The Importance of Telemarketing Done Well
When done well, telemarketing can be an important part of your marketing mix. Telemarketing that goes above and beyond to deliver benefits to your customers can do a great deal for your business.
Of course, the reason telemarketing gets a bad rap is that so many telemarketers have done such a poor job. They’re rote, formulaic, and use unimaginative, pushy tactics to try to get people’s attention.
As we’ll see, telemarketing done well has a great deal of importance as a tactic for making sales. This is no accident: telemarketing is a very cost-effective way to get your message out there.
With this in mind, let’s look at some of the key factors that demonstrate the importance of telemarketing and highlight its benefits.
Factor 1: Telemarketing Should Emphasize Benefits
When done well, telemarketing can emphasize benefits for the prospect, rather than features.
Think about this logically: the reason so many people hang up on telemarketers is that they don’t want to be approached and they don’t want to be sold to.
The bad telemarketing approach to this particular problem is to talk about the features: “But if you sign up for our X, you’ll get Y, Z, and the other thing!”
But when you emphasize benefits, it’s a different story. When you tell someone all about the benefits for them, you stand a much better chance of getting their attention and keeping it.
You might even turn them into a customer.
Factor 2: Telemarketing Should Make It Personal
People like to hear about benefits for them. Of course, if you’re going to offer benefits for them, you’ll need to understand what their needs are.
In other words, you’re going to have to make it personal.
Fortunately, this is one area in which telemarketing excels. A phone call is a much better medium than email for having a personal conversation: you can hear the other person’s tone of voice and answer their questions in real time.
The other component to making it personal is more fundamental. Telemarketing done right is like other kinds of marketing in that it involves a fair bit of advanced research to discover who a prospect is and what they want.
People who don’t want a general pitch a la “Let me tell you all about our amazing products” (and who does?) are more likely to respond to an appeal grounded in an understanding of who they are and what they really need.
If you discover what someone really needs and know how you can help, you’ll be well on your way to solving their problem – and that makes a good telemarketing approach a personal one.
Factor 3: Telemarketing is Persistent
Telemarketing is persistent. The very thing that got telemarketing its bad name – all those annoying, pesky sales calls! – can also be an asset.
A good telemarketer understands that telemarketing requires persistence, and plans accordingly. They put in the research to ensure they aren’t simply taking the approach of bad telemarketing, but then they put in dozens, scores, hundreds of calls, however many it takes to get sufficient leads.
Much as an ad may require a great many impressions to get even a small fraction of the people who see it to buy, so too telemarketers must make many calls, perhaps an order of magnitude more than those that lead to sales.
This is an important benefit of telemarketing done well. A good telemarketer will make the calls, and as we have seen they will make it personal. Getting a good telemarketer is like hiring an advertisement that will track potential customers down and pitch them.
Factor 4: Telemarketing is Adaptable
When an ad campaign isn’t working, you have to figure out what’s wrong and try to adjust. If you’ve put a lot of work into that ad campaign, this is a significant drawback.
However, a telemarketer can adapt practically on the fly.
If a telemarketer finds that their script isn’t working, they can write a new one. If they find they haven’t understood a prospect’s needs, they’ll learn that lesson and be more careful when researching the next one.
Because telemarketers are fundamentally salespeople, they build up many different tactics about what works and what does not. When something simply isn’t working, a good telemarketer modifies or discards it.
Of course, some of this may be possible in a given conversation. If a telemarketer runs into a prospect who might be interested but is showing some reticence, they can always try a different line, a different tactic, something to convince the prospect that they, the telemarketer, are offering a good solution for a problem the prospect has.
Best of all, because telemarketers do this for many different products and services, they get very good at cross-generalizing approaches and tactics. The very fact that they call so many different people to pitch so many different products and services is itself a tremendous advantage for their adaptability.
Factor 5: Telemarketing Answers Questions & Objections
It’s common for prospects to have questions about what you’re offering them. If you were approaching them by email or direct mail, there would be many time delays between them asking those questions and you answering.
Questions are an important part of the buying process. People want to know that they are getting good value for their money before committing, and they want to make sure they are getting something that will actually solve their problem – perhaps all the more if you’ve made them aware they have a problem that needs to be fixed.
With telemarketing, customer questions can be answered in real time and objections can be handled. This is better for everyone concerned: the prospect is engaged and gets answers for their questions and objections, and you save time.
