Do not call: Working with Australian cold calling laws

On May 4, 2018

Once you've got your marketing database from a qualified list broker, your team should be well-equipped to start contacting prospects. A great campaign will incorporate multiple channels, including direct mail, email and telemarketing.

That said, cold calling is a rather sensitive subject for a lot of people. In order to be effective with your telemarketing campaign, you'll need to be respectful and understand both the law and expected etiquette.

Understanding telemarketing laws can help you stay out of trouble and manage customer relationships.
Understanding telemarketing laws can help you stay out of trouble and manage customer relationships.

Telecommunications (Telemarketing and Research Calls) Industry Standard 2017

The Standard defines a telemarketing call as one that has the purpose of offering goods and services, promoting interest in land or investment opportunities, soliciting donations or advertising a supplier. Different rules apply for calls made to conduct polling or questionnaires, but in a case of a dual-purpose call, the standard telemarketing rules apply.

Under the Standard, a few basic rules apply. These are:

  • Calls can only be made between 9 a.m. and 8 p.m. on weekdays, or 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays. No telemarketing calls can be made on Sundays.
  • A recipient may give express permission to be called outside of legal hours.
  • The caller must give their own name, the purpose of the call and the name of the business they are representing at the beginning of the call.
  • Contact details for the employer and/or individual responsible for complaints and inquiries must be given to the call recipient on request.
  • The call recipient is entitled to end the call at any time and requests to be removed from the calling list must be respected.
  • Numbers on the Do Not Call Register must not be contacted unless the calling entity is exempt (such as a charity).
  • Telephone numbers for return contact by the call recipient must remain available for at least 30 days from when the original call was made.

Understanding these rules is important to ensure your sales team doesn't end up in hot water, but if you're working to build customer relationships it takes a lot more than just respecting the law.

Your telemarketers should be kind, clear and concise.
Your telemarketers should be kind, clear and concise.

Telemarketing etiquette

Your telemarketing team should be briefed on the proper way to communicate with a prospect. This should include:

  • Clarity: Many of us drop into a vocal fry register when talking on the phone, but speaking clearly will improve communications and help the caller seem warm and friendly.
  • Brevity: Respect your prospect's time – keep your pitches short and snappy to hold their interest.
  • Respect: Your prospects' wishes should come first. Be sure to immediately honour requests from all both decision makers and gatekeepers (i.e. receptionists).
  • Understanding: When requests or information are given, repeat them back to the prospect to ensure both parties understand and agree with what's happening.
  • Rapport: Make a personal connection with your prospect. It's important they feel they're talking to an empathetic human and if they like you, you're more likely to establish a working relationship.

Telemarketing is a time-tested channel. Don't neglect your prospects; train your team for best practice and work with a qualified legal advisor to ensure your policies are above board.

For targeted, effective calling lists, turn to the Prospect Shop today.

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