Telesales has received flak in recent years, making many business persons believe that telesales calls just don't work. However, the truth is that telesales calls do work, but only for companies that take the pains to get it right. The success of any marketing campaign depends solely on the value offered to a customer. And that's what telesales should be geared towards too.

Today's consumers have been barraged with advertisements and marketing materials since an early age. They are hardheaded and smart enough to not be taken in by sales pitches. They look for real value in propositions and this is where quality telesales services distinguish themselves. Each call they make has a defined purpose and is designed to corroborate the offer through various means.

Improving telesales quality is necessary to its survival

Telesales has been criticized as an intrusive and unprincipled form of marketing. Latest industry statistics from United States and Canada are a clear indication that telesales is not the going the way it should. The number of people registering on Do-Not-Call registries is indicative of the common citizen's skepticism of telesales calls. As of April, 2010, there are more than 2 million numbers registered in the Do-Not-Call state list of Wisconsin alone, of which 44% are mobile phone numbers. The national Do-
Not-Call list has more than 180 million registrations.

Recently, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has shut down a telesales operation run by an East Pittsburgh firm and ordered more than $4.7 million in restitution to consumers. Talbots Inc. and its California marketing partner have settled to pay a sum of $161,000 in penalties to settle allegations that they violated federal telesales rules in connection with 3.4 million rob calls (automated sale pitches) made to consumers last year. In fact, the high volume of telesales calls targeting recession hit consumers and rob calls violating federal telesales laws in 2009 prompted the FTC to tighten restrictions on the practice.

Redefine the goals of telesales

The reason why so many telesales services have gone downhill is because of the emphasis on numbers. Numbers are such a critical component of measuring performance that the consumer's interests get sidelined. Calls are not made with a strategic purpose in mind; a sale pitch is made too soon; there is no documentation to support the offer; and shockingly little follow up.

If telesales services are to survive in the marketing industry, grassroots changes are required. Response rates can be improved by:
Understanding the goal of a call: Services should guide their telesales representatives by defining a goal for each call - setting a meeting with decision makers, assessing the consumer's needs, requesting permission to send a quote, etc.

Not selling at the first contact: The first telesales call is meant to familiarize the consumer with your brand and build trust by focusing on their needs and not your products. Rushing into a sales pitch raises suspicion and closes the door to further communication.

Have written information: If the consumer asks for documentation, it's a good sign. Provide a web address or send a brochure through email or post.

Following up on time: Timely follow up shows your commitment to the consumer, and gives you the chance to take the process forward.

If customers get relevant telesales calls that promise value, they will not want to join Do-Not-Call lists. Telesales services can win trust by taking the focus away from numbers and towards customer service.

Source: Daljeet Sidhu link