Telemarketing – Definition and concept
Telemarketing refers to the selling and promotion of products or services through the medium of telephones. It’s a method of direct marketing where the salesperson solicits the customers to buy those products and services.
Telemarketing need not necessarily be done only through telephones but can also be done via web conferencing, where the persons can hold a face to face talk and come to a better decision. Besides telephones and the internet, fax is another way to carry out the process.
It is a widely used form of contacting the customers and making connections with them. There are certain laws set by the government which the companies need to follow if they use the method of telemarketing.
Telemarketing – past, and present
Earlier telemarketing was all about calling the customers, both potential as well as existing ones, through telephones. That was the only medium for the process to occur. But now, when technology has gone up to such heights, the process has taken a different turn. Video conferencing has come into the picture, though it is preferred by the companies only for the existing customers.
These days telemarketing has also turned into a tool to carry out surveys and gather the required information.
Areas where telemarketing plays a great role
There are certain companies that badly require this method of direct marketing. These areas include the following:
- Companies giving financial services and internet and cable services
- Charitable organizations as well as home security systems
- Vacation and timeshare related companies
Another area with telemarketing interest in politics. Political campaigns require this tool to get information about voting preferences before elections.
Types of telemarketing
There are two types of telemarketing which are as follows:
- Inbound telemarketing: This is about taking the incoming calls on the telephone and then taking orders on the same for particular products or services. It does not require much skills or training. It can be generated by catalogs or broad advertising. Direct mail is one other way of generating the same.
- Outbound telemarketing: Here much more training is needed. The reason being more requirement of actual selling. The end consumer is contacted in outbound type, so there is a need for a lot of knowledge of the products and services of a company.
Advantages of telemarketing
Telemarketing is a widely used tool by companies to increase their sales and earn profits. So let us now have a look at various benefits the companies get through the process.
- Economical method: It is an economic way to reach out to the customers. Both potential and existing customers can be contacted and that too at lower costs. The salespersons do not need to travel to talk to the customers.
- Good for small companies: In the case of small businesses, the method is beneficial in terms of time and money-saving. Though, for them, the communication method is not much different.
- Direct interaction with customers: As telemarketing lets the salesperson directly contact and talk to the consumer, it is beneficial to know the preferences of those consumers.
- Much more flexibility: This method helps the company understand what the particular customers look for in the product. So it is beneficial from the point of view of surveys. The company can bring transformations in their products and services.
- Good customer base: It helps build a better and a huge customer base by getting the chance to directly have a discussion with the users. Stronger and trustworthy relationships can be established that benefit the company in the long run.
Hence the concept of telemarketing is proving advantageous for companies, though there are certain drawbacks also when compared with other technological ways of direct marketing.