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ShayB

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This isn't a post about whether nor not telemarketing works.

I'm here to say it's alive and well.

While there are hundreds (thousands?) of books/courses/etc. that promise you can build your biz without making cold calls (and it's possible), I'm here to say....why would you?

I've worked with a number of call centers as a trainer, and the number of ways you can use the phone to build a business is staggering. The one call center I'm working with now? It's blowing my mind how many different projects they are using telemarketers for. 

An effective script is a must, of course. The ones I write are short and sweet: about 2 sentences, usually. That's all you need. (If there's any interest, then they'll ask for more info. If not, thank them and move on.)

Maybe cold calling isn't your cup of tea, and that's fine. 

But if you need more business and you don't have a big marketing budget, you've already got a great marketing tool in your possession right now.

Pick up your phone and start dialing. :) 

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No offense but cold calling is absurd.

Warm leads, fine, but cold calling itself is what people do that aren't thinking clearly.

Real example...

Years ago I owned a home with hardwood floors, no carpet. I would get at least one cold call a year asking If I wanted my carpet cleaned. As usual I would tell the caller "I don't own carpet". End of story.

I've mentioned this on a WF thread not long ago. A more profitable way for a carpet cleaner to use telemarketing would be working with businesses in their local area that sell carpet and getting those warm leads. Give the carpet buyer 6 to 12 months to get their carpet dirty and sell carpet cleaning services. We know they own carpet (fact). That's a better use of time.

I see folks on IM forums praise how telemarketing is a numbers game, it's not a numbers game when your numbers are meaningless (cold calling). You should have some type of real data to back up your reason for calling people. Guessing someone owns carpet (example) is not data, it's guessing and guessing is weak.

BTW, would you be interested in buying a pallet of printer paper (40 cases)? No you wouldn't because you don't need it. The same goes for cold calling. I would have better luck selling the printer paper to an office/business that has a use for bulk printer paper. That's where potential buyer research comes into play.

 

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Cold calling your market.  Is it "cold calling warm leads"?  :)  

While I am a fan of emailing my market(s) first and then following up with a call, I have hit the phones quite a few times.  It's always in the markets I know need my services.  I've done a little cold mailing, and it's worked out well but I don't 'push' the sale.  

Folks that teach you to knock on doors, call, mail... whatever, yeah, then it's a numbers game, but a hard, rough, berating, numbers game.  It's not necessary.  They (the gurus teaching it), don't explain that a little research will help your success rate.  To just walk out the door, pick up a phone, it really takes a special kind of mentality to be successful.  We've all seen it, but it's pretty rare.  

I do agree that the phone can really be a great tool to increase your sales but any decent telemarketing center will have the warm leads for their employees.  They'll at least understand the market they're going after.  Sadly, most do not, but now they're automated and nothing say's 'sure sale' like some recording telling you your business isn't visible to Google.... LOLOLOL... what?  

HOWEVER... !!!!  I'm never rude to telemarketers.  Anyone that has A JOB, deserves kindness.  They didn't single you out, personally, to interrupt YOUR day.  Your number was just on a list that's in front of them.  

 

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4 hours ago, gnojham said:

when i get telemarketers on the phone and im not busy, i keep them on the line as long as possible. i get some weird satisfaction out of it.

 

I've done that with a telemarketer selling magazine subscriptions. I was doing something else around the house and gave him a "hmm...", "well", "oh..." every once in a while. Once I knew he had exhausted every angle of the sales script I asked him how I could get the magazines for free. Dial tone.

If someone is prepared to waste my time with some shit like a random magazine subscription, they best be ready for some down time.

I also once had another guy going door to door selling meat out of the back of an old pickup truck. WTH? Look, I don't care who you are, I'm not buying meat from anyone off the street. I have health insurance but not in any rush to use it just to save $4 off frozen mystery meat. GTFO.

Both those real examples above goes right back to guessing who your target audience is or isn't. Know your traffic sources based on facts or waste time and pretend it's a cold calling numbers game just because 87% of IM forums/threads says that's how it works.

 

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Some debate! I like it. :D 

Obviously, doing some research or getting a targeted list is going to improve your odds, but it really is a numbers game. Just like a lot of marketing is.

In my OP, I did mention that you could call if you don't have a big marketing budget. It doesn't have to be the only way you reach out to people.

@ yukon - you don't have carpet, but chances are that of the 99 other people that person called that day, some did. And I doubt that they only had one person calling a list. And if they were smart, they were also calling previous customers and trying to get referrals, too. And, as you mentioned, getting a better list of people to call (more highly qualified leads) would help, as well.

