To Call or Not to Call, That is the Question : Under30CEO To Call or Not to Call, That is the Question : Under30CEO
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To Call or Not to Call, That is the Question

| September 5, 2010 | 3 Comments

telephoneIn order to maximize revenue your business needs to be able to reach its target audience effectively.  There are a number of different ways you can gain exposure so that more people recognize your brand and associate you with a particular product or service.  The incorporation of social media is becoming more popular as businesses are choosing to associate more directly with prospective and existing customers.  While online marketing continues to grow many businesses still rely on telemarketing techniques.  While telemarketing isn’t a new strategy, it does remain a viable option for certain businesses and organizations.

Telemarketers have faced increasing challenges from the Federal Trade Commission’s Do Not Call Registry since it was enacted 7 years ago.  According to the most recent numbers, over 200 million telephone numbers have been registered.  With so many opting out of telemarketing services and cell phone numbers automatically assigned to no call status, those placing sales calls need to be extra cautious as to just who they’re dialing.

There are, however, exceptions to the registry which include charities, political groups, telephone surveyors, and businesses you’ve engaged with in the last 18 months.  Because companies can be fined for violating the do-not-call list many are choosing to do away with telemarketing altogether.  While this may be good for some businesses, it remains true that telemarketing (including b2b telemarketing) can be useful and without it a lot of businesses wouldn’t be able to reach their current sales numbers.

If calling isn’t particularly in your company’s best interest you might want to consider text messaging.  A lot more companies are choosing texting over calling these days.  Text messaging isn’t just for teenagers anymore.  According to a 2010 Pew Research Center report, 72% of all cell phone users text.  Indeed, the majority of cell phones today are designed as text-friendly because texting is now an industry standard.  A text marketing campaign is not a bad idea as it’s more anonymous and can save both your company and the customer time.  Many nonprofits prefer texting for its ease of accepting donations directly from donors without the need to staff many of their own volunteers.

Essentially it’s your target audience who will determine if the benefits are likely to outweigh the risks when launching a telemarketing campaign.  An often overlooked strategy is to picture yourself on the receiving end of the line.  What kinds of things would you want to hear?  Because you should already know your target audience it will be easier to anticipate what they want to hear from you. Telemarketing may have a stigma around it, but there are ways to get around it so your company isn’t brandished as one of the bad guys who ruins dinnertime with a poorly-timed sales pitch.

Michael Dykstra is an expert writer on phone systems based in San Diego, California.  He writes extensively for an online resource that provides expert advice on purchasing and outsourcing decisions for small business owners and entrepreneurs such as VoIP service at Resource Nation.


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Category: Startup Advice

  • http://www.ryanhanley.com/about Ryan Hanley

    “Cold Calling” gets a bad Rep because it makes the Caller uncomfortable. Not because of how the call is perceived by the Receiver.

    Don’t make cold calls a sales pitch. Make it an introduction and invitation. Coffee, Drink, Lunch, Dinner, Golf, whatever.

    I love Social Media but nothing beats getting on the phone and making connections. There is no direct method of selling which can drum up business faster…

    Ryan H., http://www.RyanHanley.com

  • http://www.facebook.com/MorganBarnhart Morgan Barnhart

    I keep hearing good and bad things about cold calling. We use cold calling and it does help, but in the long run, it seems like cold calling is becoming more out of date because of all the other options we have to communicate with potential customers.

    I agree with @Ryan Hanley about making the call to introduce yourself and make an invitation.

    Bottom line, I feel if cold calling is necessary, find out THEIR needs, before making your sales pitch.

    Morgan
    http://armandomontelongolive.tv

  • Usama

    With social media. Who wants to call. Social media is the ultimate tool to communicate with your clients.