Category Archives: Marketing

Do you start clients out with your worst employees?

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It is a common problem at outsourcing companies that your best employees are busy on another project. When a new client calls, you spend a long time trying to pass off your worst employee off as a viable resource. Unfortunately, companies do this to me all day long. When I hire outsourcing companies, I want to get to know the employee a little bit as so many are so bad. If I interview twenty companies, I might only be satisfied with the employees at one or two of the companies. The result is that the others have wasted their time with me. They wasted my time too because they tried to offer me substandard employees who have poor communication skills, poor thinking skills and assumably poor work skills.

Many companies hire a fancy salesperson, and you get a wonderful impression of the company talking to the salesman. I want to get rid of the salesman as fast as possible as they are not going to be around when your work gets screwed up. The purpose of the company wanting you to spend most of your assessment time talking to the salesman is purely for the purpose of impression, and not for the purpose of transmitting reliable information. It is in a sense a con job where you hire the company under false pretenses.

When I talk to the company bosses about how they screwed up my project and lost me as a client before I even was a client by screwing up my test job. The answer is always the same. Their star employee Rahul was busy on another project and didn’t have time to work on mine. The result is that they lose me as a client forever because the boss couldn’t have Rahul sacrifice three hours of his time. Putting aside the fact that the other employee screwed up the job, the other problem is that the boss promised me Rahul and delivered someone else because of a last minute scheduling issue.

When I hire programmers, I like to work with the same person and know them. If you change who my programmer is each week, you make my code into a free-for-all with 100 different coding styles and I never get to know anyone. Indians need to realize that there needs to be loyalty to one’s job and that having employees who you treat as disposable parts doesn’t cut it with me.

So, the result is that most companies lose my work because they offer me their worst employees, don’t keep commitments, and rarely make sure things get done on time. It is like going to a dance wearing your worst clothes, unshowered, and with your hair a mess. If you show up at a dance looking like you just got out of bed, do you expect others to dance with you?

Outsourcing BPO work: How do you find a decision maker at a prospect company?

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So, you own a BPO. Perhaps you just purchased a 10 seater, or you want to start a company. We’ve heard this many times before. If you don’t have many years of management experience at someone else’s BPO, you are doomed to failiure. Knowing what you are doing has many facets. Getting work done, hiring, dealing with finding the right property all matter. But, if you can’t find jobs, then what good is it?

I found a list of 500 companies that hire outsourcing companies to do their work such as call center, data entry, BPO, programming, social media, etc. You can look those companies up online. But, how do you find the decision maker? Do you talk to the secretary? Do you send an email to the wrong person who assures you they will forward it to the right person? Do you visit their company in person?

Pick a state
Since there are companies all throughout the United States that hire overseas outsourcers like yourselves, you could pick a state and visit all of the companies in that state. It is hard to find a contact person. But, if you are physically in their office, you will be very focused about finding that person, and the local staff might feel more inclined to actually help you since they can see that you are a real person, and well dressed with a briefcase, serious facial expression, etc. You could visit all of the selected companies in a particular state. It might take a while, but you might actually find real people. And people are much more likely to deal with you if they can interact face to face. But, is a personal visit a good first step? I think that would make a great marketing experiment if you visited offices cold for a week and saw if it led to any sales over a six month period. Sales don’t always come in immediately.

Linked In
You can use Linked In to find out who does what at what company. I am not skilled with Linked In, but it might make sense to master the art of Link-Inning so that you can find some good contact people. Finding the right contacts is half the battle, the other half is to get them to like you. So, have someone agreeable who speaks good English who is NOT PUSHY make the initial contact.

Cold Calling
Be prepared to hammer companies incessantly to find the right person. Remember, that the right people are the ones who are hiding. You will always get a secretary who knows nothing and who has no desire to help you. But, to reach the right person requires finding out their name, what they do, when they are there, and how to reach them. I have no idea how long this takes, so expect a long and hard battle.

Sometimes high ranking people have profiles on Twitter. Some of the fancier social media companies have ways to target your marketing to reach only those high ranking folks. I have actually met good people on Twitter by accident. But, imagine meeting them on purpose!

One outsourcing company advertised on apps & got big business

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How do I advertise my outsourcing business?
How do I advertise for my BPO?
Advertising in the outsourcing business is a tricky thing. There are brokers, directories, websites, word of mouth, networking, and more. I like to ask around to see who is doing what.

One company claimed that they advertised on apps and using banner advertising on relevant websites. This is not a bad idea if you can measure the results from each advertising medium. You basically need tracking for each app, and a different page that each banner forwards clicks to. Then use Google Analytics to see how much page traffic each page got. Measuring results is easy if you use a sensible system as I described.

