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How to Choose an Overseas Telemarketing Firm Without Getting Soaked

Outsourcing your telemarketing campaign to an overseas company can be a great way to save money. However, there are several things to consider before choosing an international telemarketing firm. Before you start your quest for cutting costs and lowering overhead, read these six tips.
  1. Interview prospective telemarketing centers online. Sometimes chatting online with a free service like Skype is actually easier than asking questions about the telemarketing firms service over the phone. This also makes it easier to negotiate prices. Skype also allows you to collect information and keep notes so you can research and reflect on the information given to you by overseas companies.
  2. Dont choose a company based on looks. More often than not, if a companys Web site features a picture of a Trump Towers-like building claiming to be their corporate headquarters, it is an effort to sell you on their legitimacy. The truth is that the majority of small- to medium-sized telemarketing facilities in India that turn out great products arent housed in elaborate offices.
  3. Solid references trump bells and whistles. Ask for a minimum of two U.S. references. If the company cant come up with at least two happy customers in the past year, your telemarketing center could be made up of one hungry entrepreneur with an IP phone. One of the more common excuses from vendors that cant provide a reference is that they promise clients strict confidentiality; consider this a red flag.
  4. Fight hard for a test campaign. Ideally, get telemarketing companies to test-dial your campaign for at least 24 hours and determine if they can get good reporting back to you. If they cant provide reporting, it wont matter how great they are on the phone--the telemarketing campaign wont work.
  5. Avoid the big players in India unless you are willing to pay a higher price. In any country, huge telemarketing centers have huge overhead and high prices. Large centers in India are getting close to the price of a U.S. call center, which minimizes the upside of taking the campaign overseas. The bigger the center and the more populated the city, the more youre going to pay for services.
  6. Small call centers can be a good thing. Keep in mind that along with lower rate from a center in the Indian countryside, their labor pool and experience level may also be much smaller than their big-city counterparts. However, if your telemarketing campaign needs are basic, small shops in small cities can be a great place to test things out.

The Bottom Line

When you find a good relationship with a firm, work hard to keep it. Churn is a big part of the telemarketing business and if you find a vendor you trust, you will save a lot of headaches and heartaches. Long term relationships with telemarketing companies are the key to success.

When you find the team of faithful souls who produce the product you need for half the regular price, get on an airplane and go meet them. Nothing builds rapport better than showing your overseas partner that you see the big picture and want to build a long-term relationship.

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