By Mary Jane Copps*
President, Media Link
Over the past decade I have heard all the
slanderous, ignorant and unfair statements people make about telemarketing. But
I remain a believer because I've run a business strictly by phone for 10 years
- a business that continues to profit and to expand into new
'telemarketing' with 'telesales'. The calls which require immediate purchasing
decisions are telesales. At home you hear from charities and at the office from
suppliers. Such calls are only about revenue and often contribute to the
tarnished reputation of the phone as a valuable business tool.
Here are just some of
the ways a professional telemarketer can meet any organization's
- Customer Service - a quarterly or
semi-annual call to your customer. It needn't be detailed, and voice mail can
be used by leaving a clear message stating your company name and giving the
cusyomer the choice to return the call for further information.
- Public Relations - Has something
exciting or interesting happened, but you're not sure it's worth a press
release? Pick up the phone and leave some messages. If journalists think it's
news, they'll call back. Include some customers and potential customers on this
call list for good measure.
- Pricing - Thinking of a price
increase - or a special promotion? Test it out by phone to gauge the reaction.
A sample of 50 to 100 customers and potential customers will give you valuable
- Development - No one will give you
better reactions to a new product or service than your existing customer. Call
them, interview them, get their candid reactions to your development plans.
They will be pleased you asked for their input and you will develop a better
- Research - any price or information
you're looking for - the birth date of Sir John A. MacDonald or the weight of
an elephant - can be found by phone. The fax machine, the telemarketer's
constant companion, can be used to collect information by questionnaire from
your customer base.
- Planning - It is difficult to
anticipate a customer's needs without information. A well-planned phone survey
to a specific industry or market niche will provide you with the facts and
forecasts you need.
- Promotion - Everytime anyone in your
organization uses the phone they are promoting. Your organization name shows up
on the phone screens, gets picked up off voice mail, it is transcribed by
secretaries. Encourage everyone's phone professionalism as your most consistent
- Referrals - No matter what your
product or service, the people you talk to on the phone each day can refer you
to someone who might become a customer. Take a minute to think - what are the
possibilities if every phone call you make today results in another potential
- Sales - No I haven't forgotten.
Almost 100% of may company's sales are made by phone. The average sales takes
21 days to complete and involves one fax and at least four
- Recognition - By using the phone in
any or all of the above-mentioned ways, you will raise awareness in your
marketplace. Afterall, telemarketing means business, serious business.
*Mary Jane copps is
president of Media Link Inc., a company she founded in 1987. Based in Halifax,
Nova scotia, it currently employs seven full time people, all of them on the