The hard part is deciding which apps to advertise on? How do you even source them? The solution is to scour the world market for apps, and see which ones might be relevant to your business or attract people who might want to use the type of services that you offer.

Trial and error and measuring ROI is a huge part of being a good advertise or marketer. So, learn to identify all options and research the best options and then compare. The secret to success is in your skill of comparing.

An Outsourcing Directory is the best way to find outsourcing companies

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Many people look around the web for outsourcing companies, but using outsourcing directory is a much more streamlined way to find good companies. Why is that? calls every company that is listed with us. We check to see if their phone works, if they communicate well, and if they are helpful. We also check to see how many clicks their listing gets which is an indication of popularity. On top of that, we email all people on our site to make sure they give quality responses to emails.

If you find outsourcing companies on your own, you take the luck of the draw. But, if you find people on, you are getting companies that have been rigorously filtered by us, not to mention the fact that we have a great selection of companies in so many categories such as inbound call center, BPO, technical support, ePublishing, medical transcriptions, and more…

A client of’s divulges it’s marketing secrets!

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“To be precise our only avenue to clients has been simply our standards and practices that we adhere to on a daily basis. It is critical from a client’s point of view, that he/she does not worry about his non-core activity and spend too much time and resources in grooming a outsourcing services provider because that is the sole purpose in the first place when it comes to choosing an outsourcing services provider. Binfex is meticulous while approaching a client for an engagement, we believe without the right research and knowledge about the customer’s core business one cannot deliver customer delight and enable the customer to be free of worries with his non-core activity.

There are key ingredients which as a team we always believed that would separate us from the lower quality service providers.
Our unwavered focus and commitment to service delivery, strategic knowledge about customer’s core business function and most importantly a strong and effective campaign management strategy for quality driven performance.

A list of methods that we apply while working approaching.

1. A Strong corporate brochure explaining why we are a value addition to the customer

2. A service portfolio that give absolute clarity on service delivery standards

3. Our quality culture, performance management, employee development practices, data security practices

4. Strong Core Team with in depth knowledge and experience

5. Effective and secure technology infrastructure with high availability.

6. Constant interaction with probable clients who need our service.

These are some of the methods follow and have inculcated as a culture at Binfex and we feel these standards and methods are critical for any service provider’s success.

Answering emails is not a strength at many outsourcing companies

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I get a dozen unsolicited emails daily from companies in India and the Philippines begging me for work. But, the companies on directory of outsourcing companies are a different story. I recently emailed ten call centers for rates. Only two got back to me. Do the other eight not want my business? Yes, I am a small customer, but small customers can turn into big customers!

BPO’s behave like they don’t want customers
My main issue is that I run an outsourcing directory, but find that most outsourcing companies behave as if they don’t want customers. The ones that do want customers behave as if they can’t handle customers. Most companies do not answer the phone properly and don’t have reps that have IQ’s necessary to answer basic questions including: what is your name, and what city are you located in. The latter seems to them to be a trick question which requires putting me on hold without my consent which is unbelievably rude. Remember, that as an outsourcing company, people in foreign countries will be putting their trust in you. If you act completely irresponsible or inconsiderate from square one, why would anybody trust you even with an easy assignment?

I remember that I had a call center boss come to Los Angeles to see me.
We spent an hour together going over what they could do. I emailed them the specifications and they quit before they accepted the job. The minute you expect them to be able to follow complicated directions they quit. Part of the reasons is that their girls quit after three months. My directions take six months to master, so if you quit after three months, I can’t hire you in the first place. They were incapable of finding me someone who could last longer, yet expected me to sign some long term contract that guaranteed that I would pay them dollars, while I had no idea of who would be working for me. That doesn’t seem fair.

I have a better idea.
I’ll pay you in an undetermined currency and you can give me an undetermined worker. If I like the worker and they last for more than six months, I’ll pay in dollars from day 180. If the worker is not responsible, I’ll pay in Kenyan shillings or Brazilian Reals and hope that no devaluation happens any more than you are devaluating my business by offering bad service!

I’ll demote you if you don’t answer!
If you are so negligent in your business practices that you ignore sales inquiries, you shouldn’t be in business. I’ve decided to downgrade companies on my directory who don’t answer emails. I make sure to confirm the email address over the phone before using it. But, if you don’t answer within 72 hours, you go down a few notches!

Does it make a difference how fast you answer emails? (Yes/No?)

