Common questions asked about outsourcing telemarketing campaignsFrank D'Agostino and Marq Mellortelemarketing, outsourcing, lead generation, marketing There are a handful of questions that most mortgage professionals typically ask a teleservices agency when they are considering outsourcing their lead generation campaigns. This article is designed to address these questions to provide a clear understanding of the benefits of outsourcing this service. Even though telemarketing may not be the most glamorous method of marketing, many mortgage professionals are benefitting from including it in their organization's marketing mix. Most common questions What is the difference between one teleservices agency and the other? The more reputable agencies are not looking for a quick sale, but rather a long-term relationship that will benefit both client and provider. The teleservices agencies that will provide the best returns on investment will be the ones whose philosophy is to strive for lead quality versus the number of leads that they will provide. How long does it take to get a campaign started? Typical call campaigns are up and running within seven to ten business days of finalizing contracts and receiving payments. However, any delay in receiving newly ordered call lists may push back the start of a campaign. How do we know you are not selling the same leads to other companies? To ensure exclusivity, a quality teleservices agency will de-dupe (edit for duplications) all new call lists against current client's call lists so that duplicate leads are not generated. Can you provide me with a quality call list? Most teleservices agencies that are entrenched in the mortgage industry have access to the best lists available for your specific calling campaigns. How do we know that your lists will be targeting the right people? Most teleservices agencies know which list services can provide maximum results with their client's target markets and specific criteria. One should ask for lists that yield the best returns on investment, stressing quality versus quantity. How do you verify leads? The quality teleservices agencies will have several procedures designed to ensure that their client receives only leads of homeowners who are interested and meet their specific criteria. Agencies that require supervisors to verify all pertinent information while online with the homeowner and quality control departments that make sure that all leads meet client criteria before they are sent out help to provide mortgage professionals with better closing ratios. Does your company use predictive dialers? Most teleservices agencies do utilize dialers. However, all dialers will not produce the same results. The more efficient dialers will generate an average of .5 to 1.1 leads per hour, depending on list location and screening criteria. Who will be making the calls on my campaigns? A successful teleservices agency takes the time and makes the investment in not only their telemarketing staff, but also in the structure of their teleservices operation. Better agencies have strict hiring guidelines, extensive training programs, and low turnover. One should ask how long and, to what extent, telemarketers are trained. Does it cost me any more for you to call outside of the local calling area or cross-country? There should be no additional charges for any calls made within the United States. What happens if someone who is called asks not to be called in the future or asks to be put on a "do not call list"? Most states require that teleservices agencies maintain a "do not call list." All new lists are de-duped against updated lists. Can I get a guarantee? A quality agency should be able to offer you a conservative guarantee on the average number of leads provided per hour. A guarantee can often depict realistic goals for call campaigns. How much will it cost me? This question should actually be posed as, "What is my realistic return on investment from this telemarketing program?" A quality teleservices agency will yield a 10% to 15% closing ratio on a typical program, dependent upon product availability and the amount of experience a firm has working with telemarketing leads. Less experienced firms tend to have more of a learning curve and close a lower percentage of leads initially. Firms that have never utilized telemarketing leads must be prepared to learn how to effectively close this unique type of lead. Most reputable agencies charge by the hour and not by the lead. Services range from $30-$40 an hour dependent upon the number of hours contracted. Test campaigns should not be conducted at less than 120 hours per program. Smaller campaigns can generate unrealistic highs and lows. Telemarketing is a numbers game, and a well-conceived budget and campaign time frame can help you to reach your profit goals. It's no secret that the most profitable Mortgage Brokers and bankers include telemarketing in their marketing efforts. Many of them outsource to minimize capital expense, eliminate risk, and avoid the extensive time it takes to build a productive call department or call center. Partnering with the right teleservices agency will maximize the returns on investment on your marketing dollars. Marq Mellor is the National Sales Manager and Frank D'Agostino is the Marketing Manager with Line One Teleservices, a mortgage telemarketing lead generation service. Robert Lovelace also contributed to this article. For more information, visit their Web site at www.lineonetel.com or call (800) 923-LINE.