Even B2B telemarketers themselves will admit that more than a handful of people either don't like what they do or just have a negative understanding of it. There are good reasons for that though and they're either the result of bad telemarketing practices or just a lack of transparency. In both cases, it's the duty of those in telemarketing services to avoid such practices and be crystal clear about what they do when engaging with businesses.
So first off, what are some of the things that turn people off from telemarketing?
- Pushiness – B2C telemarketing isn't the only form of the practice that was stigmatized by the pushy attitude of both marketers and salespeople. Such hardheaded characters don't give decision makers any peace of mind because of their constant marketing calls. Gatekeepers can easily sniff out a persistent caller and take necessary security measures to block their calls completely.
- Contact Data – While decision makers are more or less used to the idea of publicizing their contact data, telemarketers still have an obligation to use that information responsibly. And once they know it's listed on your customer database, they expect you to keep it secure. A breach in that security will result in a severe breach of their trust.
- Impersonality – Impersonal marketing approaches are just that: impersonal. They're bland. They're repetitive. They're also a terrible waste of time. It's no wonder that not even company gatekeepers are impressed with a message that they've heard over and over again.
Now, what can be done about this? This might be surprising but those of you who were just considering outsourced telemarketing still have good reason to, despite the above flaws. Why? It's because many telemarketers have long taken the hint. The mark of a good company is one that is aware of these mistakes and has taken measures to avoid them. And if you're using your own in-house telemarketing team, you might be able to employ some the following yourself!
- Exercise proper follow-ups – Instead of being pushy, make sure your telemarketers find ways to get around instead of constantly hammering the decision maker. If they're not willing to talk just yet, then call at another time. They can also learn to use other channels of communication in order get permission (e.g. emailing them first or attracting their interest with a website).
- Treat data responsibly – Secure that data as much as possible. In the case of current customers, you should also make sure they're aware that you're using their data and know how you're using it. If you're contacting businesses to qualify completely new B2B leads, then you have tell them where you got their contact information when they ask.
- Diversify your marketing approach – Use other forms of marketing like blogging or social media to show that you're not just limited to telemarketing. You can also improve the telemarketing approach itself by turning it into an opportunity to engage with prospects so you'll know more about how your business can help theirs.
Ultimately, it's all about improving the quality of the telemarketing service and not really about doing away with it entirely. Even if it does prove a hassle for yourself, the continued existence of experienced B2B telemarketers is living proof that it can be done right.
And when it's done right, fewer people will be cautious about it.