In times of economic uncertainty, marketing is essential to stand out from your competitors.

An alternative is to re-invest in business development and for some this can include some telemarketing activity.
Picking up a phone and making sales calls doesn’t come naturally to some people, but adding business development activity to your marketing mix can transform your results.

I hear lots of negativity about telemarketing, saying that it can make organisations appear desperate for business. But for some businesses, having a telephone conversation, that human contact of asking the right questions and listening to the person on the other end of the phone they can learn when a contract is up for renewal, which can lead to a sale. For the lucky ones, the call might be at the right time when they are ready to buy.

Telemarketing can be an essential follow-up tool for Direct Mail and enews campaigns. My most successful piece of Direct Mail for a large Global materials handling client received a 59% response level due to telemarketing follow-up combined with an excellent creative piece. It also worked as the sales team were fully engaged with a positive marketing manager during the campaign.

Having a good discussion guide with concise points (a script, but not a ‘scripted’ script), should be used for all telemarketing.

It’s important to note that business development isn’t all phone calls.

It’s also about leveraging those personal connections and networks via social media engagement  through compelling content. Remember, people like to hear a story, whatever their sector, so bombarding with sales messages or complicated product info isn’t going to float their boat.

Face to face networking is beneficial for any business, especially B2B where relationships are built on chemistry and whether the organisations are a good fit to do business together.

If you are a small to medium sized business, ensuring you have an effective networking strategy for yourself and your team or colleagues isn’t always that easy to manage, for even the most seasoned marketers. But getting this right, through nagging and perseverance will be worth its weight in gold once mastered.

If you are struggling with business development or marketing we’d like to hear from you, as we might be able to help.