To understand how we make sales calls today one needs to know the history of telemarketing.
The roots of telemarketing date back to the mid-20th century when a group of housewives started calling people to find potential cookie buyers. Around 1965, telemarketing became more popular and more people became professionally trained to make sales calls. Five years later, telemarketing became widely recognised.
From ground rules to laws
In 1991, the Telephone Consumer Protection Act was passed by the US Congress which established some rules that telemarketers had to follow. For example, they were not supposed to call potential customers before 8 am or after 9 pm or use artificial or prerecorded messages. They also had to maintain an internal Do-Not-Call list and always state their name and the name of the company they were working for.
The act created some ground rules but the rising amount of sales calls and the assertive behaviour of salespeople created a public uproar in the US in 2003. That resulted in the passing of the Do-Not-Call Registry Act law. This law created an option for consumers to willingly opt-out from telemarketing by registering their phone numbers on the list.
The Do-Not-Call list, caller ID-s and answering machines made it easier for people to ignore cold calls and telemarketers and to eliminate them completely. That forced salespeople and telemarketers to reinvent their methods to be more acceptable and less intrusive to the potential clients.
From assertiveness to personalisation
Today, cold calling isn’t as cold as it used to be. The tone of sales calls is mostly nonintrusive, personalised and genuine. The internet and social media have given salespeople and telemarketers a huge potential to learn about their potential client beforehand and to personalize their message for each client.
The future of telemarketing will be directly related to constantly developing technology. There are already some companies out there who are using automated but human assisted telemarketing where the voice of the talker is pre-recorded. The salesperson just chooses the right answers through an interface and the so-called sales bot does the talking.
Read more about personalised cold calling from How to make more efficient cold calls?