Many companies are using telemarketing to increase revenue and reduce cost. Effective and efficient telemarketing saves time, money and effort for both the companies and their customers.
There are a few ways to contact and sell to customers:
1. Get them to visit your office or retail store
2. Sell your products over the Internet
3. Send catalogs or brochures using email, fax or mail
4. Visit the prospect
5. Call the prospect on the telephone
The telephone is one of the easiest and least expensive ways to reach prospects and potential customers. You can call hundreds of prospects a day at a minimal cost in the comfort of your office or even your home.
While the time and cost of sending unsolicited catalogs can be tremendous, the cost of meeting the customer in person is yet higher.
Not only do you save your time using the telephone, but your cost of sale also drops dramatically. Telemarketing also saves time for the customer. It is a lot easier for a busy person to allocate a few minutes for a telephone call as compared to meeting in person.
Thus, if you are selling any type of product that can be sold over the telephone as your primary tool, telemarketing makes a lot of sense.
Then, what about those that need face-to-face meetings for products that need to be demonstrated or experienced firsthand? In such cases, the telephone plays a valuable role in pre-qualifying prospects and scheduling the sales meetings with the prospect.
Telemarketing allows you to enhance sales and should become one component of your overall marketing and sales efforts.
Cold calling is one strategy for telemarketing. This means you take a list of names about whom you currently know very little, and you start calling them, one at a time, and give them your sales pitch over the telephone.
Experienced marketers will do "warm calling". Before they call the prospects, they make every effort to pre-qualify the people or companies that they plan to call. Thus, when the telemarketer calls the prospect and gets the decision-maker on the line, the prospect is already "warm".
Now, it is the telemarketer's job to communicate the relevant information to the prospect and be able to persuade that the product or service fulfills some requirement of the prospect.
Used skillfully, the telephone is a quick way to sound out a prospective customer. There are three criteria to qualify a prospect. They are money, authority to order from you and a need for your company's product or service.
Once qualified, the extent to which the salespeople can act depends on the nature of the product. There are products that can be closed over the phone with money being collected typically via credit card. Only the fulfillment is handled by the company's back office. An example would be motor insurance or home content insurance policies.
Not all products can be closed during the single phone call. If you are applying for a credit card for the first time with a company, the prospect information may be recorded and approval given in principal, but the sale is not finalized yet. There typically are back office checks done before providing the card.
Then again, there are those products for which you can only qualify interest over the phone, and then make appointments for your field salespeople to have face-to-face meetings.
No matter which of the above groups that your company's products may belong to, use of the telephone does save time, money and effort, as at worst it still pre-qualifies customers before the more costly field salespeople go out and meet them.
Telemarketing can be a daunting task if you expect people to respond positively most of the time. Most people, in fact, are wary of receiving calls from telemarketers. To make life less stressful, the telemarketer should first accept this as well as the fact that everyone you call will not buy.
The next important thing to do is to plan and prepare. Like any other sales approach, there must be an objective. The telemarketer must plan the call and be in control. A prerequisite is a thorough understanding of the product you are selling.
The telemarketer must remember that he or she has a product or service that could potentially benefit the person being called.
If you find that you are saying the right things and yet you cannot get the benefits across, you will need to review your sales pitch or take a different approach. Put yourself in the prospect's shoes and try and analyze where you need to improve or change.
It is also important to track the number of sales that are made versus the number of people called. Knowing which time of the day you get the best results, which day of the week, which part of the month could also make a difference. By doing this kind of analysis, you can fine-tune your approach.
Using telemarketing will allow you to reach more prospects faster, increase your sales and hence generate higher revenue.