Telemarketing, a Wasted Opportunity

Various marketing strategies have been adopted by the companies to find new market and increase the existing market share of their products in a minimum period of time. Some of these strategies are:
1) Personal marketing: Door-to-door marketing of the product through a

company representative.
2) Promotional campaigns: Marketing

the product at trade shows,

exhibitions, commercial and residential locals.
3) Catalogue marketing: Through mail orders, by providing a complete

pictorial listening of products.
4) Internet marketing: A newfangled concept of marketing through

electronic media, i.e., via the Internet.
5) Telemarketing: Marketing via the telephone as a medium of serving the

customer. Catalogue and Internet marketing lack the vital human connection in the very first instance of approaching the customer. Moreover, not every company can afford the cost incurred in printing and assuring a prompt as well as safe delivery of catalogues, just like few people have access to computer and the Internet.

Although personal marketing and promotional campaigns are good marketing strategies, they rely on a sizeable manpower force and are highly localized to

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a specific territorial domain. Hence, marketing becomes time consuming and extravagant when products are to be marketed in considerably larger regions. Telemarketing on the other hand, proves highly effective and profit sharing as it has the following merits:
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Provides the direct human link between the customer and the marketer. Ease of accessibility to a larger customer base. The sharing of failure, success and profit among employees happens in the same workspace, which keeps them self-motivated to achieve higher targets.

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Time efficient as the product can be marketed directly to the customer’s door in a minimum amount of time, by eliminating redundant channels and unnecessary delays.

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Cost effective due to minimal expenditure on infrastructure and manpower.

With all these inherent advantages, telemarketing can be made an effective, profit sharing business if managed professionally, right from the very first step of designing the script to the final product marketing stage. Although there are no hard and fast rules, for it depends largely on the judgment skills of the telemarketer excel on the job may be emphasized: preoperational pleasant voice, patience and persistence.

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The Four Ps in effective telemarketing Preparation Pleasant voice Patience Persistence
1) Preparation: The first step in effective telemarketing, which lays the

foundation for future such, is ‘preparing script’ and; even more important than that, ‘preparing oneself’ for marketing the product.

The script should be brief, but it should emphasis the most remarkable features of the products. It should clearly mention the maximum discounts, flexibility of time over which the payment could be made, specific advantages of the production contrast to other available in the market, guaranteed prompt and safe delivery to the customers, and long-term benefits and information on the creditability of the company. With all the product knowledge in hand, the telemarketers should start confidently with a proper introduction, and end on a thankful note irrespective of the outcome of the previous call or the ongoing one.
2) Pleasant voice: The only medium through which the telemarketer has to

market the product to the customer is through his/her voice. The telemarketer is a total stranger to the potential customer. It is the first10-

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15 seconds of the telemarketers voice and tone that relay decides the fate of the telephone call--- warm or even much colder than before… What is it that makes the voice a pleasant one? The five qualities of a pleasant voice those are helpful for telemarketers are:
• Politeness:

Talking politely to the customer will make him /her feels

comfortable during the conversation and will leave the positive impression that it is not a nonsense call.
• Enthusiasm:

Putting much zeal and energy into one’s voice will ‘voice’

confidence in oneself, the product and the company.
• Slowness:

speaking at a slow pace, with very short gradual breaks, will

enable the customer to comprehend things easily.
• Personal:

Using the customer’s name (with Mr/Ms prefix) often during a

conversation will make it more personal, friendly and professional.
• Varying

pitch: using high and low pitch tones when emphasizing the

competitive advantages of the product.

By this time, the potential customers will, in all likelihood, open up to the telemarketer and are ready to discuss the target product in details.

3) Patience: Once the customer starts showing interest in the product, the

next step is to give a more patient era to the customer for creating a background of ‘trust’. At this moment, the customer (who is indeed, under
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pressure all the time) will take his time thinking about the prose and cons, the reliability of product and services, the confidentially of the deal, cost of other models in the market and, not to forget, those horrible past experiences which gave nightmare--- Listening patiently to the feelings of this ‘would be ‘ customer will provide appreciable emotional support to the customer.
4) Persistence: By this time, the telemarketer should have won the

customer’s trust in he product, as also in himself/herself and in the company. But it is very likely that the customer may still be entangled in ambivalence, so now’s the time to once again emphasis the values of this unique product as if it was custom designed for this customer only. If,

