or wanting to showcase your products and solutions in an event platform, you don’t want to waste time talking to the wrong people,” Robinson points out. “Getting your message to the right audience is half the battle won.”
She advises choosing the right telemarketing partner with care, and a focus on building lasting relationships with customers. “Set out clear goals before you start. Ask yourself whether you want to drive repeat business, just remind them about special offers so that you can stay fresh in their minds, or encourage word of mouth products? If you do it correctly, you may just manage to accomplish all those goals.”
Building information can become a powerful tool if managed and utilised effectively, Robinson points out.
“There is no methodology existing today which can communicate to more customers in a better way than through the use of the personal touch, relationships, market research and reinforced marketing programs. Telemarketers are the thread that brings these elements together, making the sales cycle simpler.”