Telemarketing really can increase both your profits and bring needed added sales. If you don't already use telemarketing as a marketing channel for your business then maybe now is the perfect time to be adding telemarketing.
So you may ask if telemarketing is expensive? Telemarketing can be very expensive, but it depends on how you go about it. If you do the in-house telemarketing route you might be surprised to find it is usually more expensive. The Set up, the hiring and telephone, the computer, the training the managing, sick and vacation days all add up quickly.
Your best bet if you want to use telemarketing for your business would be to find a telemarketing company who is inexpensive, experienced. They should allow you to pay per hour or have an hourly plus incentive package available or even a per lead package. Expect to have some prepayment if you want a quality job. Work out how much you're willing to or can spend per week, then stick to that and grow your telemarketing campaign as your business grows. Most marketing companies will be willing to work with your budget and help you grow since it will also benefit their business.
To give you some idea, we at Larson & Associates, charge as little as $30 per hour per agent, or incentive plans mixing hourly and incentives. We can offer these affordable rates due to our structure and experienced staff.
How can telemarketing increase profits? As business owners you know you need fresh leads to keep your sales funnel full. No new leads, sales go down. Fresh leads sales go up, like magic. Telemarketing is one of the few ways to ensure you have a consistent flow of red hot sales leads and appointments because it is one of the only ways that actually goes out and seeks sales leads and doesn’t sit back and wait for them to come to you. Almost every other form or marketing does just that, it has you sitting there and hoping the prospect contacts you. But then we all need to remember where ever they come from, a lead is a lead... no one really cares if they are generated online, word of mouth, television, radio or telemarketing.
You need to remember that the leads you get from telemarketing will not to turn into instant sales. Not every single lead you get is going to close, it is simply an opportunity for your business to present its products and services to an interested person. It can happen quickly sometimes sometimes longer but you do need to remember there is still a sales cycle that is a part of your industry. Telemarketing is a form of advertising and marketing not necessarily direct sales and you need to have patience with the progress of the leads and then use them properly.
How can you use the leads or appointments properly? Firstly you need a quality sales team. If you already have one then you need make sure they understand exactly what a lead is, that it is not a closed sale, that it is only a lead... and that they still need to close the prospect. It is simply a lead of someone who has expressed interest in your product or service.
Pick the correct qualifying questions. This (after your leads list) is the most important part in setting up your telemarketing attack. Keep in mind that you have 15 seconds to draw them into a conversation and only then to you gain the right to ask qualifying questions.
Get your sales team involved in the process because they are the ones who are going to get the bulk of the new leads and work by submitting the kind or qualification criteria they use to have in your telemarketing team’s questions. You know your sales team will be the first to complain (and rightfully so) about leads they are getting so their input at this point will make all the difference in the world.
You need to ensure that leads or appointments are not being wasted. I have seen time and time again that the company was not ready to hit the ground and follow up on leads from prospects that ended up buying from a competitor. They came in started a lead generation plan without a follow-up, follow-though plan. Sometimes sales people get lazy. They think that these leads they get should roll over and buy. It is a lead not a roll over play dead slam dunk! Not every lead or appointment is going to be easy. Sales people do need to be managed. (special message to sale people) Sorry guys you can’t just run loose and free you still need to fit into the company’s growth and sales plan. You as management are buying them leads so you as management needs to have accountability as to how they're utilizing the leads and appointments, you have a right to know that they are following up, and making the necessary calls when these potential customers asks. Are they re-scheduling any appointments which can’t be kept? Do they know the status of each lead or appointment they're working on?
Too often do I see sales leads being sent back to me for reasons such as "customer had a family emergency and needs to reschedule appointment" In cases like this the sales person should be taking charge and using his superior sales knowledge and his calendar and schedule the reschedule themselves. Don’t get lazy and stop being a sales person. You need to start building rapport not the telemarketer. This isn’t a bad lead! It could in prove to be a much easier lead to close due to the level of rapport being built as well as the prospect feeling bad that they had to cancel the first appointment.
Bottom line is you need to be tough on your sales people, I am not saying over manage them with needless reports and paperwork but scrutinize their work and if you have leads you believe weren't properly qualified to the standard you were promised based on your qualifying questions talk to your telemarketing company and many rather than scratching the whole process you only need to tweak it to make it work.
Now the 1 Million Dollar Question. How long will it take to start seeing profits from telemarketing?
It all depends. Might not be the answer you want to hear but it is the truthful one. Sometimes telemarketing is a working progress so you should not expect dramatic results quickly. You need to work together with your telemarketer to make sure you get the success you want out of the telemarketing campaign. Sometimes you will need to alter those qualifying questions in order to get the better results. Don’t just go and slam the telemarketer. Let’s face it, it’s a job few people want to do.
Usually things will run much smoother if you're working with a company who has experience in telemarketing for your industry, your product or your service. Especially if you are not 100% sure on what you’re qualifying questions should be.
We can also provide our thoughts as to what qualifying questions you might want to include. Remember this is for your benefit to work with and help us get you great results so the more detailed the information you give us on your product or service and what kind of results you're looking for and what your sales process is, we can only do better.
If you begin your campaign with all the correctly then you can and should be seeing results as soon as the leads or appointments are worked on by your sales team. This could be as quick as one week!
Now does telemarketing have other benefits besides generating sales leads and appointments for your business?
Absolutely! Any marketing that is don’t correctly and is actively getting your business name out there will defiantly have other benefits for your business. Monitor all activity and ask how they heard about your company. Many times weeks and months after a telemarketing campaign is over you will get calls coming in.
Don't just use telemarketing as a lead generation service or appointment setting service Max it out!!!! Let us give out your website your business details send or email information to those people you think don't exactly qualify or aren't available for an appointment right now. Things change. Circumstances change. Personnel change.
Not only will this increase traffic to your website but it will provide you with future business and will expose your business to more people! The person we speak to may also have friends who might be interested in your products and/or services as well.
Is telemarketing the only marketing I need for my business? No it is only one way, but one of the few that go out and actively goes after prospects. If you're just starting out telemarketing is definitely a great place to start, it is fast, effective and will definitely increase profits for your business and allow your business to grow NOW not in 3 months.
But like any marketing channel the more the channels you are using the better. Combining telemarketing with Social Media Marketing, SEO, Content Marketing, Blogging, Direct Mail, E-Mail will only bring more exposure to your business.
As you work the channels you need to see what works and what doesn’t.
Larson Notes & Satire:
I think telemarketing can do positive things for your business when it is done right. You don’t and some slash and burn kind of person doing the calling for you, leaving a trail of blood behind them like Sherman’s March to the Sea. We are not a slash and burn kind of place. If you're thinking of adding telemarketing to your business’s marketing plan then get in touch with us. We can put a plan together and usually have you up and running within a week. Putting in place a person who has experience in your kind of business so you can begin working towards boosting profits for your business!
And if you want your business to be more and have more, call us for an appointment.
Larson & Associates
Target Marketing & Telesales Professionals for new account acquisition
Making good businesses great and great businesses even better
P.S. We make telesales for small business affordable by offering programs down to only 15 hours a week. Maybe you could add telesales into your marketing mix call today and find out.