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Tuesday, October 21, 2008

I often discuss the issue of blow-back with clients who are concerned about potential brand damage when considering using telemarketing to generate leads for new business.

As the saying goes, "you can't make an omelette...."

Of course, anything you do which involves making an unsolicited approach for new business, whether that's by phone or email, carries a degree of risk. I've seen sales people sit all day doing anything rather than pick up the phone and cold call because they're afraid of rejection; in the trade they call it call avoidance.

But, for a company considering working with a telemarketing agency, it's a legitimate concern to have. After all, anyone making a call on behalf of your company is representing your brand in front of potential clients.

In my experience there are two things that you should be aware of:

Firstly, scripts should be avoided at all costs.

Whoever's calling on your behalf needs to clearly understand your proposition. That's not to say they need to be experts, they just need to know your key messages, how you're positioned and why the prospect should consider meeting you (if the output is a meeting, for example). This is why we invest time in client briefings at the start of every new business campaign.

If your prospect receives a call from someone who is obviously reading a script it tells them immediately that it's a cold call from someone who probably doesn't even know who they are and what they do.

An intelligent, well-researched approach says something entirely different...

Secondly, pushy sales people will kill any chance you have.

In this business, a little guile, wit and persistence is always needed to deliver results (after all, if it was that easy....). But thinking you can strong-arm someone into a meeting never works.

At best they'll agree to the meeting and then cancel it. At worst they'll remember your company name. And if you upset them they will always remember it.

So, always make sure you work with people who have an interest in delivering quality sales appointments, not just another name in the diary or meeting notched up on the board.

That may mean fewer meetings. But, in our book, fewer, quality meetings often lead to more profitable new business.

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Posted by: David Regler @ 5:31 pm |   | Links to this post  

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