Telesales, also known as telemarketing, is a common method used by direct-sales companies and entrepreneurs to approach prospects. Telesales also is used by non-profit organisations and political campaigns as a way to raise money. Telesales offers some advantages to the salesperson, but it also contains certain barriers that can make the sales process more difficult.
Telesales allows a salesperson to contact more prospects in a shorter amount of time. Unlike door-to-door sales or seeing prospects by appointment, the telesales person can quickly move from one prospect to the next simply by dialling the telephone.
Telesales also can involve less expense than other forms of sales. Telesales people do not need to put excessive miles on their vehicles since they are driving only back and forth to an office or working out of their homes. This saves on car expenses, such as gasoline and maintenance. Since their prospects do not see them, there is no need to spend money on expensive wardrobes or sales tools, such as flip charts. Although there is the expense of the telephone use, this often can be mitigated with the use of a money-saving calling plan.
Telesales can be viewed as highly intrusive by those receiving the phone calls. The calls often are made on evenings and Saturdays, when prospects are more likely to be home, and that can cause disruption of family activities or meals. The National Do Not Call Registry was established in 2004 to allow United States residents the opportunity to prevent telesales people from calling them, which limits the number of prospects.
All types of sales contains an element of rejection, and telesales is no exception. Since the prospects aren't dealing with marketers in person, it can be easier to get rid of them simply by hanging up the phone. Modern phone systems contain Caller ID features that allow prospects to screen calls from unknown sources, making contact with prospects much more difficult.
Since telesales people do not see their prospects in person, they are limited in the types of sales presentations they can make. They are unable to use sales aids such as laptop computers or charts, and prospective customers cannot handle product samples. It also can be more difficult to develop rapport with prospects over the telephone because it is more of an impersonal approach than meeting face-to-face.