Generating sales leads is vital for the health and growth of your business. The inability to create new prospects and turn them into satisfied customers can quickly destroy your business' bottom line and place you on the fast track to failure.
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That's where telemarketing firms come in. Their job is to help you generate new business and bring home the sale using their call center know-how and technology.
Not many people realize that telemarketing firms can be hired to take calls for your business on either an inbound or outbound basis. Inbound campaigns take calls from potential customers generated by other forms of advertising (e.g. infomercials, radio spots, magazine ads). In outbound campaigns, the telemarketing firm calls potential customers on your behalf.
The cost of an inbound telemarketing campaign is based on the number of call minutes per month at an average rate of approximately $1 per minute. Monthly minimums can range from $250 to $1,000. Outbound campaigns are priced hourly and can range from $10 to $40 or more per hour depending upon the expertise needed to reach your target market.
To conduct your campaign, the telemarketing firm will need to have a call script as well as background information about your company and products. The telemarketing firm will compile this information for you - for a fee, of course. A better option might be to save a little money and compile the information yourself.
Finding the right telemarketing firm will require a little effort and diligence on your part. It shouldn't come as a surprise that some telemarketing firms have a history of questionable business practices. The last thing you want to do is to put your company's reputation in the hands of one of these firms, even if they offer you a good deal on price.
Your first step should be to check out the telemarketing firms qualifications. How long have they been in business? What is their success rate? Although telemarketing is a high-turnover industry, a good firm should be able to demonstrate a track record of success.
The next step is to review the firm's list of clients. You are looking for a client list that contains recognizable names with products and services similar to yours. For example, if your company sells financial products and the telemarketing firm specializes in the sale of magazine subscriptions, then you need to look elsewhere to find the firm that is right for you.
Finally, ask the firm for a list of references - good and bad. The firm will probably not be anxious to provide the names of clients who were displeased with their services, but most will give you a name or two if you insist.
By talking directly with past clients, you will gain valuable insight about what to expect from your relationship with the firm. More importantly, you will get the information you need to determine whether or not the telemarketing firm is worthy of representing your product to your customers.