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Fast answers help when people are shopping around.
Many of us do not think about how fast we answer emails. It actually might matter a lot. If someone is emailing twenty companies for quotes for a job, the first one to email them back might get special consideration. You are more likely to get the job if you email someone back while they are still thinking about what they ask you. Keep in mind that business people juggle all types of tasks. They might have twenty things to do in a given day. So, if they are thinking about outsourcing from 9pm to 10pm USA time and you answer their email within minutes while they are still thinking about outsourcing, you might score a deal easily. The other guys who get back to you in twelve hours (which is still not bad) or thirty-six hours, or two days, or a week are progressively less likely to get the job.

So, how glued to your email should you be?
It depends on how competitive your job is. If you are purely in sales and there is a lot of competition in your industry, you might consider glueing yourself to your computer or handheld. Especially for new inquiries from unknown entities, a fast reply is paramount. For existing clients, 12-24 hour responses are usually okay unless the issue is pressing.

How to stay organized
It might even make sense to organize your email into folders. You can put the pressing emails into a pressing folder and get to those within minutes. The other ones do later on in the day.

Making the right impression counts a lot
Making an impression is another reason to answer emails fast. I don’t like sluggish people. Trying to get anything done with a slug is like pulling teeth. Fast people are fun to work with and get the job done. In addition to the convenience of people answering emails fast, it is more fun and makes an amazing impression if you get back to people at lightening fast speeds. At, I keep track of how fast people get back to me. Unfortunately, I’m not so fast getting back to them because I’m overwhelmed. But, since they are competing for work, I like it when they prove themselves. We have 800 outsourcing companies on my directory, and I like to keep records of how good people are on the phone, and how fast they answer emails with actual answers. A fast response does no good if you didn’t answer the question, right?

So, take a minute to think about how much it matters how fast you answer emails in general, or particular types of emails. Think about it and then take action! And forget about all of those popular blog entries telling you not to stay glued to your email. If you’re in sales, it is imperative that you stay glued!

What are your BPO rates? Does it vary with experience?

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When I ask a company for their rates, I don’t like evasive answers, and I don’t like simplified answers. I want a breakdown that gives me three to five types of answers. More than that would be a headache, and less than that would be oversimplified. Let’s say I’m looking for a .Net programmer. Here are some sample conversations.

(1) Thorough
ME: Hi, I’m in the market for a .Net programmer. What are your rates?

REP: We charge $20 for junior programmers, $22 with 3-5 years experience, and $25 if they have six or more years.

(2) Oversimplified
ME: Hi, I’m in the market for a .Net programmer. What are your rates?

REP: $20 per hour

(3) Evasive (Headache)
ME: Hi, I’m in the market for a .Net programmer. What are your rates?

REP: It depends. What type of programmer are you looking for, how long is the project, what is the nature of the project?

(4) Too Much Information
ME: Hi, I’m in the market for a .Net programmer. What are your rates?

REP: We charge $20 for junior programmers, but give 10% off if you book more then 100 hours, and then $22 for those with 3-5 years experience and we sometimes have a project manager available who has 12 years experience, but he is not always available and we can only guarantee rates if you sign a contract. We are also having a special this month where we will do a sample job for $18 per hour and if it is to your satisfaction, you have the right to continue with a new contract for the next month and that would have an option for six months, etc., etc., non-stop talking.

ME: STOPPPPPPPP….. You talk non-stop when you don’t even know what I want.

(5) Sensible Dialogue
ME: Hi, I’m in the market for a .Net programmer. What are your rates?

REP: What level of experience and expertise would you like?

ME: I’d like someone with 6 years experience.

REP: Well, we have someone with 8 years of experience who can work for $24.50 per hour US dollars.

(6) Paranoid Dialogue
ME: Hi, I’m in the market for a .Net programmer. What are your rates?

REP: Oh… well. Umm…. I hope this is not too much. (pause) We charge $18.50 per hour. Oh no, you won’t like that price because it’s too much. But, I assure you that our programmer is very good, and I personally watch over him.

ME: The price is not bad. I care more about the quality of the service than the price.

As you can see, there are many ways that sales reps interact with clients. If you were a client, which rep would you prefer? I prefer #1 and #5 because they give me the pertinent information without any grief. Try to think from the perspective of clients, and you’ll win over more of them!

Marketing your BPO Outsourcing Firm from A to Z

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Do you run a call center, BPO, software outsourcing company, or want to? If you are good at what you do, you just might be able to expand into a real business! You’ll need management experience and solid skills, some cash, and some understanding of marketing — but, you can do it! But, where do you start?

