The 5 mistakes to avoid when doing telemarketing

When executed correctly, B2B telemarketing can be one of the most effective methods of speaking with your target audience and building your pipeline. As with all business development techniques it is vital to do the right research upfront and put a clear strategy into place before commencing. Telemarketing is also well suited to working alongside the other business development activity that you already have running such as email marketing, direct mail or social media marketing.

We’ve refined our telemarketing strategy over the years but have seen plenty of mistakes in that time also. Here are the 5 mistakes to avoid when conducting your telemarketing campaigns:

Inadequate preparation

You may think that telemarketing is all about being on the phone, making as many calls as possible and crossing your fingers a little. This simply isn’t the right approach to take.

Taking the time to prepare before a call, thoroughly understanding your company, the USP’s of the product/service you are selling, and the decision maker you want to talk to. This preparation may seem like its wasting your time or putting you behind – but this will make your call much more professional and efficient.

Having no freedom from the script

Nobody wants to be in a role where they are just reading from a script like a robot – and no prospect wants to have a conversation with someone who is defined by a script and lacking personality.

A script helps you cover some key aspects, but diallers should have the freedom to move the conversation wherever it requires. Not only will this give more enjoyment to the team making the calls, but it will also allow a much better personalised, intelligent and consultative conversation with the prospect.

Boring them with talk!

We’ve all had these sales calls – where instead of listening to what the caller is saying we are counting how long they’ve been talking without taking a breath, just wondering if they might pass out from exhaustion!

What does this achieve? Absolutely nothing. You cannot sell to someone if you haven’t identified their needs and whether your product/service may satisfy those needs. And how are you going to find out these needs? By asking questions and allowing the prospect to steer the conversation.

Unable to handle objections

Not every prospect is going to need your product/service or want to buy from you. So, when objections to your sales pitch do arise you need to be prepared for them.

This is all about training, ensuring you understand what objections you may receive and how you can best overcome this. The biggest mistakes to avoid are mumbling, changing the subject or continuing your sales piece talking over them.

Failure to close

You have called that prospect for a reason – you want to arrange a telephone appointment, a meeting or a sign up. So as the call is going well, you need to be able to recognise when to ask for the sale and close the deal.

Training and experience will teach you when to close this sale. But failure to identify this means a missed opportunity and time wasted on both sides.

If you’re looking for telemarketing guidance or sales training, Air can help you with this. We often run sales training workshops not only for our internal staff but also for clients and local business owners. Get in touch to find out more.

Where to start with direct marketing?

So, let’s start at the beginning, what is direct marketing?

Direct marketing is the opposite of inbound marketing. You may generate inbound interest and enquiries from having a website or publishing an advert, but you are not necessarily in control of who sees this and then enquires. Whereas direct marketing is exactly that – direct.

Direct marketing is aimed at a list of prospects who you wish to engage with and then you actively reach out to them either by phone, email or post. These prospects may be the business you really wish to work with, a focus on a certain industry sector, or a geographical area.

Why use direct marketing?

Direct marketing is a great method to use when targeting a specific prospect base. Allowing you to completely tailor your message and method of contact to what would suit those prospects. In a world with so much ‘noise’ and messages being shown to you every day, it’s proven that tailored relevant messaging is much more successful for converting than blanket messaging.

Direct marketing can also be a great medium to test campaigns to smaller amounts of recipients, allowing you to test and analyse this before rolling them out business wide.

How does telemarketing fit into direct marketing?

Telemarketing is one of the most personable methods of direct marketing, you really can’t beat picking up the phone and starting a conversation with your prospect. Not only does this open up the opportunity for you to convey your product/service benefits and measure their reaction, this method also allows the prospect to ask any questions there and then meaning you are adding value whilst giving your sales pitch. The other benefit of this method is the ability to spot when the lead is warm enough to convert – allowing you to complete the sales cycle.

Other methods such as email and direct mail certainly have their benefits. Email is a very cost effective method of reaching out to your prospects and warming them to your brand and service/products. Direct mail had become unfavourable as it was seen as ‘junk’ coming through the letterbox. However, this wave is now changing and we now receive more emails than letters, so to stand out direct mail is becoming more popular – it’s now a novelty for something to come through the letterbox at work.

As with most sales and marketing techniques, in order to be effective it’s advisable to come at it from a number of angles. Therefore, use a mixture of methods to reach your prospects. Warming your prospects using intelligent targeted email marketing or direct mail can be followed by picking up the phone to talk in more depth, answer questions and guide the prospect through the funnel.

We help business across the UK and the world with direct marketing techniques to help them reach the prospects they need to help their business grow. To find out more get in touch today.

Celebrating success in financial year 2017!

After a very successful financial year here at Air, we chose to treat our team to a well-deserved lunch and the afternoon off on Friday, which was made even better by the sun shining!

We achieved 357% growth in revenue in our 2nd year of trading, and we are looking to keep this level of momentum going to propel growth even further this year.

