Friday, September 2, 2011

Fud Buster Friday #66: Telemarketing works?

I should save this for Friday but too annoyed to let it sit.

If you do webinars, write white papers, provide some type of positioning document or think you have something important that I must read/watch/listen, think again.

If your emailing about it, fine, it either gets blocked by spam filters (I hope), auto tagged using a mail rule for the word webinar to Trash(not a good idea but I know some people that do this), or maybe gets to my inbox. Here's a hint, if I see the word webinar in the Subject field, it is deleted without opening from my phone or client. We work with only a handful of Vendors and Partners who I will possibly look at the email, or from one of my friends companies.

Now that is the unobtrusive way to get my attention.

Having a telemarketer or outbound call center ring me up and ask if I am interested in any of this is a serious waste of your money and efforts and immensely  intrusive way to get my attention and possibly sour me on your company. I am not one of those people that thinks you have money to do outbound calling so you must be big, good or whatever.

Don't you think that in this age of information at the speed of sound I could find whatever you offer if and when I need it? Does your marketing team know this is going on? Or do they follow the "we try everything since everyone works differently" theory? Here's a hint, if you don't post it in enough places, say Linkedin, Facebook Events, Twitter announcements, G+, your blogs, your website and more then how would someone find out about it? Ah, but you say, that's why we are calling, so you know about it.

Look, I don't know how you work, but I work on an as need basis. JIT, just in time, it's not just for inventory you know. Sure I have interests too, but when I have the time, I will listen/watch/read. WHEN I HAVE THE TIME! So post your webinars or documents, I don't mind registering to get to them when I need them.

While we are at it, you called me, you gave me a name and maybe a company name. Now as it happens, as an example, I know who IBM is, but I do not know all of the existing Business Partners. If you say you are from company X, so what. What do you do? Are you a Business Partner? A financial adviser firm? HR legal practice? Your webinar titles mean nothing to me, they are sales, product or industry specific but that doesn't tell me if you are new or old, big or small, US only or International. I am not always so hard on telemarketers, they have a job to do and I will at least listen to them if I am in the mood, but somethings, as I will close with, will get you hung up on in a second.

This is the bet. They catch people when they are in the mood. My kids ask for cookies all the time, they figure at some point I will say yes and maybe I will. A numbers game that really sucks if you ask me from a pay off perspective. How many calls do you need to make to get someone to talk to you and maybe, just maybe, register or agree to whatever your pitch is? Would that money and effort be better spent in some other way?

Google does some nice work on their mailings. Mail is not always better than spam, but if mail is unique enough, something you can't be in a subject of an email, then it will get opened. Including something for free like a sticker or notepad or pen is not going to get you business. No buy in or not enough to get me persuaded. Engage me, don't pitch me. Suggest you read Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion by Robert B. Cialdini.

Lastly, do a search before you call and ask to speak to the owner. I don't care what company you are calling, the owner's name is out there if you try a little bit of searching. Here's a hint, Florida has a corporation lookup database that tells you the owners and details. Then again so do 1,000's of other sites. Try Linkedin at a minimum. This asking to speak with the owner line will get you hung up on immediately. This is a sign that all your efforts will fail. Next time make sure you are on the call rotation list and interact with the call center. Eye opening is a mild way to describe how you will feel.

PS - As a contrarian, I could be way off on all of this so I apologize to my friends in telemarketing, advertising and marketing. But seriously, get people to stop asking for the owner!


  1. This is really a good topic i read for today thanks for sharing it to us.

  2. Amen brother! I don't have time to be interrupted - plus it causes me to be less productive (multitasking). I like the way you think, so I applaud your ranting as wisdom of the day. Furthermore, I only use cell phone now, which means all inbound cold calling is costing me minutes against my plan. "My I speak to the owner" is the last thing I hear before hanging up.

  3. Thanks Scott. It really drove me crazy and like you if it is on my cell makes me even crazier.
    One of my pet peeves is the speak to the owner line, like that ever works?