Telesales is also called telemarketing. This process is very similar to door-to-door selling in that instead of actually knocking on a prospective customer’s door, the person receives the sales pitch over the telephone. Quite often these sales pitches are prerecorded so that as soon as a person answers the telephone, the sales talk begins. The person can then choose to continue listening or hang up.
Telesales first started in the 1950’s with a company called DialAmerica Marketing, Inc. This company grew to become the largest provider if inbound and outbound sales and in 1976 it specialized in selling magazine subscriptions.
There are two major categories of telesales – business-to-business and business-to-consumer. In business-to-business telesales there are electronic transactions between businesses selling products that the other needs to conduct their own sales. In business-to-consumer, the electronic transactions allow the consumers to shop from home.
All sales usually take place from a central location, called a call centre, although there are some companies that hire workers to make the calls from their own homes. The telemarketer usually makes two calls – one to determine the customer’s needs and the second to make the pitch enticing the customer to buy the product. Telemarketing companies use various means to identify potential customers, such as through past purchasing history, previous requests for information, credit limit on credit cards, or by purchasing lists of names of people interested in various types of products or services.