Legend has it that a Trojan Horse was the trap used by the Greeks to deceive the Trojans and conquer their city.
Telemarketing appointment packages are a Trojan Horse.
After ten years of siege of the city of Troy, the Greeks one day pretended to pull back by sea, leaving a huge wooden horse on the beach.
The Trojans thought it was a sign of peace, and carried the horse inside the walls, despite the prophetess Cassandra had predicted that it was a trap.
At night, Greek warriors came out of the horse and opened the gates of the city to their companions who had not left at all, and Troy was so overwhelmed.
How then can the packages of appointments that are sometimes offered in telemarketing be a Trojan Horse?
The sale of the so-called “appointment package” consists in selling the customer a sort of prepaid card, such as telephone recharges.
When you buy a mobile phone card, for example, you buy 20 euros of phone traffic.
Similarly, when you buy an appointment package, you buy, for example, 20 appointments for 1,000 Euros.
Commercially appealing, isn’t it?
So why are we arguing that it could turn out to be a “trap”, like the Trojan Horse?
Let me explain.
Telephone companies sell you a 20 Euro charge for your mobile phone, and then it’s up to you to consume them by calling numbers from the same operator, or other operators, or just sending text messages.
Are you calling from TIM to TIM or from Vodafone to Vodafone? Relatively low consumption.
Is it a TIM card and you only call Vodafone numbers, or vice versa? The card will be consumed in a moment.
That is, the phone operator will safeguard itself by selling you an AMOUNT, but then you will spend it more or less quickly depending on who you call. And the phone company will still cover the costs of management proportionally.
So, everything goes smoothly for both customer and supplier.
But with appointment packages it doesn’t necessarily work that way, and there is in fact no transparent protection for both parties.
And that’s why they’re a Trojan Horse: because they look like a wonderful product, but then they can cause damage.
Damage to the customer (that is, to you), or to the supplier… or to third parties… (by the end of the article I will clarify this smoky sentence).
But who runs the biggest risk?
Let’s say that a supplier has flooded you with a package of appointments. You’re attracted because you think you’re buying a certain result, at a certain price: following the previous example, 20 appointments for 1,000 Euros.
You like that supplier more than others because of the strong commercial sense of his offer:
– These are the risks with me: they undertake to make me 20 appointments for 1,000 Euros. They sell a guaranteed result, they’re real professionals, they know what they’re doing!
Great. Decide: choose that supplier. You pay for your package in advance (because for the modest amount of 1,000 euros you have to pay in advance, just like a rechargeable …), and you sit quietly waiting for you to get the 20 appointments promised.
So far everything is ok.
Now suppose that the supplier has quoted you the package “betting” to make appointments at the rate of one appointment for each hour-operator.
But then, when your campaign starts, he discovers that it takes as many as 4 hours-operator for each appointment!
(N.B.: don’t think it’s such a fanciful hypothesis: this possibility is absolutely the most realistic nowadays. And there’s no industry experience or skill: without entering now into the motivations, when the appointments don’t come out, there’s nothing you can do).
The productivity and the cost of the telemarketing operator are comparable to the fuel consumption of a car: in this case it’s as if your supplier had estimated 10 kilometres with 1 litre of gasoline, and instead during the work he founds that the path is much rougher, so to travel 10 kilometres he’ll need four times as much, 4 litres!
Let’s go back to your telemarketing campaign purchased as a package of appointments.
What do you think will happen at that point? One of the following cases:
- The supplier will perform the service flawlessly, suffering in silence and taking charge of the loss;
- or somehow the appointments will still come out at the budgeted rate of 1 appointment per hour-operator… and I let you imagine in this case the quality of those appointments …
How do you think your campaign will end?
Do you have any idea of the unexpected costs of all the useless visits you’ll have to make? Of the 20 appointments you’ve gone to there will barely be a couple just decent; the rest will have been extorted or begged or even invented, and you’ll have thrown away a mountain of time and spent 2,000 euros of gasoline and expense claims for nothing.
Also: do you think you’ll ever be able to see the 1,000 Euro package you thrown away again and reclaim them? How much does a lawyer cost for all this?
And how much does the irritation of you and your commercials matter for the time and money spent without a return?
That’s why appointment packages are a Trojan Horse.
Whoever sells you an appointment package bets on the costs they will incur to produce that result. If the campaign goes well, it’s okay. But when something goes wrong, who do you think will pay the price of the wrong bet: the supplier or you, the customer?
P.S.: I forgot I had to clarify the vague phrase: “…[packages of appointments] are a Trojan horse that can cause damage to the customer, or the supplier … or whoever …”.
Here’s the thing: you know, sometimes, what else can happen behind a package of appointments.
It’s just that the supplier who seemed so commercially enlightened, was actually just unscrupulous: he takes risks towards you, but he then dumps them on the operators.
Just like saying that if the poor operators make appointments, they earn; if they don’t make appointments, they don’t earn.
Do you understand what happens in this case? That it’s not the supplier who pays the price of his bet.
And so, the risk of all this spinning operation falls on the shoulders of some unfortunate operator.
Edifying, isn’t it?
Don’t bet on a package of appointments
If you want to make sure your campaign runs smoothly.