What is Telemarketing?

What do Girl Scout cookies have to do with telemarketing?
Telemarketing

By Michelle Perry, Operations Manager

Most everyone has experienced a telemarketing scenario like the following. You barely sat down to eat lunch, and the phone rings. You have had a long day, you’re tired, you answer the phone, and it’s a telemarketer. They call to let you know that your car warranty is about to expire, and you need to act fast to stay covered.  Sarcastically you respond, “Oh, thank goodness you called to tell me you because I haven’t had a warranty for over ten years, CLICK!!”. Then you mumble under your breath, “darn telemarketers!”.

In many ways, telemarketing and telemarketers get a bad wrap. I have been in the telemarketing industry for over 30 years and still hear friends and family complain about their telemarketing experiences. I smile.

What is telemarketing? 

There are a couple telemarketing definitions:

  1. The marketing of goods or services through telephone calls, typically unsolicited, to potential customers.
  2. A service that generates interest, creates opportunities, provides information, factors customer feedback, makes appointments, and produces leads by telephone.

Now, let us take a closer look starting with the first definition ‘the marketing of goods or services through telephone calls, typically unsolicited to potential customers.

Here’s a scenario to consider: the phone rings, you answer it, it’s your neighbor helping her daughter sell Girl Scout cookies. You smile, commit to purchasing fifteen boxes (because who doesn’t love Girl Scout cookie season?), and hang up happy as your mouth waters thinking about the Thin Mint and Samoas you ordered.

Wait…. wasn’t that just a telemarketing call? Yes, it sure was. The experience was remarkably different because it was someone you knew and a product you liked. It is still telemarketing.

The second telemarketing definition is ‘a service that generates interest, creates opportunities, provides information, factors customer feedback, makes appointments, and produces leads by telephone’. In this scenario, the phone rings, you answer, it’s your kid’s soccer coach. He shares the game schedule and asks if you’d be willing to make some of your world-famous cinnamon rolls for the bake sale on Tuesday to raise funds for the team. You say no problem, that you’d be happy to help, and thanked him for calling.

You were provided information (soccer schedule), an opportunity was created (participate in raising money for the team), and generated interest in the event (bake sale). Was that a telemarketing call? Yes, it certainly meets the criteria.

What makes telemarketing important?

Telemarketing allows businesses of all types to reach their current and potential customers. Are there scammers and just bad telemarketing companies out there? Absolutely! However, some fantastic, trustworthy companies offer services that you would have never known about without that phone call. Or a company you are a customer of could never improve their services without calling and getting your opinion. So many telemarketing companies conduct very worthwhile work for well-respected and reputable clients.

I have been in the telemarketing industry for over 30 years and have worked my way into higher positions by learning, asking questions, and hard work. I have seen hundreds of high school students, wives, the elderly, and pretty much all walks of life come through call center doors. For some, it was their first job, some it was their last. It is a tough job. I have seen telemarketing jump-start impressive careers for some. Telemarketing has taught me how to be confident, professional, and perseverant while instilling a work ethic that makes me proud.

Even though I have family and friends mumbling “darn telemarketers,” I smile and hold my head high. I am proud of the company I work for, the clients we have, and the services we offer. I believe we have the best TEAM around. 

Michelle Perry is an Operations Manager for Quality Contact Solutions with primary responsibilities including overseeing the daily operations of client programs and agent success. Michelle has over 25 years of call center experience of which the last 8 have been with QCS. Michelle is very passionate about quality work and driving performance. The depth and breadth of knowledge Michelle provides enables the development of a strong working relationship with her clients. 

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