Why Telemarketing Still Remains an Effective way of Communicating

In spite of the bad press which it sometimes gets, telemarketing remains an effective way of communicating with your existing customers and potential new customers.

We have all heard the horror stories of rogue companies who endlessly call the same people even though they have registered on Telephone Preference Service and have repeatedly asked not to be called again. But most telemarketing companies are reputable and operate in an ethical way.

According to the Direct Marketing Association, every £1 spent on telemarketing generates £11 of revenue. This will vary depending on what is actually being sold and who to. Business to Business sales can have much higher returns per £1 spent although more calls might be needed per appointment / sale due to the higher values and more complex decision-making processes.

Whilst it is understandable that predicted Return On Investment (ROI) will be important when assessing which telemarketing service to use, there may be other factors which are just as important. The number of calls needed to get an appointment will vary based on many factors but suppose you have been getting 10 appointments from every 500 calls and you decide to outsource. One company estimates that they will at least match and possibly improve on your performance – but they don’t give any cast iron guarantees up front. A second company guarantees (without conducting a pilot) to increase your appointment rate to 25 for every 500 calls and includes rebates if they fail to do so.

It might seem obvious which one to go with but be careful. Firstly, check the small print – those guarantees might not actually be all they seem. It is surprisingly easy for unscrupulous companies to invent appointments with fake customers if they are missing their targets. You think you are getting the appointments you expect but end up wasting time attending sales meetings where the prospect is never going to buy. It can take some time to realise this is happening (if you ever do).

More importantly, check the reputation of the company. If they break the rules it is your reputation that is at stake. Make sure you know who is responsible for checking numbers against TPS. Make sure that they have access to view and add to your ‘Do Not Call’ list.

Check the call scripts and make sure they are giving a message that correctly represents your business.

Make sure that calls are recorded and that you can have access to monitor calls on request.

If the company is a member of the Direct Marketing Association (DMA) then they have been through a stringent compliance check before being allowed as member. The presence of the DMA member’s badge gives you confidence that you are dealing with a reputable supplier.


Author – Ian Roberts LLB, Steadcross Founder & Director