By Rieva Lesonsky
Although it’s true the world is obsessed with online marketing (and social media is a great way to market your business), many small businesses can still benefit from some good “old-fashioned” telemarketing. Telemarketing still works, as proven every election season when the phone starts ringing off the hook hyping the virtues of your local (or federal) politicians and reminding you to get out and vote. The good news is telemarketing won’t deplete your working capital or require you to get a business line of credit. Whether your goal is to make a sale, or simply to pique the interest of your prospect and get them to request more information, a personal phone call could result in substantial new business—if you do it right.
Here are some of the ways businesses can use telemarketing:
- To announce upcoming special sales or events, reminding your customers to drop by
- To find the right decision makers in a business you’re trying to woo
- To remind a customer it’s time to make an appointment
- To reconnect with past customers to try and win them back
- To survey current and potential customers about their needs
- To introduce your business when you’ve just moved to the neighborhood
But how does a small business owner keep the prospect on the phone and avoid the immediate hang-up? Here’s how to get past the initial few seconds of a telemarketing call:
- – Make sure you have a current, vetted list of customers to call.
- – Say the right things. If you’re not sure what a good telemarketing script sounds like, enlist a professional to help you write one.
- – Have a good phone voice. If you have employees making the calls, make they are professional and courteous. That “voice” represents you and reflects on your business.
- – Have a plan for different scenarios. If the person doesn’t seem interested, what will the caller do? If the person seems busy, what should the caller do? Your script should include different outcomes and how each one will be handled.
- – Use common sense. Don’t have your telemarketers call during a meal, too late or too early. Avoid calling during major sporting events or other televised specials like the Super Bowl or the Academy Awards. Think of the person on the other end of the line, and try to be as helpful and respectful as possible.
- – Defer to the professionals. If it all seems too overwhelming, hire a telemarketing firm or consultant to set up and/or carry out telemarketing plan for your business.
Rieva Lesonsky is CEO of GrowBiz Media, a media and custom content company focusing on small business and entrepreneurship. Email Rieva at firstname.lastname@example.org, follow her on Google+ and Twitter.com/Rieva and visit her website, SmallBizDaily.com, to get the scoop on business trends and sign up for Rieva’s free TrendCast reports