 

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On 10/28/2017 at 9:42 AM, ShayB said:

The one call center I'm working with now? It's blowing my mind how many different projects they are using telemarketers for. 

I would be curious to learn more about this? ^^

 

My (adopted) father made his first millions in the telemarketing boom of the early '80's selling life insurance over the phone....  And he was the kind of man who poured Sangria in his cereal instead of milk, so no matter where you were in the house, you were going to hear his bullshit... He was a real bastard, but he was definitely good at his craft.  It seemed like he spent all morning screaming at people, and for some reason they still came to the house for drinks and signing papers?

Anyway, even back then, he started off cold-calling, but my mother somehow convinced him to start getting referrals from everyone he sold to, and also helped him get some customers from the organizations she was deeply rooted in... so eventually he had mostly "warm" lists...  It made his life a lot easier, I guess, because he was slightly less of an evil cunt, and he eventually made enough money to drink himself to death, which made the whole world a much better place!!

...I was a kid, so I understand how perspective changes, but I still feel like the world is smaller for other reasons... We are more instantly connected to people, their agendas, and marketing than ever before... constantly... so yeah, I suppose cold calling could be a numbers game?  But I certainly wouldn't want to have to do it!

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Back in the early seventies (I was a kid), I got a summer job going door-to-door dropping off a pre-stamped postcard with a questionnaire on it regarding water quality in the home. By filling it out and returning it, you were offered a free month's supply of soap, shampoo, etc.

The secretary, who received these cards, would then call lead to set up an appointment for the sales rep to drop off the free products. While there, the sales rep would do a hard water test (he already knew they had hard water) and sell them a water softener, which this company financed through a deal with several local banks. 

This process worked far better for them than cold-calling as the response rate could hit has high as 50% (especially in newer subdivisions).

I made something like $25 a week, which was a fortune for me and at the end of the summer, the sales reps all kicked in and bought me a mini-bike, which was awesome :D

 

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22 hours ago, MikeTucker said:

I would be curious to learn more about this? ^^

 

My (adopted) father made his first millions in the telemarketing boom of the early '80's selling life insurance over the phone....  And he was the kind of man who poured Sangria in his cereal instead of milk, so no matter where you were in the house, you were going to hear his bullshit... He was a real bastard, but he was definitely good at his craft.  It seemed like he spent all morning screaming at people, and for some reason they still came to the house for drinks and signing papers?

Anyway, even back then, he started off cold-calling, but my mother somehow convinced him to start getting referrals from everyone he sold to, and also helped him get some customers from the organizations she was deeply rooted in... so eventually he had mostly "warm" lists...  It made his life a lot easier, I guess, because he was slightly less of an evil cunt, and he eventually made enough money to drink himself to death, which made the whole world a much better place!!

...I was a kid, so I understand how perspective changes, but I still feel like the world is smaller for other reasons... We are more instantly connected to people, their agendas, and marketing than ever before... constantly... so yeah, I suppose cold calling could be a numbers game?  But I certainly wouldn't want to have to do it!

I can't go into fine details (for obvious reasons), but they have a number of projects in the medical field. I handle all their training for the callers. I'm truly amazed at the number of projects they have going on. 

Cold calling (or warm-ish calling) really is a numbers game. It's not necessarily a fun one, but it can get the job done. :D 

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Way back, when I was the manager of the advertising department of a well know photographer, my girls called lists advertising savings plans. You would save a bundle of money if you ordered a package of different sized photos, with three separate sittings to be used throughout the year. When sales got into a slump, I tried to give the girls morale. The only way they said they would be energized was if I called a list too for one day. Since I was a manager that would never ask my girls to do anything that I wouldn't do myself. I agreed.

Hahaha! I contacted an older guy and he told me he would purchase the plan if I agreed to be photographed with him. I agreed. We set up the date for the next Saturday morning. I had weekends off but agreed because my girls were paying attention. Well, as fate would have it, I forgot to set my alarm. :rolleyes: I woke up with just enough time to get dressed and throw on a little make up but not do anything with my hair. I got there in the nick of time and so I was photographed with this sweet old guy.

When the photos came back, I was mortified. The background he chose was of the inside of a barn with hay scattered everywhere. And because my hair was a fright and I hadn't woken up all of the way yet, I thought it looked like I had just rolled in that hay with him. :blush:

Worse yet, this sweet little old man only wanted the 8x10 and left a dozen wallets he wanted me to have. My boss brought them to my department and I was so embarrassed. I hated them. But my girls wanted them and they all hung one up at their calling cubby. They said it gave them incentive, LOL! Yeah, it was a long running joke in the company.

But hey, a sale is a sale, right?

 

Terra

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