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The glory days of door to door salesmen have (mostly) come and gone. Many prognosticators have been quick to predict a similar fate for cold calling and telemarketing. You must go no further than your favorite search engine to get the idea. A recent Google search for “cold calling is dead” yielded 14,200,000 results and featured ads titled, “Cold Calling is Stupid”. That said, telemarketing and appointment setting continue to be necessary evils along the path to sales success. Mastering the art of effective appointment setting can set you and your company apart from its competition. At its most simple level, appointment setting is simply the creation of a mutually agreed upon time and place for you or your delegated representative to get together with a client. It is at its core about finding qualified prospects and setting an appointment with them. Like any other critical business practice, it takes time and effort to get it right.
To be truly effective, an appointment setter must convert the prospect into a customer by intriguing him with features, advantages, and benefits of the product/service in question. The customers level of interest will be based on the skills and conversational manner of a sales rep. For the most part, appointment setting is simplest, and the most preferred way for small businesses to promote products and services to ultimate customers.
So why go at it alone? By outsourcing marketing functions such as appointment setting, you can offload the massive amount of work associated with achieving marketing perfection. Your outsourced service can work in tandem with your sales team to create opportunities to present your product or service to curious prospects, and these opportunities can be developed into massive sales increases over time.
Most third-party outsourcing firms will work with you so that your appointment setters appear to your clients as if the appointment setter is calling from your own corporate offices. You can set your appointment setter up with a unique caller ID that matches your own and the offshore call center can set your agent up with an email address tied to your domain name.
Hiring an outsourced call center can help your company avoid the multitude of expenses associated with handling these mundane, complicated tasks in-house. If you choose to conduct these activities within your cozy corporate confines, you’re going to have to install many phone lines, as well as draw on systems that call centers use to make calls and records more effectively. You will also almost certainly need to broaden your workplace space and enlist people who will need substantial training. No, cold calling is not stupid. Failing to consider these critical overheads, might unfortunately point that insult in your direction.
Choosing an Outsourcing Service
To make the most from any appointment setting project, it really is best to ideally contract a corporation who offers multi-channel sales options. These technologically advanced centers will have the ability to mix data entry, support, and marketing services should you need them. You should always also make sure that their agents can provide the opportunities you will need to communicate with customers and correctly cover client markets.
Choosing an effective telemarketing service will help you reduce overhead and realize increased sales. All while allowing you to sit comfortably in your familiar, air-conditioned office. How’s that for smart?
I recently made the decision to give up the successful offshore company I once started, and this Fall I will begin a full-time MBA program with a focus on entrepreneurship. I partnered with two colleagues to start what would become a successful call center outsourcing firm in 2008. I saw the company grow from what was once just a simple website to an organization currently staffing over 120 employees. The call center opened in 2008 with just $16,000 in capital, and saw revenues grow to exceed $600,000 in 2012. My active role in the company’s growth has provided me with a foundation of experience on which I would like to now build. My present focus is to develop the necessary skills to lead a larger enterprise, and my long-term goal is to implement them at high levels within an organization.
Though I wore many hats and served numerous functions within my company, my primary role was marketing. My previous career experience had been in sales, but I quickly realized that marketing was my true passion. I learned as much as I could by scouring the web for tips and tactics, reading books, and seeking the advice of former colleagues. I taught myself marketing methods including pay per click, search engine optimization, and email marketing, and implemented telemarketing and appointment setting campaigns similar to those I had practiced as a salesman. However, my self-taught approach was tailored specifically to helping my organization grow, and this customized approach could potentially be a hurdle as I move on to the next opportunity. I would now like to build on my experience, and believe that a classroom education combined with experience working with an established company upon graduation will ultimately enable me to successfully lead a larger organization at the highest levels. My immediate goal is to become more well-rounded by improving my market research and analysis capabilities, and expanding my scope of knowledge to cover other areas including product and brand management.
Immediately following graduation, I would like to work in a marketing role with an established organization, helping it to bring innovative new products or services to market, develop marketing strategies, and execute marketing plans. I plan to pursue a role that will allow me to continue working in a business to business marketing environment. I believe that an MBA business education would help me secure such a role and pave the way for my long-term aspirations.
I’m an entrepreneur. My dream has always been, and continues to be, to launch and operate my own business. An MBA would provide a unique opportunity to further my entrepreneurial goals by granting me access to an esteemed faculty and staff, business leaders, and world-renowned programs. I believe that a successful entrepreneur must habitually seek new perspectives, routinely challenge his or her beliefs, and always hunt for new ideas. A quality business school’s extensive programs can help me do just that.
My education didn’t end when I received my Bachelor’s Degree, and it won’t end when I earn my MBA. A qualified business school could provide resources that could augment my past experience, accelerate my career progress, and enable me to achieve lofty goals throughout my entire career. I look forward to taking the next step.
Perhaps most importantly, I have experienced the ups and downs of entrepreneurship. I’ve had some success, want more, and believe that collaborating with, and learning from, a talented and ambitious MBA student body could help me excel in my future endeavors. I understand that the daily tasks and chores of an entrepreneur aren’t always glamorous, that humility is an essential trait, and that in the early stages of a venture, the only compensation can be the promise of a future reward. I believe that my collective experiences have instilled within myself a unique perspective that could add value to classroom discussions, and I look forward to sharing them with my classmates. While I am very proud of my accomplishments, it’s time for me to take the next step.