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Why Do So Many Companies Use Telemarketing?

Making sales, providing customer service and conducting research are goals of companies that use telemarketing.
Telemarketing can be conducted at all hours of the day and night.
Each time a customer answers the phone, a telemarketer has the chance to make a sale.
Consumers may buy products over the phone from telemarketers.
Telemarketing is cost-effective, requiring companies to spend far less than is necessary with many other forms of marketing.
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  • Written By: N. Madison
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 26 September 2014
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Though many individuals find phone calls from telemarketers annoying and intrusive, businesses around the world use telemarketing to their advantage. It is often used for advertising products and services and providing telephone-based customer service. Companies perform telemarketing on an inbound or outbound basis because it helps them to get and retain the attention of their target markets, making sales, tackling customer service issues, conducting market research, and staying fresh on the minds of customers.

A major benefit of telemarketing is its potential for increasing sales from a distance. A company that uses this sales method has the opportunity to sell to both new and established customers without ever sending a salesperson out into the field. Without wasting time traveling around to see customers or spending money on gas, a company can reach its target market with relative ease. Unlike many other customer contact methods, phone calls give a company immediate answers. They can communicate with their customers right away, instead of waiting for days, weeks, or even months to realize results.

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Another advantage of telemarketing is its availability every day of the year, at all hours of the day and night. It allows a company to communicate with customers around the world, answering questions, taking orders, and providing resolutions whenever its customers are available. Additionally, this sales method allows companies to track the results of their efforts, changing strategies midstream if necessary. For example, a company may change its calling hours, giving its telemarketers a better window for reaching its target market.

Often, the success of this method for increasing sales depends on the number of calls made. Each time a potential customer answers his or her phone, the company has a chance at making a sale. As such, companies usually strive to make many phone calls, knowing that more mean better chances for success. Telemarketing does not guarantee sales, however, as consumers can reject telemarketer pitches just as easily as any other form of advertising. In fact, some consumers find it easier to reject goods and services offered by phone instead of saying "no" in a face-to-face conversation with a salesperson.

With any type of marketing effort, cost is a concern. Telemarketing is generally considered cost-effective, requiring companies to spend far less than is necessary with many other forms of marketing. Typically, the most expensive part is paying the telemarketers for making and/or receiving phone calls. As far as the disadvantages are concerned, the most pressing one is often the fact that many consumers view phone sales in a negative way.

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Discuss this Article

anon352752
Post 13

In the UK there is a government run service called the Telephone Preference Service. If you sign up with it for free, it becomes illegal for any UK company to call you unless you have specifically agreed to a call from them. Simple, no?

amypollick
Post 12

@anon319398: I understand that these people are trying to earn a living or run a business. However, my phone company charges me for the privilege of using their service. That's their prerogative. It's a business, I need a phone, they provide one, and I entered into the contract freely. I contacted them, not the other way around.

Since I pay for the privilege of using my phone, I feel I should have some say-so over who calls me on the line *I* pay for.

In the past month, we've had calls from the same two numbers, seven or eight times per day. Saying, "I'm not interested. Please don't call here again" politely did not work. My husband resorted to profanity and I screamed at them. Calling the number back resulted in a "disconnected" message. This means the number was spoofed. That's not running a business. That's running a *scam.* It's illegal to spoof a phone number. I filed three reports with the Federal Communications Commission, and the calls have finally stopped. I shouldn't have to go to those lengths. I shouldn't have to put my number on a "do not call" list. Companies should have to wait for an invitation to call someone on a line they pay for. I don't pay for network TV, so I have to put up with commercials. That's life. I do, however, pay for my phone line. Telemarketers have no business calling me when I do not have an established business relationship with them. I will be polite, but I don't want them calling me to start with.

anon319398
Post 11

I like how most people either read the mature, logical, professional reasons why telemarketing exists and ignored it and just wrote about their own opinions/experiences.

If you understand how a business works and have manners/a proper upbringing, you could see these are just people trying to make a living. Sure there a few who are too pushy; the environment/work place is demanding. The amount of stress they have is more than likely not as much as the job you do. If it is, I'm sorry to hear that. At least you know what they go through, so you could be a bit more understanding.

As far as "invading" a home, are they using advanced weaponry through the phone? Of course they don't know your schedule and with most people, there is never a convenient time. If you don't need it, say no. Yes, they have to go through it at least three times because if it's something that you actually could use or benefit from, a company wants you to have it. There is just simply no excuse for rudeness. No one intends to annoys or anger you if it involves money. A company(that is run by people) is simply trying to expand. You can decline. Just decline like the mature human being you claim you are.

myharley
Post 10

I don't answer calls from telemarketers anymore, but know that they are people who are just trying to do their job.

