7 Steps to Mastering the Art of Telemarketing and the Cold Call

Call me old school, but I still believe in the power of the cold call and telemarketing… however, and it is a big however, there are a few keys to getting this marketing tool right. Now it may seem to be just common sense, but I've had a few telemarketers call me over the last week who just had no idea. Here are my tips to succeeding:

#1. Be Personable.

There is nothing worse than sitting down for dinner, and getting a call from someone bored out of their brains, reading a script and not letting you say a word for a full minute. However, put someone engaging on the other end of the line, and we are far more likely to stay on the other end of that call.

#2. Evaluate.

Evaluate the person you are calling, and do it fast! You don't want to call someone, spend 5 minutes talking to them, only to find out they are the wrong person to be speaking to or they don't qualify.

#3. Follow Up.

This is especially important in B2B marketing. If you call and they agree to let you send through a proposal. Do it that day, and at the very least that week, and then follow up to make sure they received it, and to see if they have any questions. It amazes me how many businesses spend the time and money to do a telemarketing campaign and don't follow up.

#4. Do Your Research and check Do Not Call Registers.

Now this one is a personal issue of mine, and I'm sure I'm not alone, my mother passed away around 18 months ago, and we still get telemarketing calls of people wanting to speak to her. It's heart wrenching and disrespectful - 100% of the time I will hang up on the caller. It doesn't take much to keep your records up to date. Do it! Legally you have to check the Do Not Call Registers, do not forget, do it regularly, and make sure your list is up to date. You have no excuse not to.

#5. Make sure who ever is calling knows what they are talking about!

I had a lady call me the other day, she spent five minutes rambling on about saving money on our energy bill… only for her to say, "Ok, now let me put you on hold because my supervisor needs to confirm everything we have agreed to." Firstly, I had no idea what I had so called "agreed to" and secondly, there was no way I was going to wait on hold when she couldn't even explain it.

Make sure your staff are trained. And trained well! And don't test them on live clients until you are 100% sure they are going to do at least an ok job.

#6. Have And Offer!

As with nearly every form of marketing the callee wants to know what is in it for them. Are you saving them money? Are you giving them something? Are you sending them a sample or a voucher, whatever it is, make it good and explain it well to the person on the other end of the line and explain what is required of them in return.

#7. Don't Be Afraid of the Cold Call.

Yes it is scary, yes people will be rude. However, you have no idea who they are, and they really have no idea who you are - You could run into the street and never know it was the same person. The benefits from creating that first form of contact can be incredible, this is especially true for B2B and high cost consumer products. It can be the first step to creating a highly valuable business relationship.

There you have it, my seven steps to mastering the art of Telemarketing and the Cold Call.

What have been some of your successes with Telemarketing, and have you got any telemarketer stories - I'd love to hear them!