What’s next for telemarketing?
At least once a week we are told that telemarketing is a dying art. Forbes tells us that cold calling is dead and that LinkedIn is now the way to go. The effort and skill required to make a sale over the phone has been side-lined in favour of email blasts and impersonal messages. Because of the negative connotations of the cold call, telemarketing has become a dirty word in the world of sales.
Telemarketing is not dead – but it is certainly changing with the times.
The first thought that springs to mind when you hear the word telemarketing is the automated, scripted sales pitches we, as customers, have come to expect. At this moment in time, it is essential that salespeople work to change this perception. In order to do this, our attention must turn away from the flagging, traditional telemarketer to the incredible opportunities awaiting the inside sales professional.
Here are 3 distinctions that set the inside sales professional apart from the telemarketer:
1) Rapport with the customer. Making a connection on LinkedIn is undoubtedly a valuable step in establishing your customer base and making sure your product is tailored to the right audience. But what next? In order to get a customer to buy what you’re selling, it’s vitally important that you establish a relationship. The inside sales professional bridges the enormous gap between marketing the product and making a sale, by using the opportunity of a personal phone call to set up a rapport with the customer in real time. Unlike the slow back-and-forth of email or LinkedIn or the hit-and-miss success rate of the bland cold call, the success of an inside sales campaign can be immediate.
2) Confidence in your product. It’s certainly easy to send a generic email marketing your product, but the inside sales professional will use a phone call as an opportunity not only to sell, but also to express their confidence in what you’re selling. This gives the customer the chance to ask questions and, most importantly, gives you the opportunity to answer. By actively selling over the phone, even you will become better acquainted with your product. The inside sales campaign works not only to benefit your business, but also to make you a more confident salesperson.
So you didn’t make a sale on the first call? Did your potential customer need time to consider our product? Great. Thanks to your confident campaign, you now have the opportunity to follow up without alienating your customer. A customer will look far more kindly on a follow-up phone call than they will on yet another impersonal email blast repeating the same sales pitch they deleted last time. Following up in an inside sales campaign is about persistence, not pestering.
3) Making a customer, not just a sale. Following up on 1) – building a rapport with your customer means that you are more likely to make a customer, and not just a sale. The inside sales professional gives a voice to their product that an email simply cannot. Consider how many potential customers are lost by salespeople being unwilling to pick up the phone and make a call.
It is easy to tell the difference between a salesperson who is in a rush to make a quick sale there and then, and one who is interested in making a customer.
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