Electronic Marketing

Telemarketing comes in various guises. We all gripe about the computer-dialed boiler room selling operations that pester us at dinnertime, but there are other ways of using the phone as a sales tool. For a small business, it might be best to start calling people you've been referred to by current clients or networking contacts.

Look at telephone contact as a way of giving out information or keeping in touch, and avoid thinking of it as a way to close a sale. It gives you a chance for one-on-one contact but carries a risk of being intrusive. Calling on former customers to thank them for their business and inform them of new products or ideas you may have is a good way to keep in touch with a pre-qualified client base. If you're a determined person convinced that telemarketing is the best choice for your business, take a look at a book called Successful Telephone Selling in the '90s by Shook and Shafiroff, published by Harper Collins.

Cybermarketing is a new frontier. Although it's considered poor "netiquette" to do any selling via e-mail, there are increasingly more opportunities via home pages and bulletin boards (BBS) to reach people or make it easy for them to reach you. This field is changing so rapidly that the best resource for evaluating your possible use of cybermarketing will be the many computer magazines on the market today as well as the vast array of information on the Internet itself.