Monday, September 17, 2012

How Telemarketing Is More Realistic Than Popular Opinion

Telemarketing is no stranger to knocking heads with popular opinion. More specifically, when it comes to clashing with popular opinion on themselves. But as conventional as this might sound, appeal to popular opinion has always been a logical fallacy.

Popular opinion likes to depict the telemarketing industry as one that's going the way of snail-mail. The labor is often depicted as drab and weary. Agents are infamously portrayed as being overworked and exhausted despite the supposed simplicity of their work. Thus, the prospect of using it in marketing processes like lead generation and appointment setting seems archaic and therefore highly unrealistic. Who wants to hear a marketer on the phone these days right?

The reality is hearing a live conversation is as realistic as you can get (well, perhaps with the exception of actually meeting face-to-face with a prospect). On the other hand, it's plain to see that many companies and their customers don't necessarily want to reach that level. Who would want a face-to-face meeting just to purchase something?

If you're in any B2B market, your surprising answer would be: a lot.

Many B2B companies offer complex products, services, and even just solutions in order assist other companies in their endeavors. Such complexity requires a lot of discussion, a discussion that can only be had in a live business meeting.

Ironically, this is based on the simple logic that a real phone call is, in fact, more realistic compared to other forms of business communication that many telemarketing critics like to champion. Just a few examples range from lesser anonymity compared to email while still sharing the flexibility and flow of an email conversation. (You can even argue that B2B telemarketing is a lot faster.)

Here are a few more ways that telemarketing can seem more 'real' than mere popular opinion:
  • Live feedback – Whether it's in a customer survey, a raw survey, or even customer support, you get to literally hear it straight from the mouths of B2B prospects and customers. The fact that telemarketers make a note to record their conversations only serves to prove that point. 
  • Empirical results – With live feedback comes results that are more empirical than text-based messages and conversations. Tracing the source of an email can be a lot harder than tracing the source of a phone call. Even if you can't find the source, you have the live recording a of a real person's voice against a message that anybody could've typed. 
  • Makes you realistic too – Opening your business to phone calls is a good way to insure transparency and avoid bad PR. Whether you're contacting potential B2B clients or receiving calls for current customer concerns, they'll both know your business is real. They have as much evidence of your validity as you have of theirs. That not only emphasizes on how real your business is but you're also being fair too. 
As always with popular opinion, it doesn't constantly win out. Most people may not see much of telemarketing from the privacy of their own homes. But when it comes to attracting B2B leads, it remains an ever present tool even in multi-channel marketing.

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