The chilling effect of cold calls (part2)

Posted: July 5, 2009 in Uncategorized

Cold calls?  Just put them into voicemail, you say.  Think again, we say.

Consider this: B2B telemarketers are trained to leave at least seven voicemail messages before they give up, according to telemarketing consultant Holcutt Associates.  Deleting unwanted voicemail messages just compounds the problem.

When they do get through, cold callers estimate that they spend about ten minutes talking to gatekeepers or decision-makers — who rarely, if ever, buy anything. So that adds up to almost 100 hours a year that these recipients could have spent doing something more productive.

According the International Association of Administrative Professionals, the greatest job challenges cited by office assistants — often subjected to handling the call — are having to juggle multiple priorities, deal with difficult people, and lack of time to handle the volume of work. Having to service cold calls hardly enhances their productivity.

Respondents to a recent survey said that the growing volume of telemarketing calls they received at work made them “angry”.  Not so much because of the interruption, but that so many cold callers fail to offer real value to the companies they call.

“Too many I.T. vendors still get it wrong when it comes the things that customers value,” said Robert Hamilton, product marketing director at Symantec and a marketing veteran at H-P and NetApp.  “When your outreach is guided by what a piece of technology can do, rather than why a specific customer would need it, you’re bound to be misguided.”

Especially in information technology and distributed computing ,  products and services are not easily explained in a telephone conversation.

The current environment has made the problem worse.  More vendors resort to cold calling.  Fewer targets are receptive.  And they are not just weary of cold callers, but wary of them.  The National Fraud Information Center says that telemarketing fraud amounted to $40 billion in 2008.

It’s a problem. And it’s getting worse.  More on this topic tomorrow.


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