“Hello, I am calling from so and so bank and am glad to inform you that you can get a pre-approved loan of up to …; no documents required, no verification; … if you are interested, I will send across an executive to get your signature on the loan application form”. Sounds familiar? That is Telemarketing – a marketing approach to generate leads and sales by making phone calls to prospective clients.
The technique is one of the most direct ways of Direct Marketing because you get the prospect’s attention straightaway by calling him on the phone. However, it turns out to be an annoyance when hundreds of companies call you at all times of the day to try to get you to be interested in buying their products. Considering the annoyance factor and the recent trend of Permission Marketing, consumers can now unsubscribe to Telemarketing by registering their phone number in the National Do Not Call Registry. If your phone is registered with the NDNC, it is illegal for Telemarketing Companies to call you. This is why some advertisers resort to sending the ‘not-as-annoying’ text messages.
However, you may wonder – where did they get my phone number from? Remember the small form that you filled up at the shopping complex to register for a lucky draw. The database of all the form fillers would have been purchased by the bank resulting in that call to you. Purchasing database is a very common practice resorted to by many companies. It is sometimes shocking to think that so many companies have your contact details without your knowledge.
As you probably know, companies refer to historical records of their customers, application forms, contest forms; public directories like the telephone directory and sometimes they even purchase phone databases from various sources, in order to compile a list of phone numbers. Usually the Telemarketing process consists of an initial screening call to qualify the prospect and a follow-up call to make the sales pitch. This is called ‘Outbound’ Telemarketing.
On the other hand, when companies advertise a toll-free 1-800 number for their customers to call up in case they have a problem with their product, it is called ‘Inbound’ Telemarketing. Service representatives answer these calls and resolve the customer queries. For handling standard requests, many companies implement the IVR – Interactive Voice Response technology wherein the caller can choose key options and get his query answered. For instance, when you dial the toll free number of your bank, a recorded voice says – press 1 to continue in English, press 2 to continue in French, press 3 to continue in German and so on. Experts advise to gets your brands website found with expert SEO San Diego services for increase in the benefits. A helpline number will be provided to the person for further benefits.
It is also possible to call up people with an automated pre-recorded message, a facility which is widely used during political or electoral campaigns. This is called ‘Robocalling’.