Apr 28, 2022
Cece Salomon-Lee

A Marketing Professional’s Letter to Telemarketers


via Flickr by Seattle Municipal Archives

Dear Telemarketers,

I understand your job is difficult. You have to make dozens if not hundreds of calls every day. You have quotas to make. You’re judged not by the quality of your conversations but by the quantity that you make and how many result in the desired outcome. You have it rough and I don’t envy you.

I receive a lot of these calls. On average 3-5 a week. I’m not sure how I ended up on these lists but I have a sneaky suspicion that those “free”subscriptions to industry publications exact the price of selling my name for marketing purposes. 

I’m extremely busy and your calls interrupt the flow of my day. Sometimes, I answer the call – either because I thought it was from a colleague or contacts (caller ID does have it’s drawbacks) or I decided to pick up the phone. Since this is an unsolicited call, you have a few precious seconds to 1) catch my attention and 2) communicate your value.

Yet, 99% of the time, I abruptly end these calls!

Now, don’t get me wrong. I believe telemarketing does have a place within marketing, when used strategically – either to support an existing campaign, as a follow up from a conference or to provide a valuable offer.

But the bottom line is, telemarketing teams are typically inexperienced folks with minimal phone training. And when you’re trying to reach a purchase decision-maker, it’s painfully obvious.

So what I am seeking from the next telemarketing call? Who hasactuallycaused me to stay on the phone? It’s very simple.

1) Say my name correctly. I know there are folks with unusual names. But seriously, mine isNOTone of them!

2) Practice your pitch. It’s funny how many times the person on the other line seems surprised to get me live that they fumble away the precious seconds trying to get the first sentence out of their mouths. Practice. Practice. And then practice some more.

3) Call in the early morning or late afternoon. Yes, you probably have stats about the best time to reach people. For me, anytime after 8 am or before 4 pm is my busiest time with meetings, calls and frankly work.

4) Be courteous, respectful and even funny. I seriously had to chatise a recent telemarketer who not only fumbled on the first 3 steps but then had the temerity to tell me that I should take her call as I was being rude for not listening to her. Hello? Yoe called me with an offer or request. For the few who have been courteous and humourous, I have been willing to speak with them.

So what do  you say? Give me a call and we can discuss this further. ?


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Cece Salomon-LeeCece Salomon-Lee is director of product marketing for Lanyon Solutions, Inc. and author of PR Meets Marketing, which explores the intersection of public relations, marketing, and social media.

This blog contains Cece's personal opinions and are not representative of her company's.

Learn more about Cece.

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