The First Telemarketer
Back in the late 1950’s the first telemarketers took to the phones selling home baked cookies to their community. We don’t know exactly what they said or even if they planned their calls, but what we do know is that it worked a treat!
By 1965 telemarketing had taken off and we began to see training courses become available to a widespread audience, those early days shaping the industry into what it is today.
The early successes of the telemarketing industry have been well documented as one of the major shifts in the way we go to market, It marks the first time we found ourselves with the ability to truly connect with each other whist simultaneously being miles apart.
I doubt those first few telemarketers had any idea they were about to pioneer one of the biggest business changes of the time, but what I do know is that they were tapping into the same selling principles we use today.
Lets take a look!
- Would You Believe You?
Cookie telemarketers of the late 50’s knew their products would have customers wriggling with excitement when the tasty sugar rush pumped through their veins! The same applies today. We’ve all been canvased by indifferent call centre types. Don’t let it happen to you. Believe in your product, take time to understand why your products are genuinely going to impact the buyer for the better.
- Know Your Audience
The reason the cookie telemarketers were able to profile their customers so well is because they had gained market research by working on the switchboards connecting calls. Each cookie seller knew when people would be home and who was likely to be around at what time of day. So when house wives were at home during the day the telemarketers (usually women) would strike hard and fast pushing the USP that a large portion of the money went toward “girl guides”. What a strategy!
- Throw the bath water, Keep the baby
The cookie sellers had done their market research and were using a relational approach toward their conversations. They were putting in hard work and speaking to dozens of potential clients per day and they believed that what they had to offer was going to benefit their customers to great effect. The backbone of their success was not only built on the (then new) technology they used but on the fundamental sales principles that still applies, people buying from people.
As marketers and sales people we need to remind ourselves technology is a tool to enhance and help build our sales pitches rather than trying to replace it completely.