During the team lunch we celebrated 3 people who Team Air felt went above and beyond in the last quarter of financial year 2017. Voted by Team Air, we were pleased to celebrate Hannah Shearman, Richard Street and Ashley Heyworth, each receiving £100 in John Lewis/Waitrose gift cards as a thank you for their contributions.

A big thank you to Team Air for your continued commitment, results and drive. We simply couldn’t have done this without you. And a big thank you to all our clients and partners for working with us and trusting us with your brands.

We’ve been shortlisted for the Express and Echo Business Awards 2018

We are delighted to be shortlisted for three categories of the Express and Echo Business Awards.

Featuring in the categories of:

  • Best New Start-up Business
  • Business Growth of the Year 26+ employees
  • Owen Richards, our MD, is up for Entrepreneur of the Year

2017 has been a fantastic year for us, having achieved a 357% growth in revenue compared to the first year of trading and increasing the staff base from 11 team members to now nearly 40. This simply couldn’t be achieved without the hard work of the whole team and the vision of Owen, our Managing Director, leading the business.

Winning an award to recognise this hard work, would mean the world to Team Air – so everyone’s keeping their fingers firmly crossed.

Building bonds in a workplace

It can sometimes feel like we never leave our workplace! A popular saying amongst colleagues is ‘we spend more time together than we spend with our families’ – and when you come to think of it, this is fairly true. Which is why the culture of a workplace and the personalities that you work with make a huge difference to how motivated you are, how much you enjoy going to work and how long you may stay with the company.

According to Gallup people who have a best friend at work are seven times more likely to be engaged in their jobs and people who simply have good friends in the workplace are more likely to be satisfied.

Your workplace presents a perfect opportunity for you to meet a whole diverse range of individuals who you may have never had the opportunity to meet otherwise. Different genders, ages, ethnic backgrounds, cultural preferences, beliefs – bring us together. Its obvious that you are never going to get along with everyone but creating a workplace of inclusion and team mentality that acts as a support network builds a bond between people.

Creating a good healthy working relationship between colleagues can be achieved through nurturing the right internal culture. This is by no means an easy task but comes with many benefits including the building of bonds between individuals.

Simple things like sharing company lunches together, we have Pizza Friday on the first Friday of the month, or socialising outside of work, we have quarterly work socials – opens an opportunity to informally get to know those you’re working with. Having an interview process that includes different members of the team meeting the new candidate provides an opportunity to see if they are the right candidate for our culture and will they fit in. Understanding the direction of the company and how you are involved gives a great sense of ‘togetherness’, we do team meetings every Friday as a de-brief for the week whilst enjoying a beer!

Connections happen with those you sit near, the people working on your campaigns, the people you go to lunch with or even those you bump into when making tea. #TeamAir prioritise our culture. We welcome like-minded individuals who love our team mentality and we are proud of our diverse workforce who have bonded to become a work family.

Looking to join?

Sales and Business Tips – How to Gain the Permission to Ask Questions

As a sales people we know we need to ask questions to uncover opportunities. But a vital step many people often skip is asking permission to ask questions. Using this as part of your sales approach starts a better conversation and allows you to ask personal questions and identify a need with permission. Take a look at our latest video to find out more on this tip:

Motivation in a sales environment

An office full of sales people – some people thrive in this environment, others would rather be anywhere else! It is a challenging environment and not for the faint hearted, with some big personalities and lots of diversity. But the biggest challenge and one of the most important factors for success is motivation for the whole team.

No matter what job you hold, you want to feel motivated and engaged. This is not easy to achieve in our industry, nobody wakes up in the morning thinking, ‘Ooh I can’t wait to jump on the phones and do some telemarketing today’. So, instilling motivation, providing the right incentivisation and a great culture means people enjoy their work and look forward to coming in day after day.

How does Air do this differently?

Motivation is key to ensuring sales people hit weekly, monthly and annual targets. We know that our team of Business Development Executives who are calling on client campaigns are our service, without them we simply wouldn’t be successful at what we do – so we have to look after them. From our experience it takes more than just commission to keep a happy workforce.

Of course, commission is important to most sales people. Being motivated by money and the opportunity of earning more means that we have a healthy commission structure in place. But this is based on results and client retention not purely speed of dialling and quantity of appointment made. Giving our whole team more motivation to work hard on retaining client accounts and delivering.

But on top of commission, we understand that internal culture makes a huge difference to motivation in a sales environment. Internal incentives tailored to help individuals meet client KPI’s and individual targets prove very effective for us. Team socials, rewards, identifying when people do the right things and the freedom of not micromanaging, all make our sales environment stand out from the crowd.

Our Aim – Motivation

As Head of Performance (Account Director), my role is to identify and understand an individual’s motivators, what is it that makes them tick? This can be a whole range of things, some people are purely financially motivated, whereas others are looking to progress their career by gaining more responsibility and further opportunity to do this – and of course those that are in between.

