If you are a telemarketer, outbound sales person, or business owner there are new telemarketing rules for 2013 that may impact your business.

Understanding the regulation changes is essential to ensuring that you are in compliance and prepared to keep your business successful and profitable.

The first deadline has already passed, so if you haven’t changed your business practices do so immediately. 

As of January 14th, 2013 the FCC implemented a ruling that requires automated, interactive opt-out options for messages that are delivered along with prerecorded calls.  They need to comply with their abandonment provisions.  These rules first started taking effect in November of 2012 so most companies have gradually been implementing these changes.

If your business was using prerecorded calls to reach out to customers this change means that prior to delivering your message the consumers has to have the option to select not to receive any further calls from your company.  The customer has to be told they have the option not to get any more calls and given clear instructions on how to opt-out.  They also have to be provided with this option immediately after the caller stating their identity.  The automated messages need to be crafted carefully in order to comply.

This presents an opportunity for experienced telemarketers making cold calls.  Businesses will have to decide which is more important, staying with prerecorded calls and risking being told not to call or paying more money for experienced reps to call on sales leads.  If a consumer elects to not receive any further calls the company must immediately put them on a do not call list and cease all contact.  Sales leads are valuable and there is a limited number of people that fit most companies “customer” profile.  Continuing with automated calls is a clear risk to a company’s continued ability to solicit.

On October 16th, 2013 the FCC will implement additional restrictions on telemarketers.

If your company wants to use prerecorded messages or an auto dialer to call people’s cell phones, life is going to get a lot harder.  After October 16th a company needs written, prior approval, to place these types of calls to a cell phone.  Unless you are a bank signing people up for account alerts, a doctor, or a charity – getting these written approvals will prove to be very difficult.  This will effectively eliminate prerecorded marketing calls to cell phones.

If you are a seasoned telemarketer, working sales leads, these changes should be excellent for your business.  Companies will have an increased need for experienced callers as sending prerecorded messages has become increasingly difficult with a lower likelihood of success.  Companies that have been using these methods should evaluate the desired outcome from sales campaigns and invest in quality sales leads and experienced reps to ensure that while less calls may be made, they are more effective at gaining new clients.