An Exercise In Marketing

Do Telemarketers Make Any Money?

I only ask this because the company that called late last night made the unfortunate mistake of calling again – this time at a more respectable hour.

The lady was from India, although now living in Australia apparently, and had a very strong accent.  The phone line was terrible.  She was losing her voice from shouting into the poor phone-line and trying to be heard over the background noise of a room full of other people doing the same.

Any way I could barely understand a word she said.  And she couldn’t understand a word I said – the word I said was NO. Well I am generally up to play the game, so I would say “no” and she would keep talking.  I did work out that she was much happier and stopped repeating the same spiel when I said “yes.”  So after a number of “no”s I began to say “yes” to see where this would take us.

Well as luck would have it, she did eventually come to the end of her pitch and seemed quite satisfied.  Then I had to write down the company name and details (again I tried saying “no thanks really” but this was not understood, so I carried on with the “yes” every time she paused, as it made her much happier.

After supposedly writing the company details down, I was then passed off to a superior.  This lady, also with an Indian accent, but much more understandable, was on a better line with less background noise.

We continued the game much the same as before.  She ignored my “no” and was much happier when I said “yes.”  After almost half an hour on the phone the second lady finally conceded to let me go.

Lessons Learned

I did learn some lessons in this exercise.  I learned that telemarketing ladies like it more when you say “yes.”

I learned the name of the first lady.  And every time she said her name I would say “hello (her name).”  This didn’t fit into the script and she had to keep starting again.  After several interruptions I figured I wasn’t allowed to say hello and let it drop.

I discovered that the second lady was also from India but was a student in Australia and this was a part time job.  I found that out by suggesting that they didn’t sound very Australian even though the company was located in Australia.

I asked if she was well paid in this job.  She didn’t understand the question even after I repeated it several times.  But she had been in the job 2 years so I deduced she probably was paid reasonably well.

She was quite well trained in her job, and used all the good sales techniques like subliminally dropping the line “this product which you are about to buy” into the conversation repeatedly.   And she had all the answers to standard objections down pat.  She even made a reasonable effort at finding my main objection so she could provide the solution.

I did learn however, that she was not at all prepared for questions that were entirely unrelated to the topic at hand.  Such questions as how well paid she was.  Where did she think would be a good holiday destination.

I think maybe she was smiling a little by the end of the conversation – her voice cracked ever so slightly.  But she refused to break from the script.

The first lady did mention that I wouldn’t need to sign any contract in her list of benefits.  I tried to question the second lady about this – as it seemed to me that this could also be a significant disadvantage as well.  But that question wasn’t on the script apparently.

Things They Could Do To Improve Their Marketing Strategy.

I realize telemarketing is a numbers game, but their conversion rate must be fairly low.  Many people would have hung up on the first lady because she really was not understandable.

They do not stop to ask me if I have any need for a holiday package (they were selling discount hotel passes).  They were not at all interested in my needs.

Instead of launching into a sales pitch as soon as I say hello, I am guessing they could double their conversions by striking up a conversation first. Ask people how often they travel, when was the time they traveled.  Do they wish hotels were cheaper, or would they stay in a better quality hotel if they could afford it.

Until they know what needs I have they are pitching blind.  And if they have not established a rapport they have no trust.  No reason for me to pull out my credit card.

Well that is my take on telemarketing.