Is telemarketing working for your business?

Is telemarketing working for your business?


Telemarketing – or marketing your products or services through a phone call – can generate leads, sales, promote a product or service and gather valuable customer data.

It can also save you time and money in dealing with prospective and current customers.  And it’s still, even in this digital age, a powerful tool for many small businesses.



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Telemarketing has a number of business benefits:

  • Facilitates direct communication with your customers and prospects.
  • Gives you instant feedback.
  • Reaches prospects quickly and for a reasonable price.
  • Cost-effective (when compared with placing ads or creating and printing brochures for example).
  • Builds a loyal customer database.
  • Creates opportunities to revisit lapsed customers.

How to use telemarketing effectively

When you link telemarketing to your other marketing activities, as part of an overall customer engagement or marketing strategy, you’ll get a much better result.

For example:

  1. A product information email is sent to a customer.
  2. Then followed-up with a telemarketing call to assess the prospect’s interest in the email.
  3. And wrapped up with a face-to-face sales visit.

In this example, the telemarketing call qualifies the customer’s interest to ensure the salesperson’s time is used most effectively.

A word of warning

Just like any other marketing tool, telemarketing comes with its own set of disadvantages.

If you’re using your own staff for telemarketing, it’s a good idea to create a script they can follow and do some practice calls with them. Not everyone is suited to telemarketing and spending a little time on training staff could save you a lot of hassle (and reputational damage) later if mistakes are made.

To remove this as a threat completely, you can outsource to a professional telemarketing company. You can stipulate the kind of person you want running your campaign, depending on whether you’re targeting C-Suite executives or GenY consumers. You’ll also get help writing the script, letting you benefit from their years of expertise.

Five quick steps to make sure you’re ready

  • Have a telemarketing list and make sure it has been washed against the Do Not Call database.
  • Create a comprehensive telemarketing script.
  • Identify the best time of day to call and communicate this to staff.
  • Brief both telemarketing and sales staff on all aspects of the program.
  • Have your sales team ready to follow up.

Have you included telemarketing as part of your marketing mix?

Share your thoughts with us below.



  1. Wow, I’m surprised that telemarketing is still a viable, successful form of marketing. Many of the calls I receive are spammy and nearly criminal (e.g. fake IRS calls or false calls saying I applied for a loan), so I’m really shocked that people are willing to have a conversation with someone cold calling. Perhaps I should be thinking about telemarketing to a business phone number, which is a different scenario. I can see that this could be an effective method of marketing in certain industries. Interesting!

  2. I haven’t really thought about telemarketing as a strategy for some time. I’m one of the “put me on your do not call list” kind of people as soon as I realize a call is a telemarketing call, so I’ve never really wanted to engage in that kind of marketing. It’s interesting to hear that businesses still find it viable.

  3. I can see this being in in conjunction with a mailing to a client or prospect. As a follow up. Could be effective. However I see this medium missued often

  4. Interesting. I am not a fan of telemarketing. . .I don’t enjoy the calls, but really appreciate the clear and thoughtful way you shared and that you encourage people to honor the no call list. Great job communicating well in your post!

  5. I have used telemarketing in the past but am not using it now. I haven’t found that it brought in quality customers (being in network marketing and health coaching). I’m also not a fan of being the recipient of telemarketing.

    • Vicky Savellis-Grant says

      Agree may not be suitable for all. In my experience telemarketing delivers greater results when linked to other marketing activities. Thanks for your comments Carol.

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