Telemarketing – It’s more than just a numbers game.

If you’ve ever considered carrying out telemarketing in your business, it’s likely you’ve either used or, at the very least, heard the following:

“Telemarketing – it’s just a numbers game really, isn’t it”

To a certain point I would agree but, as I hope this post will illustrate, it’s actually a lot more than that.

Preparation is key.

In my many years’ experience of delivering business to business cold calls, without doubt the most significant factor in terms of whether a campaign is successful, is down to how much preparation takes place.

You’ve no doubt heard the phrases: “Fail to plan, plan to fail” and “Proper Planning Prevents Poor Performance”

And in the case of the above, for the latter at least, possibly a more earthy version!

How I prepare for a campaign:

Every time I start a new campaign, I ask myself and my client the following:

Who, What, Why, When, Where & How.

For example, under “How” I might consider:

How will I be calling? Will I send a letter or email before calling or will I go in cold?

In addition to the above, I’ll spend time familiarising myself with the clients service, their marketplace, competition and even if there is any trending news within the industry I can use on my call.

I could write a whole blog post on preparation but the above will give you food for thought.

The D Word: Data

I’m often surprised at the differing opinions of people around the subject of data.

Some people are 100% focused on ensuring that they are working with fresh, clean, up-to-date and focused data whilst others, are quite happy to spend time gathering names on the internet and start calling straightaway.

I have no issue with saying that I fall into the former, rather than the latter every time.

I was recently approached by a prospective new client who asked, whether I would be able to start work the next day and ‘get some names from google’ – I politely declined.


My expertise is getting on the telephone and building relationships that will result in leads, appointments and ultimately, sales.

My clients should be paying me to make telephone calls, not farming for data.

There are some exceptions to the rule.

For example, some job titles are so specific and a traditional data broker may not hold a list of these contacts. In which case, it is perfectly permissible to use LinkedIn to build a list – as long as you get the data screened against the Corporate Telephone Preference Service Register!

The importance of Mind Set

Be in no doubt, telemarketing is very hard work and, without the correct mind set, it becomes a lot harder.

Anyone can pick up the telephone and talk to people. But it takes a special type of person to do that 100 times per day and remain positive, focused and professional.

I’ve had plenty of days, where I’ve not got a decent lead or appointment until 4pm.

The reason I got that result, was that my mind set and attitude at 4pm, was the same as it was at 9am.

There is no magic formula, no secret to reveal or hidden method.

It’s about having a positive attitude, faith in yourself and being humble on every call.

Reporting The Facts

After each day of calling I deliver, I send a comprehensive summary to my client that detail:

  • The number of calls made
  • The number of appointments and leads I set
  • The number of decision makers I spoke to
  • The number of decision makers not interested

I spoke to a business associate recently, who informed me a client of his had engaged the services of a telemarketing company and, despite having done 8 weeks work, had failed not only to deliver a single appointment but more worryingly, had not sent a single report to his client!

The beauty of telemarketing is that unlike other marketing methods, we are able to tweak a campaign as we go along.

If, for example, we have had no appointments for 2 days, we can look at whether we need to change the proposition or the data.

But, without accurate reporting, it would be impossible to see whether or not the campaign is working.


I hope this post has given you some food for thought and proved to be interesting.

I could have gone into far more detail and expanding further on the topics I covered however, I’ve got some preparation for an upcoming campaign to do!

With that being said, after reading this post, I hope you will agree that telemarketing is far more than just a numbers game.