Telemarketing is often a despised method of reaching consumers. When most people think of telemarketing, they imagine annoying phone calls at inopportune times urging them to buy a product or switch a service. This aspect of telemarketing may put off small business owners from using this kind of service to reach consumers. However, telemarketing can be a useful tool for some businesses, especially when specifically targeted to consumers or businesses that are likely to be receptive.
Despite its drawbacks, telemarketing can be a useful business tool, and can cost less than hiring a salesperson to reach the same kind of market in in-person visits. Even where a business is not able to secure a sale through the call, there is a possibility of the business leaving with a lead on another business or contact that may be ready to do business.
For some small businesses, in addition to overcoming the negative impression of telemarketing, there is an added problem of having to either make the telemarketing calls themselves or through an employee. If a small business does choose to keep its telemarketing efforts in house, the business owner or the marketing team should develop procedures for reaching out to the potential clients, including coming up with a script for the employees making calls.
There are various telemarketing laws and rules that small business owners who choose to take this on in-house should be aware of to avoid legal troubles and potentially loss of business. In Florida, businesses that routinely engage in telemarketing are required to have a license in order to engage in telemarketing. There are exceptions to the licensing requirement for certain businesses and people; for example, there are exceptions for businesses that only solicit customers as an isolated transaction and for business-to-business solicitations if certain conditions are met. Additionally, if consumers are part of Florida’s Do Not Call Program, the business should not attempt to reach them with a marketing pitch.
Federally, qualifying businesses still have to abide by the regulations of the Telemarketing Sales Rule. This rule limits the kind of contact a business may have with some consumers, even in business-to-business marketing of a certain kind, although most business-to-business calls are not covered under this rule. For people on the national Do Not Call list, businesses have to show that they have an existing relationship or the person’s express permission in order to call them.
For small business owners who do not wish to deal with the actual day-to-day of telemarketing and wish to simply follow up on promising leads, there are telemarketing companies that can be hired. Owners should be careful to properly vet any company to be hired for telemarketing services, and ensure that the company would follow the law in reaching customers. Small business owners may be found liable for the misrepresentations or harassment of the telemarketing company in some cases.
Contact A North Miami Small Business Attorney
If you are a small business owner seeking legal advice suited to your business needs, consult an experienced North Miami business law attorney at the Charlip Law Group L.C. for a consultation today.