That is one reason I tell them up front that I am not interested. I figure I am saving my time as well as theirs. Most of them are polite about it and don't give you a hard time.

There have been times in the past when the telemarketer is extremely persistent and this usually just makes me mad.

Even though it would be a hard job to have, there are ways that you can be pleasant and polite without being too pushy.

SarahSon
Post 9

There are so many things that annoy me about telemarketers. They always seem to call during dinner time and they are so persistent and continue to call over and over again.

I have my land line number on the 'do not call list', but it seems like some local companies that are trying to sell something or have a particular fund raiser still call.

I would have to be desperate for a job before I ever considered being a telemarketer. I really don't think I could handle the constant rejection and the rudeness of so many people.

LisaLou
Post 8

I am surprised that so many telemarketing companies still exist and have always wondered if they make enough of a profit from this type of advertising to continue with it.

None of our kids have land line phones and I know several families who have discontinued their land line service and just have cell phones.

Most people who have land line phones also have caller ID and don't answer calls from numbers they are not familiar with.

When I have received calls from telemarketers in the past I don't even let them get to their sales presentation part. Right away I tell them I am not interested and hang up before they can continue talking.

StarJo
Post 7

All of the sales representatives where I work use telemarketing to reach nearly half of their customer base. The company wants them to save on gas, so if customers are located more than ten miles away, they are advised to call them instead of visiting them.

These customers have already bought our products at some time in the past, so they are more inclined to listen to the sales pitch than a stranger. They are also more likely to buy from us again.

The sales reps call them to inform them of special discounts and sales. I have a feeling that if they called them when nothing special was going on, they wouldn't have much luck, but everybody likes a discount, so these calls work the majority of the time.

seag47
Post 6

I used to get an insane number of telemarketing calls every day. Caller ID often just said “unknown,” so I would let my answering machine get it. They never left messages, and they often tried back several times a day.

I no longer have a land line, and my cell number is on the “do not call” list. So far, none of them have found me.

I wonder if one day telemarketing will cease altogether. So many people have opted to be on that list, and the calls are widely rejected.

There's something far more personal about a cell phone than a land line. I would feel like my privacy had been invaded if I got telemarketing calls on it.

sunnySkys
Post 5

@indemnifyme - That sounds like it must have been frustrating for you!

I don't understand why people get so upset about telemarketers though. These days, with caller ID and voicemail, no one has to pick up the phone! If you get stuck talking to a telemarketer, it's your own fault.

I know I personally never pick up a call if it's from a number I don't recognize. I also block numbers from calling me once I realize they are telemarketers.

Not to mention, anyone can put themselves on the do not call list!

indemnifyme
Post 4

I feel like sometimes companies alienate their customers with telemarketing and don't make actual sales. The insurance agency I work for participated in a promotional effort our parent company was doing awhile back and the results were pretty bad.

First of all, we were having outside telemarketers call our existing customers to cross sell other insurance policies to them. I think that right there is a bad idea. I feel that we should be the ones dealing with our customers, not an outside company.

The telemarketers get paid based on how many people they are able to transfer over to us for a quote. So they are extremely pushy, and were sometimes transferring people that weren't interested.

We didn't end up making any sales, and in fact we made some of our existing customers very angry with us!

MissDaphne
Post 3

@letshearit - I'm sure you have a point, but remember that companies tend to put their best foot forward when they're trying to make a sale. If people don't respond as well to callers who speak with an accent, then they'll pay more for locally-based call centers. And save the overseas call centers for the customers they've already hooked!

With any telemarketers, I think it's important to differentiate between the company, whom you are free to hate, and the actual callers, who are just people trying to make ends meet. Now, I hang up on telemarketers all the time - my time is valuable, so is theirs, and they're not allowed to hang up until they've gone through their entire script - but I am always polite, and I don't play tricks to waste their time. It's not their fault!

letshearit
Post 2

@popcorn - I wonder how long your hometown will be a home for telemarketing centers. It seems that telemarketing outsourcing is the new trend. I know whenever I call into a company for customer service now, I always end up talking with someone from Mumbai.

I think that the telemarketing firms here in North America are about done for. Telemarketing service can be had a lot cheaper in other English speaking countries, and with cheap Internet phones available, why pay local people to do the work?

I suppose that any work is good work, but I just feel that telemarketing is really done for.

popcorn
Post 1

Telemarketing centers actually provide a surprising number of jobs in my hometown and while I am grateful for that, I still find the whole telemarketing system a nuisance. The telemarketing centers in my hometown focus completely on debt collections and trying to get people to sign up for new loans. I feel that what they do is somewhat predatory.

I actually applied for a job at the telemarketing center when I was hurting for cash, and after going through their telemarketing script and working with their telemarketing software for a day I decided it was just something I couldn't do. It just seemed so invasive, and I hate when people hang up on me.

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