Telemarketing Isn’t Always a Scam
I recently got sucked into a telemarketing scam. It was so clever, and I was in a good mood and willing to engage the caller, who kept insisting that this was a REAL call (I won lots of money) that I stayed on the line, and even went so far as to confirm my home address.
It’s very embarrassing to admit that, and as soon as I gave him my zip code, it was like my “danger, danger” alarm kicked into my head, and I started challenging the guy to his claims. After seriously several hours(!) of back-and-forth calls, I think I scared him off, and I immediately filed my complaint with the Federal Trade Commission, for whatever that’s worth.
The guy didn’t really get any information about me that’s not publicly available (one of those times when you have to Google yourself), but I hated being played for the fool.
That said, telemarketing isn’t always a scam! And if you do it right, you can help customers feel like they are getting personal attention and you can keep them from blocking your number!
As marketing guru Jay Abraham explains it:
“When selling by telephone, you have approximately 30 seconds to convince the customer to listen to you. You need an opening statement that captures their attention, conveys who you are, what you want and why the prospect should listen.”
These days, it’s actually less than 30 seconds, and there’s no room for mush-mouth or hesitation in your pitch. You have to make sure your offer is worth the time someone is taking out of his or her day to speak to a stranger and a “salesperson.”
Telemarketing gives business owners the opportunity to demonstrate their honest interest in customers. It is best for high-priced, high-margin products and services (which is probably why everyone is so skeptical when they get a phone call). It is well-paired in the beginning in the end of marketing campaigns — as the final distribution channel where the sale occurs or as an opening to drive a prospect into a nurturing campaign.
To be successful in telemarketing you need to:
- Put together a plan, so you know exactly what you want to accomplish during the call.
- Develop a list of topics to discuss and the questions you want to present around these topics.
- Input verbiage checking to see if you are calling at a good time.
- Include enough questions to keep the conversation interesting, but not too many to sound like you are interrogating.
- Start with broad questions and narrow your focus as the conversation continues.
- Offer feedback to show them you are paying attention and appreciate their time.
- Don’t insult their intelligence or manipulate them.
- Listen first, talk second.
- Be relaxed and conversational.
Telemarketing doesn’t have to be the trauma it’s made out to be. You can put together an honest, personal and effective telemarketing campaign that is endearing, informative, and gets the job done. Think of how you would want to be treated on a marketing call. Ask your friends and family what they hate most about the telemarketing calls they get, and work hard to craft your plan in a better way.
It’s easy to see how telemarketing can positively affect your business by bringing in new customers and increasing the level of awareness about your products, services, and company branding.
Join the August 29 Baltimore business roundtable to discover other techniques for quick wins to dominate the competition.