Telemarketing is not dead. I have proof.
Well, at least I have proof people are still trying.
Of course there are still common sense uses for telemarketing, but with the onset of digital messaging, I see its use and utility becoming a little like that of the FAX machine. I rid my business card of even having a FAX number at least 5 years ago.
So, that brings me to today’s little marketing case study. While I was at lunch with some close friends, I saw a call come in on my cell phone that I didn’t recognize. Generally, and I’m sorry to those I’ve screened, I don’t answer calls from numbers I don’t readily identify as “friendly.” That may be due to the fact that I used to be the director of a student loan collection center, or it may simply be that I live in Iowa, where every 4-years-or-so, we become the political solicitation call capital of the world. In any case, if you’ve gone to my voice-mail once and left a “friendly” message, I can guarantee you probably won’t again (unless I’m too busy for real.) 🙂
So, I finished lunch and got back to the office to check my messages and I’m assaulted with the following:
Seriously, listen to this…
So, let me knock this poor guy around a little…
- The company (or guy) did a Google search for “Marketing company in Des Moines” — maybe even as specific as “Social Media Marketing, Des Moines” and found our Website. BIG DEAL
- He’s reading from a poorly written script. YAWN
- His pitch was vague, broad and unappealing. CLICK
- There was no tangible call-to-action. FAIL
- There was no research or qualification to the call. DUH And
- HE SURE AS HECK KNEW MY NAME IS ANDREW… (he said it 9 times in less than 90 seconds! GOOD LORD! I’m vain, but that’s uncalled for!)
So, what are my takeaways from this little solicitation? Telemarketing can work if you approach it logically.
- Don’t be a robot. If I were to answer, I can only assume this guy would have, without taking a breath, given me the :90 seconds you just heard without engaging me for a second. If you’re going from a script, memorize it and interject sales points and benefits as the conversation progresses. Don’t read to me!
- Be prepared. Sure a Google search and some skimming of a company website may give you the gist of who you’re calling, but with a little deeper dive (LinkedIn, Twitter search, etc.) he could have personalized some of the pitch to make me feel more comfortable that he was stalking me.
- Don’t bury your lede. It took well over :50 seconds (of :90 total) for the “Hook” to be presented. If you want to get someone’s attention, you don’t have time for chit-chat, especially in this day of “Immediate Gratification.” I’ve seen his business model as a start-up happen in less time than it took him to tell me about it. TIME IS OF THE ESSENCE!
- Finally, Leave ’em Hangin’… Don’t entirely “open the kimono” when leaving a voice-mail… Even when I was collecting student loans, I would leave messages that would entice people to think they NEED to call back. Not by being deceptive or dishonest, but by feeding enough information to them that calling for the “punch line” seems necessary.
Like I said, telemarketing can work, but it has to be used the right way.
Let me know your thoughts. Would YOU have taken this call? Would you have even listened to the entire message before hitting DELETE?
Food for thought.
Andrew B. Clark
The Brand Chef