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What Is Outbound Telemarketing?

Consumers may buy products over the phone from telemarketers.
Many people do not enjoy getting calls from telemarketers.
Telemarketers working.
Article Details
  • Written By: Kristie Lorette
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 26 August 2014
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Outbound telemarketing is a proactive form of marketing or promoting a business, product or service. This type of telemarketing is associated with outbound sales calls when a business is trying to sell a customer their particular product. In other circumstances, outbound telemarketing may be associated with marketing research companies that are conducting polls or surveys to gather information on various types of information.

Companies that utilize outbound telemarketing typically use call centers to originate the calls. A group of operators or telemarketers make numerous outbound calls, or "cold calls," during their shift. Generally, representatives work off of a call lead list, which can come from various sources.

Some outbound telemarketing companies buy lead lists from companies. The lead lists that they buy include a list of the target customers that the company making the outbound calls has the best chance to convert into customers. For other companies, the lead list comes from its own marketing efforts, where the company has been able to collect its own contact information and then is following up on inquiries from interested parties.

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For example, if a company sells a widget, the company may include a subscription box on its website for the visitor to request more information. The subscription box may ask for the visitor to include a name and contact phone number. When the operator involved in outbound telemarketing receives the list, the operator would then follow-up on the lead to answer any questions the visitor has. The ultimate goal, however, is to sell the visitor the product or service that the company offers.

Inbound telemarketing is a different form of telemarketing. It involves interested customers calling into a call center to find out more information on the products or services that the company is selling. Outbound telemarketing is often considered cold calling when the potential customers have not requested information from the company, but have been obtained from other means.

Outbound telemarketing callers do have to abide by laws that have been put in place by the particular jurisdiction they operate within. These laws and regulations are to protect the consumers from receiving unsolicited calls they do not want to receive. In some areas, consumers can request to be put on a do not call list for outbound telemarketing. Outbound telemarketers also have to abide by rules, such as the time frames they can make calls, how many times they can contact customers and that they have to check the do not call list prior to calling the consumer.

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Discuss this Article

stoneMason
Post 5

It's too bad that people dislike telemarketers. I was an outbound telemarketer for a while. I was actually not selling anything, but just doing surveys. But people were so rude to me, many hung up on my face.

fBoyle
Post 4

@Grivusangel-- I actually reported some number to the FCC but nothing came out of it. Or perhaps it takes some time for them to get back to each request, I'm not sure.

Outbound telemarketing is bound to happen. The smartest thing to do is to avoid giving out phone numbers unless you're truly interested in that brand or product. I actually know how I started getting bombarded with outbound telemarketing. It's because I had signed up for online coupons and free samples. They required my phone number and I didn't realize it meant getting endless phone calls from them later.

SarahGen
Post 3

I think I'm going to have to get on that "do not call list" because I've been receiving way too many telemarketing calls lately. What bothers me is that they call at 9am! During the weekdays, that's tolerable but I don't appreciate being woken up at 9am on the weekend at all.

I'm surprised to hear that there are rules that outbound telemarketing operators have to abide by. The ones calling me certainly don't seem to abide by them.

Lostnfound
Post 2

I hate telemarketers. I despise them. Even the so-called "reputable" ones still do their dead level best to separate people from their money -- usually those who can ill afford it, like seniors on a fixed income.

My mother is 85, and fortunately, she doesn't answer the phone if she doesn't recognize the number. She's phobic about having her identity stolen, which is not a bad way to be.

Grivusangel
Post 1

Well, ideally, outbound telemarketers have to abide by certain regulations, like the Do Not Call list, and the reputable companies do. Scammers or fly-by-night operations, however, don't. They even spoof the caller ID, which means they use a fake number, or the number shows up as 000-000-0000, which is also illegal.

Using the Do Not Call list keeps actual companies from calling, but there's not much you can do about the scammers. They use programs that just dial numbers in sequence until they get a hit.

The best way to deal with these kinds of scammers in the US is to report them to the Federal Communications Commission. They have a complaint form set up for people who are getting these calls. I've found it much more effective than reporting numbers to the Do Not Call site. The FCC shuts these people down.

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