Somewhere in your office either resting on a shelf, on your desk or mounted to the wall is the most underutilised yet most powerful and effective marketing tool going around. And guess what?…. you’re already paying for it but probably using it less and less effectively as time passes on. We are talking about the telephone.
As the cost of other traditional methods of prospecting, qualifying customers, maintaining contact with existing customers and general marketing activities continue to increase almost daily, the art of telemarketing is seeing a resurgence and a return to favour.
Telemarketing has become an area of tremendous interest especially to the small to medium sized business… and it has many advantages.
With direct mail, to obtain economy of scale you may have to print several thousand or more flyers or brochures all at the one time. Telemarketing enables you to pay as you go.
When it comes to most media advertising you have to pay for circulation; usually calculated by the thousand. Depending on the medium you may be forced to reach out to tens or even hundreds of thousands of people all at the one time. The good ole telephone allows you to reach out and contact as many or as few prospects as you wish.
Let’s look at a practical application. If you run a local business like a real estate agent, hairdresser, gym, printing shop, clothing store or any form of retail outlet and you are disciplined enough to call just 3-5 prospects per day, you would’ve promoted your business to at least a thousand potential new customers a year in less than half an hour a day with virtually no extra costs. Now any business can afford to do this type of marketing.
Telephone prospecting can be used effectively when qualifying or inviting new customers to a special event or sales presentation or seeking approval to email or mail further information on your offer.
This method of marketing does require the selection or compilation of a prospect list. However, you don’t have to purchase large lists from brokers, you can simply use your smarts. If you are a B2B business you can target businesses in your local area and obtain their details from local business listings or online directories. If you are more B2C then you can target a local area with a special promotion aimed at a particular suburb. Some of the best promotions we have seen work have been directed at very small and targeted markets such as gated living communities and assisted living facilities. Obviously your product or service will determine if this type of activity is suited to you.
Another application of telemarketing for most businesses is as a way of communicating with past and existing customers. A personal phone call to an existing client is usually well received when it contains a special offer. In store sales events, limited time discounts, close out offers, new products, sample ranges etc are all good excuses to phone existing clients and give them the jump on the general public when it comes to attending one of your events. I purchased a new car last year and the dealer phones me with invites to test drive all the latest vehicles in the range in additional to deals on after market accessories and extended warranties etc. It works a treat….
Yet another application is the up sell. This method is used most often when customers call into the business to place an order. An example of this well executed is my local printer, after the order has been processed I receive a COLUMBO…. what is a COLUMBO? It’s a marketing technique named after the famous TV character played by Peter Falk.
Columbo would always stop at the last minute and ask one more thing. The printer simply asks. “Just one more thing before you go. We have a limited offer this week for our telephone customers of 25% off business cards and letter head printing, do you want to check, is it time for a top up of these items? Simple huh?… This can be used in just about any business.
Now I can hear what you are thinking…. and yes overseas telemarketing centres have recently tarnished the fine art of telemarketing. However, used in the right manner with a genuine and caring approach, this marketing method can work a treat for your business. Give it a try for just 2 weeks and see the results – it will cost you next to nothing but your time. Make just 3-5 calls a day and see what happens – It think you will be surprised.
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