Should You Ever Hire A Telemarketing Firm?


An agency principal asked me a really interesting question recently: Would you ever hire a telemarketing firm?

Obviously, I had to set aside the fact that we’re a new business development firm and he meant of course, if I were in his place.

I’d never been asked it before.  In our 13 years of business, we’ve always worked to set ourselves apart from the myriad telemarketing firms out there.

So I had to think about it, objectively, for a moment.  And ultimately, I said no.

Now you may be thinking, well of course you did, Lee, why would you advocate for a situation where an agency doesn’t use your services?

I’ll get this out early-this will not be a self-serving post, nor a commercial for RSW/US.

It really is an interesting question, because I can understand why an agency would consider it.

Many of them talk a good game, and they’re typically low cost, all things being equal. And agencies so often struggle trying to handle new business internally, they tell themselves that having a telemarketer handle the very top of the funnel will allow them to do the rest. Better than nothing, right?

Well, I would say, no.  I’m not badmouthing any one firm out there, if you’re reading this and have had a positive experience with a telemarketing firm, I stand corrected, but in my own experience, I’ve only heard regrets over the decision from agencies.

A few reasons why:

They typically use only one platform.  Interestingly, I get the same emails all of you do from telemarketers, and almost all of them promise results by blasting away emails, or making hundreds of calls, or cold reach outs through LinkedIn. It doesn’t work.  You have to use every platform in concert with each other to break through effectively.

They don’t do any homework.  I’m a great case in point.  As I mentioned above, I get those emails every day.  If these companies spent 2 seconds doing any homework at all, they would see we’re a new business development firm. We are not their potential client.

They don’t typically reach out with value.  These companies usually count on volume, and they spray out messaging that is generic or is overly dependent on sales clichés.

What all this adds up to is harm to your agency brand.

This ineffective and generic outreach is usually done in your name.  How will your prospects view that? The answer is not well.

You’re better off investing that money into a balanced internal effort that doesn’t overwhelm you or the team.


I'm the VP of Sales at RSW/US. We specialize in working with services firms to help drive and close new business-if you need help with that, email me at What I actually do: drive sales efforts to bring ad agencies and services firms on board with RSW, create content around successful new business tactics and help drive RSW/US marketing objectives, including social media channels, blog content, webinars, video and speaking engagements. Dig it.