Planning a Telemarketing Campaign for your Business

Published: 18th February 2010
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Telemarketing companies usually operate out of call centers arranged into typical work-style cubicles where they work processing and making outbound calls. As these associates will be the first contact with your potential consumer, choosing the right telemarketing company for your business is vital to the project success and can possibly make or break the project altogether.

Researching these firms extensively is important to find the companies that will represent your products and brand in a way that would most closely tie into the culture of your business. The first place to begin research is the satisfaction rates of previous employees and customers. If their employees have long work histories at the company, it can reflect that the business has a strong sales staff as well as a successful commission structure to encourage workers to be productive.

Before choosing a company to perform telemarketing for your business, it is important to formulate a plan for the script that will be used to contact your clients. This script will directly represent your company and its offerings, so it should be as consistent as possible in its sales message. This message should convey integrity and confidence in what is being offered. Depending on what your company is offering, the script should be written accordingly. It can be professional or casual based on your company's products or services. Your customer demographics research will also help to determine the tone of the calls which will help to speak to your consumers on their own level.

A major part of any consumer purchase decision is whether the potential buyer trusts the person who is selling the product or service. Trust can be generated in customers through these lists by making it clear why the call was placed, the function and name of your business and especially important, how you received their personal contact information.

Keep in mind the relatively poor public opinion the industry has when planning your calling script. This is especially important when planning how and when the calls will be placed. Many believe the calls come at the worse times and are not asked for in the first place. As this can create frustration and rejection, it is important to consider when preparing scripts.

One way to prevent this is by keeping an up-to-date list of all potential customers which is updated as they are called. Having an extensive research campaign to pinpoint your target market will again help to eliminate as many unwilling buyers as possible from this list. This is an area where telemarketing services can be very helpful and profitable for your business. They have formulated best practices to get the most profitable customers for your business and also can track results as these customers are contacted.

The best firms are trained in tracking the progress of your individual calling campaign. They also will review the results and then modify their tactics to try and improve the outcome after a few runs of the current model. This will help to create the best plan for your campaign but be sure to talk with your firm as there may be additional costs with this type of plan.

While it may be difficult to believe, telemarketers have studied results and know the best times to call potential customers as well as ways to ensure the best call-back rates. They also understand when to leave prospective customers messages and have established methods to keep track of the customers who are most likely to make a sale.

It is important for these representatives to understand how your company wants to offer your products or services and the best way to accomplish this to have your best sales associates train them. This will ensure professionalism is consistent throughout your business and it will cut down on any confusion for your prospective buyer.

Your sales staff should focus their training efforts of the outsourced company on the calling script, research to establish your target market and in-depth product training so the telephone representatives will understand your business and its products completely.

Another benefit of using these firms is their extensive knowledge in the various rules and regulations of the telemarketing industry. Since many of these calls are sometimes made at inopportune times about products or services not always asked for, it has created some animosity in the general public. The government has stepped in and has created a nationwide "Do Not Call Registry" which prohibits any company from calling individuals on this list.

There is also "The Profession of Telemarketers" which is a set of standards established by the industry as well as various laws enacted by the government. These include the "Telemarketing Sales Rule" and the "Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991." Being partnered with a company that understands these rules in detail will help to keep you company out of hot water as these laws can be particularly strict. If you choose to use your own employees, there is computer software available that will assist in avoiding calling any numbers that have been added to the Do Not Call list.

Telemarketing Costs

There are various costs that go into a telemarketing plan for your business. It is very important to review these costs in detail and ensure everything is put in writing to prevent any discrepancies later on.

The base cost of these programs is based on which type of program is needed and the volume of outbound calls. This is another reason why doing company research is crucial to finding the right company for your business as costs vary company to company. In addition, training can increase your bill up to 20% so getting as many details ahead of time will help to keep costs low.

Telemarketing outsourcing companies charge for projects in a variety of ways including hourly, by project or fee structure and monthly charge. Hourly rates can be very expensive, from $20 to $65 nationwide to $12 to $16 an hour internationally, so choosing the right plan to fit your business can help to save money and direct your business in the right direction.

Another cost element are the fee structures that these companies have in place. The amount of employees working on your project and the amount of hours they spend working on it can add fees to your final bill. In addition, there is overtime and weekend pay to consider.

Once the right company is chosen to carry out your campaign, it is important to read through the contract very carefully. Be sure to include provisions detailing how the amount of calls placed can be checked and other details to ensure you can keep track of the progress of the campaign.

If you decide to pay per call, guarantee you can get a list of the calls made that includes length of call as well. Other things to keep in mind would be hourly reports if you are paying monthly minimums to make certain you are getting what you are paying for.

In the case both parties decide to terminate their agreement, it is important to have a plan for such a situation. A termination clause in the contract will help to avoid any issues and will help to ensure a smooth separation from you chosen company. It is an unlikely case, but being prepared can save money and headaches down the road.

In the state of the economy, businesses need to look for sales from a variety of angles. Telemarketing can prove to be a great channel for your business to increase both sales and customer base while staying afloat in a difficult marketplace.

Zack is a writer based in San Diego, California. He writes extensively for Resource Nation, an online resource that provides expert advice on purchasing and outsourcing decisions for small business owners and entrepreneurs.

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