WebsitesOutsourcing companies need a website. Most people look for services online. So, making yourself easy to find with a website is paramount. However, having “a” website is just not enough. It needs to be well organized, have a services page where you have a long list of services you offer and notes about your expertise in those services. You need “About Us” information so people will get a sense of who you are. A good contact page is essential too with email addresses, a choice of phone numbers and an online form. Make sure your site is attractive, loads quickly, and does not have spelling mistakes, etc.

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Email — Many companies market by email, but do it wrong. Marketing by email should be personal. You should try to learn what the company’s needs are and cater to them. Additionally, emails that do not state the NAME of the recipient are impersonal and get ignored close to 100% of the time. Email marketing is powerful, but only when it is customized to the reader, and having a previous connection to the reader helps so they will know who you are. Otherwise, you are just another nuissance spammer. If you email decision makers in thousands of companies, find a way to ask them what their needs are, and get some dialogue going, you are in luck.

Phone — Phone calls from strangers are an annoyance. But, at least you can learn who the contact person is and gain their attention. Remember, step one is not to sell, but to learn people’s names, positions, and find out what types of services they use. Focus on getting information and find out what they need, what they like and dislike about their current service, and what improvements they would like to see in their service if they lived in a perfect world (which you will of course create for them.) Don’t call businesses unless they are very targetted otherwise you are wasting their time. Additionally, have someone considerate who has good English skills make the call instead of a bumbling nitwit who will lose your prospect’s interest the minute he opens his mouth.

Network — There are dozens of ways to network. You can go to networking meetings in your home country or the country where you are seeking clients. You can network with other companies in your industry to handle their OVERFLOW which is a serious problem. If you can be reliable about handling overflow, you might just become popular.

Freelancer Sites — Several years ago freelance sites were not that big a deal. Now, they are the standard way of getting anything done. Hiring BPO companies is a headache, but hiring a freelancer has never been easier. You can advertise your company as a freelancer, or freelance company on any site that will take you and watch the jobs come in. Yes, you will lose a percentage to the site, but you will also gain some long term clients who will refer you if you do a good job.

Linked In — We used to recommend Linked In more highly. But, since August of 2015 they made it hard to contact people using their medium without really paying. Linked In might change their rules in the future, but as of now, you can find people on Linked In, but you need to contact them using email or social media other than on Linked In. You can still try Linked In, but it is not as efficient or user-friendly as before which is a shame.

Advertise — There are sites like Craigslist where you can advertise. You can also advertise in industry specific publications. Track your sales that you got from your advertisements so you can keep the winning ads and get rid of the duds. You can advertise on which specializes in promoting outsourcing companies on the web. We have a category for each type of outsourcing service as well, so your ad will be highly targetted.

Adwords PPC — PPC can be expensive, but you can geo-target where you want your ads to be shown and how much you want to pay. If you get a good return from adwords you can build a business fast. I built my Notary directory using adwords when it first started back in 2005 and got a bargain on it. I was paying 5 cents per click before others caught on. Boy was I at the right place at the right time. You can advertise specials that are displayed on your website using PPC .

Outsource Marketing — Who says that you should do your marketing yourself? Marketing is a specialty that might be better left to a specialist assuming they do a good job. But, many in marketing do not do a good job and don’t even care. So, be careful who you pick and offer results based compensation otherwise you won’t get any results!

Understand What the Client Wants — In India, business people are in a hurry to talk non-stop without listening. This is horrible. To do well in business you need to be gentle, smart, and listen. Your job is not to over-talk, but to be a detective and find out what the customer really wants. They might not tell you, so you have to figure it out. Understanding what clients want is similar to men understanding how women feel. If you hire a guy who has far too many girlfriends and keeps them all satisfied, he might be the right guy for the job (although he might come to work from a different direction each day.)

Be a Partner — The BPO outsourcing companies I have worked with have not tried to be a partner. Many have asked for formal partnerships, but this is not what I am talking about. Be a partner WITHOUT the formality. Be there for your clients. Offer suggestions without them asking. Alert them if they have done something dumb with their business. If you care about them more than they care about themselves, you will be rewarded with loyalty and referrals. People will swear by you. I have never seen anyone be this good all the time, but I do have one “partner” who is like this part of the time.

Correct English — Most Indians don’t feel this is important. However, Americans won’t hire you if you can’t communicate in proper English. You won’t get respect or jobs. We judge you based on how good your English is. If you make spelling and punctuation mistakes, we might not hire you. If you sound garbled over the phone or put us on hold without permission, we will assume you offer horrible service. In my experience, those who communicate poorly always do pathetic work — and I work with thousands of people. So, hire a tutor, and get your skills in order otherwise you will be unemployed.