One thing to look for here is a telemarketer who can consistently turn negatives into positives. Inevitably, every product will have some shortcomings, at least in the eyes of many prospects. What matters for a telemarketer is how they can answer the questions that these shortcomings raise in a way that promotes the product.
For example, if you have higher pricing relative to the competition, it is quite likely that some prospects will complain about that. A good telemarketer will correctly point to the benefits that people will receive in return for paying the higher price – this is, after all, the reason you are charging that price in the first place.
“Sure, it’s X price,” your telemarketer might say. “But look at the benefits: it has Y, Z, and the other thing features, and those features are specific to the issue we’ve been talking about for your specific company.”
A skilled telemarketer learns all about the product or service they are selling, and can field questions about it with ease. They are also honest enough to admit when they do not know something, though long practice tends to acquaint them with the kinds of questions people ask about a given product or service, giving them every chance to find the answers and refine their approach.
Being adaptable, telemarketers can handle objections that potential prospects may raise to a wide range of goods and services. As we’ve seen, telemarketers handle conversations in real time, and this means that they get very good at fielding questions.
Factor 6: Telemarketing is Specialized
We’ve spent some time talking about how telemarketers worth their salt can handle a wide range of products and services, so it might seem counter-intuitive to refer to it as specialized.
When we say that telemarketing is specialized, though, we mean that it is a specialized skill, something that people develop through long practice.
This is important: if you outsource your telemarketing to a professional firm, you will be contracting highly-skilled professionals who know what they are doing and have no issue learning all about your product and who you want to sell to. They can then use their vast experience to approach your prospects and pitch to them.
Because telemarketing is a finely-honed skill, turning it over to people with extensive practice can make a significant difference. That is the most important type of specialization of all.
Factor 7: Building Brand Awareness
Giving a prospect a call to deliver a highly-focused, specific-to-them message about a product or service that can deliver them important benefits turns out to be an important way in which to promote brand awareness.
To be sure, all advertising techniques function at some level to build brand awareness, but telemarketing, when done well, is particularly effective in this regard.
One reason for this is that telemarketing actually involves picking up the phone and talking to someone. It’s all well and good to see an advertisement for a product or service on television, or as a pop-up ad on Facebook or some other social media, but how much more aware of a brand are you likely to be if a brand representative calls you up on the phone?
This is precisely why telemarketing can be so powerful: people are much more aware of whatever it is that you are selling if they are directly talking to someone who is doing the selling.
As we’ve seen, telemarketing makes things personal in a way that few other sales techniques can match. One reason this matters is helping your brand to stand out from the rest.
Pop-up ads and social media are all well and good for promoting brand awareness, but if you call people up and give them an engaging pitch, they are likely to remember that and remember your brand much more. Since you aren’t necessarily looking to make the sale in one call, the first call can work to build brand awareness up front and lay the foundation for possible future sales.
Factor 8: Promotions, Promotions, Promotions!
In addition to promoting brand awareness, telemarketing is wonderful for promotions.
Do you have a new sale? A special deal that offers more value at a significantly lower price? Have your telemarketers pick up the phone and give some of your current clients a call!
If things go well, they could also pick up the phone and dial some new prospects.
Promotions are a great way to further brand engagement. They give people something to be excited about, an opportunity to get more value at a lower price.
While there’s nothing wrong with sending out email offers, people also find it much easier to ignore those in the age of mass emailing. How many times do you mass clear out your inbox?
As we’ve seen, a phone call is much more personal, and calling someone to tell them how you want to save them money on a new promotional deal that speaks to their specific needs – again, we want the good telemarketing approach, not the bad one – can be a great way to remind them that you’re in business.
Factor 9: Telemarketing Maintains Relationships
We’ve covered many benefits of telemarketing, and what we’ve seen is that many of them pertain to the value of having an actual, real-live human on the other end of the line.
People like to have real conversations. We forget that all too easily in this age of media over-saturation, social media hashtags, and email offers. There is great value in actual, real human connection.
Telemarketing is invaluable for promoting engagement with your brand precisely because it provides your prospects and your current customers with a chance to talk to a real human being rather than a chatbot, and to do so in real time, with all the information conveyed by tone of voice, rather than by email.
These qualities speak to the importance of telemarketing when done well, telemarketing undertaken for the purpose of building and maintaining relationships with clients. The personal touch and the ability to answer specific questions and counter objections means that telemarketing is the perfect marketing tool for preserving and strengthening your connections with your loyal customers. Maintaining relationships with your best clients can lead to much greater revenues over time. And it all starts with picking up the phone.