By Angela Garfinkel, President
No. Not interested. Thanks for your call, but no. **** No. You get the point. Working in outbound telemarketing sales can be a very difficult job. Working in telemarketing management is also hard but at least we are not the person that is told no every 5 to 7 minutes throughout an 8-hour day. Most telemarketing programs average 1 sale every 4 to 5 hours. Some really great programs get 1 sale every 2-3 hours. The very best programs get 1 sale every hour of calling. So, in an 8-hour day, that’s about 100 No’s and, at best, a hand full of yeses.
Remaining upbeat and positive can be very challenging, but the key is knowing that what you’re selling is worth the effort. We call it worthwhile work. At Quality Contact Solutions, we carefully evaluate each client program to determine the following:
- Would our team enjoy working with the client? Are they someone that our management team would get along with and find that there is a true partnership. Obviously, it takes a while to build up a relationship but within an initial conversation, I can normally tell if there is a seed of potential for our team to enjoy working with a client.
- Is the potential client a reputable company? I check the Better Business Bureau. I look at their website. I look at press releases and other news about the company. If I can’t find anything that validates if they are a reputable company, that isn’t necessarily a negative, but then I try to do my own assessment by asking some detailed questions about the company and how they approach their market.
- Is the product or service something that is needed by the target market? This can be difficult to assess, but you can normally ask some questions that will give you insight to the need in the market. One key question is asking the client how many they have sold so far. If it is zero, that could be a real challenge.
- Is the product or service something that can be sold over the phone? Has the client already tested telemarketing and was it successful? It not, look at the potential for success with scrutiny.
- Is it a program that I think our team will be successful with? That is hard to quantify, but with 30 years of experience, I’m pretty good at identifying if our team will do well with a client program or not.
- Is it something that a consumer or business may ultimately view as a rip-off or scam? Obviously if the answer is “yes”, then we carefully walk away from the potential opportunity.
Based on these answers, we carefully consider if the program will be viewed by our team as “worthwhile work”. In the simplest of terms, the way I explain it is this, “If I go to Thanksgiving dinner and tell my grandma what project I’m working on, will I be proud of it, or not really?” If the answer is “not really”, then we will not choose to work on the opportunity.
Here are some examples of client programs that we consider Worthwhile Work:
- Calling physician offices and hospitals to sell them billing and coding resources.
- Calling existing utility customers to offer a warranty and appliance repair program from the utility.
- Calling small business owners to ask if they are interested in learning more about 401(k) benefits for their employees.
- Calling existing customers of auto dealerships to schedule service appointments and conduct after-service surveys.
- Calling small and medium businesses to sell them regulatory and compliance resources to help them navigate complex regulatory requirements in their industry.
- Calling small businesses to ask them to listen to the radio for a chance to win a prize.
And while I don’t want to tell you the “brand names” that are represented in these worthwhile calls, they are household names that our employees love to work for!
So, here’s my theory. When you’re conducting worthwhile work for well-known, respected brand names, you can take pride in what you do and know that what you do matters. It makes it easier to stay positive and let those noes roll off your back. Someone once made up a chant that we used in a pre-shift team meeting a long time ago, but I still think it is relevant and a way to put the noes into perspective. Some Will. Some Won’t. So What. Who’s Next?
Angela Garfinkel is the President and Founder of Quality Contact Solutions, a leading outsourced telemarketing services organization. Angela has the pleasure of leading a talented team that runs thousands of outbound telemarketing program hours on a daily basis. Angela is also a certified Self-Regulatory Organization (SRO) auditor with the Professional Association for Customer Engagement and she is a designated Customer Engagement Compliance Professional (CECP). Angela can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 516.656.5118.