Customer Retention — Outsourcing companies do not think about customer retention. They think of wooing new clients while they neglect existing clients who will therefor shortly dump them. It is easier to give good service to an existing client than get a new client. So, spend more energy making sure all of your clients are getting what they need. You could even ask them if there are any issues with the service and you might be surprised or appalled at what you hear. Some people won’t tell you unless you ask.

Blogging — Many companies understand the importance of community building. If you run a blog, forum, or community of some sort, you attract people who get to know your writing over time. These people can become clients or share your articles on the web on their networks. Blogging is a powerful way to make meaningful connections with thousands of people. I blog daily and swear by it. I spend an average of ninety minutes per day blogging which says a lot.

Chat Support — Many people will come to your site, but if you offer online chat to visitors, you might annoy them or you might develop a dialogue which could turn them into a client. Chat services on your site are something to consider although that is more of an advanced technique than a basic one.

Free Services — My best marketing secret is to offer free services in order to maintain and develop new connections with new people. A free client can turn into a paid client after they get to know you. Free services are by definition limited and not labor intensive for you to maintain. However, if you talk to your free members after a few months, you might find that they are more open to buying from you now that they have gotten to know you. My entire business model revolves around free services and I swear by its effectiveness as 25% of my paying clients started as free members. The question is, what type of free services could you offer? Samples of your work, or some other web-based application that they could have access to online. Think long and hard about this as it could change your future.

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Can you use groupons to market an outsourcing company?

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I always tell people in business — if you want to get clients fast, offer them a cut rate to begin with. That way they will be likely to try you out. If you do a good job, they will be likely to keep you. But, what if you offered coupons?

What if you offer 50% off for your first project of 10-20 hours of labor? I have a better idea. Offer a groupon. That way if someone has a friend, they can try your service together at a cut rate. That way you are in a sense networking. Or, you could offer groupons to existing clients for specials, so they could drag their friends into being your client.

Groupons grew in popularity with American restaurants several years ago. Instead of offering a discount for a single person, restaurants saw they could get more clients — a lot more clients by getting groups to come in at cut rates. Your outsourcing BPO could do the same. Would it work? It doesn’t hurt to try, and it’s such a fun idea too.

Or you could offer coupons to people to try new services that you offer. If someone is hiring you to do Linked In outreach for them, you could offer them a coupon to try your email newsletter service or some other service.

Remember, with sign up specials, you always lose in the short run, but you might get a client that you keep for five or ten years which will much more than cover for your loss! Think big and think long term!

How marketing is just like being a pirate lad…

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In another blog entry, I wrote about a lad in the 1700’s whose elders decided was best suited to be a pirate. That lad was reborn and went to one of the best Chinese hacking schools that existed. Then, he learned the art of market disruption and did startups for a while. After a few years of failed startups, he had his first success — but, the venture capitalists took everything he made. The boy was angry because after all — he was the one who was supposed to be the pirate. But, I guess there is no honor among thieves.

After that, the young man decided that what he really liked was trying to do the modern equivalent of being a pirate like what he was in the 1700’s. He would shoot at other people’s boats. Swing over to their boat on a rope, fight them with swords, tie them up, plunder their gold and other valuables, and then set the ship on fire and watch it burn! His favorite part was waiting til the fire hit the powder kegs and watching the entire ship explode! Arr laddie! Twas a sight to be seen!

So, the man quit the startup business and went into mergers. He drank rum, sang pirate songs and coordinated mergers where the managers of the firm being bought out would all be fired and would go down with the ship. He went a step farther to hire a graphic designer to create graphics of the managers going down with a ship with a flag of their company. He enjoyed this career immensely. Then, he went into marketing for a while and enjoyed finding artful ways to steal the clients from particular businesses and watch them go bankrupt. Arr — the pleasure can’t be beat, even with two pints of rum!

In any case, this is a silly article, but hope you had fun reading it. It’s fun to think about what people would do if they were reincarnated into another time. I was actually a warrior in many of my earlier lives, but I evolved into a healer. From killing people to healing people — what a transition in my soul’s evolution. I no longer do Native American healing like I did in my shaman past lives. But, I do healing on myself. However, the warrior past lives from way back — several thousand years back in many cases seem to help me out in my business career. Business is like war. It’s hard to keep the troops together. So, defeating the enemy is one goal, but keeping your troops loyal these days is an even harder goal.