Tele-Solutions/Direct Solutions

Show offers latest in ideas, hardwareNews that long distance competitor Unitel Communications will open new teleservice centres in Kelowna, B.C., and Edmundston, N.B., is another example of how the device Alexander Graham Bell invented is changing the way Canadians do business.Gaining...

Show offers latest in ideas, hardware

News that long distance competitor Unitel Communications will open new teleservice centres in Kelowna, B.C., and Edmundston, N.B., is another example of how the device Alexander Graham Bell invented is changing the way Canadians do business.

Gaining the edge

And of course, to keep up with these changes, there must be shows and exhibits to display the latest in ideas and hardware for telemarketers intent on gaining that oh-so-important edge on the competition.

One of the better known shows is Tele-Solutions/Direct Solutions from Tele-Marketplace, a privately-owned company in Toronto.

The 5th annual Tele-Solutions show will take place in Toronto March 24 and 25 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.

One-two punch

Sponsored by Phone Power and Canada Post, the show promises to deliver the one-two punch of the new marketing.

Janice Waugh, marketing manager at Tele-Solutions, says in an interview the free trade pact between Canada and the u.s. was the initial reason for the show, given that the deal promised a more porous border than ever before and opportunities for investment in both countries.

However, since then, the show has evolved into an exhibit to help telemarketers find support and to help Canadian business develop telemarketing.

‘We felt it was very important to produce this show to help Canadian business develop [telemarketing]. And certainly the evolution of this show has borne this out. It’s very interesting to see how things change year-to-year on the delegate base,’ says Waugh.

Demographics

In 1990, for example, says Waugh, 25% of the delegates had more than 1,000 employees in their firms, and 51% of them had fewer than 100 employees in them.

But by 1992, 43% of the delegates had more than 1,000 employees in their firms, and 33% of them had fewer than 100 employees, she goes on.

The significance of these figures, says Waugh, is that even the biggest companies – which hitherto relied on mass advertising to attract and keep customers – are recognizing the importance of telemarketing to deliver sales and service.

Smaller companies

Some years ago it was just the smaller companies without the resources to pay for mass advertising that were more inclined to use telemarketing, she says.

Waugh says over the years she has seen various sectors of industry coming to the show.

A couple of years ago, she says, financial institutions turned out in force. Last year, she continues, the manufacturing sector was conspicuous at the show, and this year it’s the turn of retailers to make their numbers felt.

Newest versions

On tap on the trade floor will be the newest versions of the tools of telemarketing, says Waugh, such as cd-roms, integrated digital services networks, databases and automatic number ids, with seminars to teach delegates how to get the most out of them.

Among the 27 seminars being offered during the two-day event are such topics as telecommunications for growing companies, computers and telemarketing, decentralized call centres, telecommuting (setting up a home-based workforce), testing and penetrating new markets, how to be a tele-sales coach, motivating career customer service representatives and integrated voice response for order taking.

Carleton system

As well, delegates will get an in-depth look at the system Ottawa’s Carleton University has used to take orders from 22,000 students for registration, course selection and payment.

Among the speakers at Tele-Solutions are Victor Chapman, director of admissions and academic records at Carleton University, Sharon Burleau-Johnston, manager of business sales and service at Bell Canada, Sharon Oatway, general manager, direct response at CIBC, Steve Riddell, director of sales at Compaq Computer and Lana Quinn, manager of telecommunications planning for Canadian Airlines International.

Keynote speaker

The keynote speaker is Rick Spence, editor of profit magazine.

Among the important issues emerging in telemarketing are training and motivation, says Waugh.

The telemarketing business is labor intensive, she notes, and it is in the interest of telemarketers to employ motivated, well-trained staff who are content in their positions.

And that, she says, translates into efficient service for customers.