even now the customer shows some hesitation (signaled by a series of ‘ohs’ and ‘ehs’), the telemarketer should request the customer to at least give it a try once .a friendly sense of humor on the part of the telemarketer at this decisive juncture should win ’confidence’ of the customer as well. However, notes of caution- do not indulge in over persistence, as it will ‘pester’ the customer unnecessarily. Shaping a learning, human telemarketer into a successful professional telemarketer requires mastering these four quality attributes both before and during the job that he/she takes to prove his /her skills. It becomes easier to do as all the telemarketers work together in the same room----helping one learn and improve not only from one’s own experience, but also from the
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experience of one’s colleagues. A total quality management environment is created keeping everybody self motivated to put their preserving efforts towards the interest of the group as a whole. When to Use Telemarketing The most basic requirements of telemarketing is widespread telephone ownership among target adapters. Telemarketing is useful primarily in industrial countries with high rates of telephone ownership. It is less appropriate in countries like the Philippines and Indonesia, where telephone ownership is limited to only a small percentage of the population. Research has shown that telemarketing is most suitable for carrying out the following communication functions: 1. To Follow Up Mass Communication and Direct Mail. Political organization also finds telemarketing to be effective in reaching voters who are otherwise unreachable. 2. To Encourage and Reinforce Adapter Loyalty. It’s designed to resolve complaints repeat patronage or adoption from the person called in 95 percent of the cases. This function called as “servicing function’. 3.To Obtained Names of Target Adapters Who May Be More Effectively Persuaded By Personal communications. Telemarketing may not complete the persuasion process, but it can serve as aground breaker to arrange for a fellowup personal visit by the social marketer. American Red Cross set up the AIDS information hot line in the US with this specific purpose in mind. Telemarketing
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can be used to reach new adaptors and to serve current ones. New prospects are reached by acquiring call lists containing the names of people who are good prospects for adoption. The quality of any call list can be evaluated quality by telephoning a small sample of names on the list and noting the percentage that is qualified. The social marketer may then use the lists that show a high percentage of qualified prospects. Telemarketing can also serve target adapters in active or passive ways. Social marketers can initiate calls to target adapters to audit their satisfaction and to uncover potential problems, or they can simply make their telephone number available to target adapters as a hot line. The telemarketing scenario in India An opinion poll was conducted to have a retrospective and prospective picture of the telemarketing industry in India .The poll was divided into two categories-the first category included companies engaged in telemarketing as their primary business while the second category comprised companies using other marketing tools as their primary mode of operation. The contributions of the following companies to the poll is gratefully acknowledged-Orion Direct, Magus Marketing Info Support (P) Ltd, Team Direct (P) Ltd, Vision Market Research Group, Corporate Profiles, Telemarketing Consultancy Service, Insight Research, Telemarketing & Response Management Services, Pathfinders India and Perfect Fields Services.

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Although telemarketing has existed in countries like US and Canada for decades, the concept was introduced in this country by United Database India (better known as UDI), in 1987.although the industries displayed a slow growth rate in the beginning, it had its boom in the last 2-3 years many telemarketing companies have come up. With their offices mainly in the metropolitan cities. The respondents stated that although Delhi had a literacy rate of 65 per cent, the masses were le informed and rather impulsive buyers in contrast to cities like Mumbai and Bangalore, where people were more systematic and organized in their buying behavior. Companies involved in telemarketing have an infrastructure varying from a unit consisting of a few telephone instruments o a unit comprising state-ofthe –art, centralized automated system. The network consists of computer workstation with supporting software for generating a database, making’ call backs’ to potential customers at their preferred time, among the obstacles which impede the growth of the telemarketing industry re the frequent breakdown of telephone lines, obsolete database, and a lack of awareness of telemarketing, both among clientele and the public. Telemarketing companies have been serving clientele from finance and leasing, information technology, consumer services and banking sector. However, the companies ooze confidence in their potentially indispensable trade, which could serve all sectors in the coming years. With its proven success and profitability, telemarketing can be rewarding profession for
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entrepreneur, full time as well as part time workers. The only investment needed is a strong desire to succeed and telephone line. There was, apparently, a feeling of fear competition among a few telemarketing companies. The long-term success of the telemarketing industry in India would depend on the combined efforts of individuals companies. An association comprising all the telemarketing companies in India, if formed, may cater to the interest of the whole industry and its members. Such as awareness among the masses and generating updates database. Vocational courses in telemarketing shall also produce skilled professionals, synergizing telemarketing with other strategy .In order to improve its credibility; it is obvious that MTNL (Mahangar Telephone Nigam Ltd) will have a challenging task of restructuring its existing network services for customers. Nevertheless, telemarketing has been, and will hopefully continue to be a promising marketing tool in the future.

References 1.Hill R M, Alexander R S and Cross Js: Industrial Marketing,
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All India Travelers booksellers, Delhi, 1999 2.Philip Kotler, Eduarol Robert, Social Marketing /Strategies for Changing Public Behavior: Macmillan, I

Abstract Telemarketing, a popular marketing tool in the West is yet to make many inroads into India, though there are a number of companies making pioneering contributions to it.

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