Working alongside colleagues in the leadership team we nurture a very special culture here at Air, where the team are performing at an optimum level and maintaining momentum, clients and crucially motivation to deliver and succeed.

Our workforce understands how important they are to Air and we respect their importance – so together we work to grow the company, our client base and team members careers by keeping people motivated and excited to be part of #TeamAir every day. Can’t believe it, why not come and see it for yourself!

Opinion piece by Marco Alfano-Rogers, Head of Performance (Account Director), Air Marketing Group

Lessons from Rugby by Chris Bentley

True north

Culture is a massively used term in rugby union. The top teams love to refer to theirs and the losing teams aspire to get it. There are many ways to define the culture of a winning team but the best way from my time was simply the team closest to finding their True North.

Different from magnetic north and grid north, True North is the direction along the earth’s surface to the north pole. We used to substitute our team goals for true north and then explore the behaviours that would get us there.

If everyone can identify the target and agree on the behaviours that will get there and those that won’t it suddenly becomes very clear. However, this list can often be quite broad, by coining a cover all phrase like true north we were able to have a reference point to consider actions and behaviours… ‘is that true north’ we could often ask one another when perhaps behaviours suggested otherwise.

Having worked as a team to agree on the direction we could then self-police one another and create a peer led culture rather than one with direction from above. This made it easier to adhere to (after all, we’d designed it) and created an arena where the critical mass stayed on task.

Stab in the belly

‘Et tu brute’ – the immortal last words from Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar as his close ally joined the assassination party. It was at this moment that his will to fight back erodes and he bowed to the Machiavellian plot. Being stabbed in the back is a term that still exists today and can cause a huge amount of problems with trust eroded, reputations tarnished, and teams damaged.

In sport as in business things go wrong and people make mistakes. This isn’t a problem but dealing with things going wrong often is.  Its human nature to deflect and try to play down problems, nobody likes to be told off or have mistakes highlighted but this can be turned to a positive if you are on the same wavelength and willing to face issues head on.

During my time in rugby the culture was always to ‘stab in the belly’ and highlight problems you can foresee as early as possible. This wasn’t a freedom to cause consternation or have arguments but a strength of character to give and receive criticism, appreciate that it’s for the good of the team and move on.

This maxim only works if the team has the trust to accept, as well as give, honesty. Quite often the challenge is to be robust enough to take a criticism on the chin, appreciate its aimed at a ‘true north’ goal and move on positively.

Opinion piece by Chris Bentley, Client Relationship Director, Air Marketing Group. 

Transparency – the glue between telemarketers and clients

One of the most common barriers to using outsourced telemarketing and business development agencies is a perceived lack of transparency and trust.

In our experience many clients come to us, having tried outsourcing their telemarketing before and feeling let down. Unfortunately, our industry is plagued by this reputation, owing to the fact that it’s a low point of entry to become a telemarketing company. Got yourself a phone and a computer? Hey, well done, you can start a telemarketing company (or so you think).

So why does transparency matter so much?

We like to refer to transparency as the glue between us and our clients. Without it we fall apart and cannot have a solid working relationship.

As a business you work extremely hard in setting up and establishing a reputation for yourself within your industry and within your client base. Once this is established you are likely to want to increase your growth at a faster pace, at this point you may not have the resource or capacity in house. Which is why you look to outsource.

This reputation is extremely precious to you – so it should be, you’ve worked hard for it. And when it comes to outsourcing your business development, you have to be confident that your brand, your reputation and your culture is being represented correctly on the phone. Unless you feel your chosen outsourced partner is consistently being honest and transparent it can be very difficult to allow them to become a representative of your brand.

How do you prove transparency?

It’s all very easy to say ‘We are transparent’ but saying it simply isn’t enough. You have to be able to prove it.

We firmly believe that although we are an outsourced partner to your business, we should understand your business to the same level as your employees to feel confident to really express the brand and represent you. Which is why we collaborate with you at every single stage of the process, so you are confident in the knowledge of what we are doing on your behalf, this includes:

  • Setup of a strategy, writing telephone scripts and follow-up email copy with your input and approval
  • We ask all clients to conduct a training session for the team making your calls, so they fully understand your business and are competent in how they are going to approach the task in hand
  • We have a bespoke client portal for clients to access live time information on calls, conversations and time spent on your campaign
  • You will be assigned an Account Manager and calling team who will be your regular and consistent contact throughout the entire campaign
  • All of our calls are recorded, and you can request access to these at any point or we can set up regular sharing of these calls with you

I know that transparency is vital for any relationship especially when we are representing the brand you’ve worked so hard to develop. If you are feeling let down by your current business development partner or you’ve been considering outsourcing but haven’t yet taken the leap, then talk to us about how we could help you. Give us a call on 0345 241 3038, pop us an email to or visit our website for more information.