Monday, May 16, 2011

Do you know the impact of poor telemarketing?

I wrote earlier about my friend Ken Keller's article on how every employee is a "salesperson" for your company.

I am amazed at the decision business owners and CEOs make to hire "outsourced telemarketing" firms to do their cold calling without ensuring what they are getting for their money. The impression a prospect makes about your company can be shaped early in the potential relationship. The first call they receive from someone calling on your company's behalf has a huge impact on your brand and firm.

I am sure we all get the early evening calls to our home phones from firms who offer to help us in some way. Maybe get us out of our timeshare. I select this one because frequently I get those calls. I don't even own a timeshare and never have owned one.

I am surprised how many B-B businesses choose to hire a "low-cost" and many times "offshore" telemarketing firm to make calls for their firm. Selling is a personal and emotional transaction, even in B-B sales. The decision to use an outside firm to "open the door" through cold calls over the phone must be well thought out. It can not be left to anyone but the most senior people in the company. The CEO must be engaged to ensure he/she is comfortable with the telemarketing firm and the quality of the interaction that will happen on behalf of the firm.

The telemarketing firm has to be of equal or higher professional level to the business they represent. It is critical that the initial impression made on your prospects is on par with your brand promise.

I fully understand how telemarketing is viewed within many companies. Having been in sales for decades I appreciate how challenging it is to find a person who enjoys this type of work.

But as the CEO or business owner it is your responsibility to ensure that anyone who interfaces with your clients or prospective clients makes a positive impression for your firm.

To not spend the time to ensure your telemarketing plan does this is to risk alienating your clients and spreading a bad name for your business. This is more than a simple cost-based decision and as such has to be well thought out.

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