Telemarketing: Is it an effective Sales Method?

If you are looking to increase your company’s sales you’ve probably considered telemarketing.  It’s been a viable option for as long as you can remember but is it still viable?  Will you get business opportunities or just throw away money?  Here are a couple of things you need to ask yourself first:

  • Who do we typically target?  Are they easy to reach?  Do they have a gatekeeper?
  • What do we sell?  Is it a commodity where it’s all about the latest and greatest or lowest price or is it a service based on trust and relationships?
  • How long is your sales cycle?
  • What are your expected outcomes?
  • How will you be paying for such a service?

Challenges of Telemarketing and Cold Calling

  • Battling Perception:  According to a Nielsen poll, less than 10% of consumers trust telemarketers.  If you are selling a service based on trust and building relationships using a telemarketer creates a major conflict for your prospect.  If your sales pitch is, “I can save you ‘x’% on something you buy everyday” – that might get you in the door but be prepared to do battle with internet pricing.
  • Time vs. Reward: The goal of the average telemarketer is to call 100-125 people a day with the hopes of generating 8-10 interested parties. That’s right, 8-10 people out of 125. Cold calling is a numbers game with no real winner. If any other aspect of your business had a success rate of less than 10%, would you continue with it, or would you pull the plug?
  • The Internet: Telemarketing and cold calling were effective methods before the advent of the Internet. Back then, consumers needed someone to tell them what products and services were out there. Now, consumers have all of this knowledge available to them at the click of a mouse. Because of this, today’s customer is more knowledgeable than ever before. They know what they want. They have done all their research online. They don’t necessarily want a telemarketer giving them a sales pitch over the phone.
  • Building Relationships: Effective sales representatives are all about building long-term relationships. Telemarketers are all about quick turnaround. One of these salespeople has a higher probability of multiple transactions. We will let you guess which one we are talking about…
  • Do Not Call Lists: The National Do Not Call Registry allows consumers to remove their names from marketing lists, thus shrinking the overall reach of telemarketers. Millions of people have already added their names to the registry.
  • Caller ID: Ask yourself the following question: do you pick up the phone when you’re home at night and you don’t recognize the number? If not, then why should you expect a prospect to?
  • Weak Leads: How do you keep from getting appointments set simply because the prospect wants a telemarketer to stop calling them?

Telemarketing used to be highly successful but the way people buy has changed.

Springboard Business Development: Our stand on telemarketing

We aren’t telemarketers: we don’t believe it works – but then again, our clients are service providers who make sales based on building trust and relationships. To us, Business Development is about building long term happy client relationships.  It’s our job to help you increase your name recognition and exposure in the markets you serve, create partnerships that feed opportunities for years to come, open doors to the decision makers that need your services, and of course, help you to close the deal.  We believe relationships are the key to growing a service type business; we believe in making our connections face to face.

If you do decide to give telemarketing a go, here are a few things you need to ask:

  • Who will be training the telemarketing team?  How often will they call and when do they stop calling?  You’d be amazed to find out how many appointments are given just to get the telemarketers to stop calling.  The problem comes when you arrive to meet the prospect and they tell you they aren’t interested in anything you’re selling – they just wanted to the calls to stop.  You’ve wasted time and money.
  • What are you paying for?  Is it total calls, time, appointments set or qualified prospects?  Most likely you are calling for total calls or time so there’s no need to qualify the prospects or ensure they truly want to meet you

Ultimately your decision is about value of time and money, the type of sale, and your typical buyer. Don’t forget, this isn’t a selling process – it’s a buying process.  It’s not about you or what you’re selling, it’s about the buyer, the problem they need to solve, and what solving it means to them.  In a call focused on scheduling an appointment you just can’t get what’s necessary to move the buying process forward…at least that’s our opinion. We’d love to hear yours.

If you have any questions about Outsourced Business Development, please contact Springboard Business Development by calling 410-832-7560 or click here today!

Located in Baltimore, Maryland, Springboard offers outsourced sales solutions for businesses in the professional services arena. Our approach to business development makes it easy to find new clients without the financial burden of an in-house business developer.

At Springboard we know sales!

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