Telemarketers – how not to end up with my donation

TelemarketingLittle or no engagement during a telemarketing call is one way telemarketers calling on behalf of a non-profit organisation may not end up with a donation.

I received a telemarketing call from a leading supplier in the market last week. The caller stated he was calling from <telemarketing firm> and he was representing X charity*. The caller spoke for more than 15 minutes without pausing to engage me whatsoever. This non-profit telemarketing call was an example of the risk of not engaging the prospective donor or lottery purchaser in the call.

What did this telemarketer do during this telemarketing call?

After asking me how my day was progressing, I responded by returning the favour and asking him the same. The caller told me, in a rambling fashion, how it is rare for anyone to ask him how he is doing. He then went on to tell the story of the non-profit organisation. He spoke for more than 15 minutes. I worried he was not breathing properly during the call.

Too many details

Most in Australia know FundraisingForce has offered mystery shopping of the non-profit sector for more than 8 years. Over the past week, I have told people in and outside of the non-profit industry about this call. Most asked me why I simply didn’t disconnect the call.  It may not surprise you I told them I thought the call was a fantastic learning opportunity for telephone suppliers and non-profit organisations.

Simply put, the caller offered far too many details about the organisation and about their programs. Potential donors do not need a PhD in your non-profit organisation. Tell them a story, keep it short and concise, and appreciate the limitations on the time of the prospective donor.

In the end, the telemarketing firm and the non-profit organisation may have presented this gentleman with a very lengthy script. The fault may not lie in the caller himself. Telemarketing firms and charitable organisations need to take time to write proper scripts and, as important, train telemarketers in methodologies to engage people on the phone. Sometimes asking, pausing, and listening offers the best opportunity to engage the prospect on the phone.

*Names of the telemarketing firm and charitable organisation are removed for anonymity purposes. FundraisingForce often times shares these experiences directly with the suppliers and the charities involved – compliments or constructive feedback.