Though many individuals find phone calls from telemarketers annoying and intrusive, businesses around the world use telemarketing to their advantage. It is often used for advertising products and services and providing telephone-based customer service. Companies perform telemarketing on an inbound or outbound basis because it helps them to get and retain the attention of their target markets, making sales, tackling customer service issues, conducting market research, and staying fresh on the minds of customers.
A major benefit of telemarketing is its potential for increasing sales from a distance. A company that uses this sales method has the opportunity to sell to both new and established customers without ever sending a salesperson out into the field. Without wasting time traveling around to see customers or spending money on gas, a company can reach its target market with relative ease. Unlike many other customer contact methods, phone calls give a company immediate answers. They can communicate with their customers right away, instead of waiting for days, weeks, or even months to realize results.
Another advantage of telemarketing is its availability every day of the year, at all hours of the day and night. It allows a company to communicate with customers around the world, answering questions, taking orders, and providing resolutions whenever its customers are available. Additionally, this sales method allows companies to track the results of their efforts, changing strategies midstream if necessary. For example, a company may change its calling hours, giving its telemarketers a better window for reaching its target market.
Often, the success of this method for increasing sales depends on the number of calls made. Each time a potential customer answers his or her phone, the company has a chance at making a sale. As such, companies usually strive to make many phone calls, knowing that more mean better chances for success. Telemarketing does not guarantee sales, however, as consumers can reject telemarketer pitches just as easily as any other form of advertising. In fact, some consumers find it easier to reject goods and services offered by phone instead of saying "no" in a face-to-face conversation with a salesperson.
With any type of marketing effort, cost is a concern. Telemarketing is generally considered cost-effective, requiring companies to spend far less than is necessary with many other forms of marketing. Typically, the most expensive part is paying the telemarketers for making and/or receiving phone calls. As far as the disadvantages are concerned, the most pressing one is often the fact that many consumers view phone sales in a negative way.