Telemarketing is the process of using a telephone to contact an individual or business for the purpose of creating a relationship. There are many kinds of telemarketing relationships that can be produced. For example, you can use telemarketing to:
- Provide lead generation
- Complete a survey
- Provide Cross-Selling opportunities
- Update contact information
- Retain a customer
- Set an appointment
- And more…
Telemarketing is often known as “cold calling.” The reason the term ‘cold-calling‘ is used is because quite often telemarketers have had no prior contact with the individuals or businesses that they are calling. The challenge that telemarketers have is to quickly develop a relationship with the party that is being called. There is no magic or trickery that is involved in doing this, nor should there be. Telemarketing, when conducted out in the open, honestly and ethically, achieves the best results.
There are certain government protections in place to ensure that telemarketers do not cross ethical boundaries. The FTC and FCC both have rules in place designed to conduct the rules of outbound telemarketing engagement. Additionally, the US Government passed the Telemarketing and Consumer Fraud and Abuse Protection Act in 1994. The idea behind these rules and regulations is allow telemarketers to successfully practice their trade without causing stress and frustration on the part of the consumer who is being contacted. Ultimately, a “zero-complaint” environment is what should be achieved. This legislation was prompted by complaints from private consumers who were receiving telemarketing calls at all hours of the night (and repeatedly) from unscrupulous outbound organizations. Hence, the rules regarding Business to Consumer telemarketing are fairly strict. The rules that outline Business to Business (B2B) telemarketing are much more relaxed. Businesses commonly receive telemarketing calls.
First, outbound telemarketers must have a list. Lists are usually procured by contacting a list vendor who legitimately sells consumer data. A company like InfoUSA is a good example of this. List vendors will compile lists from different data sources and then sell them to consumers. Once a list is in place, telemarketing can begin.
Telemarketing really does work but it doesn’t work for everybody. It achieves best results when a dedicated effort is applied to it over time and consistently. Of course, it helps to hire a professionally trained telemarketing service company. Telemarketing is not magic or trickery and it should never be used for illegal purposes. In its simplest form, Telemarketing is just reaching out to individual and businesses in an attempt to start a relationship – whatever that may be.
You can find many other helpful telecommunications and telemarketing terms in Sound Telecom’s communications glossary by clicking here.