The vast majority of our clients come via recommendation, so the short answer is to ask around the other businesses you deal with and see if any of them use anyone they would recommend.
But (there’s always a but) what works for one business may not work for another. Even as brilliant as we are occasionally firms recommended to us may not be a good ‘fit’ and we decline the opportunity (rare but does happen – taking on work that cannot be given 100% focus does not help anyone).
In these scenarios we always provide the following advice, partly because we’re nice, but actually because we want all telemarketing clients to have a valuable experience as any unpleasant experience of outsourcing telemarketing, again, does not help anyone.

So, here’s the check list:

  • The tattoo test. Any tattoo artist that can see you straight away must be avoided – any decent tattoo artist will be busy. Same with outsource providers, do they have immediate capacity? It could be a sign of unhealthy client churn.
  •  Do they have CRM skills? If you don’t have a CRM then get one, if they don’t use one – avoid.
  • Do they offer a pilot? It needs to be meaningful to provide a useful body of evidence of skills but compact enough that it doesn’t burn your budget.
  • Do they work for free? Beware, intro offers can be keenly priced but ‘free’? Nah.
  • Have an office / HQ? Working from home has been practiced by telemarketing agencies for years before the pandemic. However, a decent agency will have a location to facilitate useful things like, I don’t know, training, briefing, appraisals, work, support….
  • Process and structure: doesn’t have to be complicated – meet the client, put a coherent proposal together, agree a full brief, weekly reporting, pilot summary – that sort of thing.
  • Do you trust them? Trust is a formula: Credibility + Reliability + Intimacy = Trust

Most things boil down to the last point and that is why recommendations are so powerful – trust can take time to build so it’s natural to seek steering and guidance from one’s own network.
If you are thinking about embarking on some kind of telemarketing exercise, please drop us a line via the contact page and ask for our ‘Telemarketing Pilot Cheat Sheet’. It’s a very handy document that fits on one side of A4 and goes through the key aspects to consider when considering a telemarketing based exercise.