How to Find Qualified Telemarketing Leads

You’ve ticked all the boxes:

  • Excellent product or service? Check.
  • Corporate image and logo? Check.
  • Team of excellent telemarketers? Check.
  • Logistics in place? Check.
  • Admin issues sorted? Check.

You’re going like a Boeing.

Now for the last (and arguably most important) step: generating solid leads before marketing your offerings.

Don’t waste time or money by marketing your product or service to individuals or businesses that have no use or desire for it. The idea is to identify qualified leads, then target them in an efficient, professional manner.

There are several methods that you can employ to separate the wheat from the chaff when it comes to lead generation; it’s a case of trial and error. What may work for some may not work for others; so try them all, identify what works, then stick to your game plan.

Here’s our take on the 10 best ways to source potential clients for your telemarketing business:

Purchased Lists

This one is obvious: pay for a list of leads from one of many list-generating companies and get dialing. It’s more of a shot in the dark than a laser-focused approach but it’s a tool that works for many telemarketing businesses, and could work for yours.


This is solid gold. Being armed with a list of potential customers who have been referred to you by existing (and satisfied) clients paves a pretty pathway to the sales gong.

Online Business Directories

Business directories like Brabys are sprouting all over the internet, and are useful when attempting to source potential clients who are a match for your product or services


Once you’ve identified ideal end-users that would benefit from your product, use a search engine to find them. For instance, if you know that upmarket restaurants in Gauteng are the perfect target market for your crockery range, search Google for “upmarket restaurants Gauteng”. Scour each establishment’s website, gathering essential info about them before calling.

Yellow Pages

These blurry tomes may seem outdated, but they’re useful for finding smaller businesses who may not yet have joined the online community.

Door-to-Door Surveys

Generally reserved for business-to-business lead generation, this method may be old school, but face-to-face meetings have a definite edge over cold calling via telephone. Once you’ve met in person, you can make telephonic contact (a ‘warm call’) within a few days.

Trade Shows

Exhibitions and trade shows are an effective way to promote your product while generating leads. Grab details of every visitor to your stand: get their business cards, and give them one of yours. A bowl of quality sweets next to the business card container is a simple but surefire way to get those names and numbers. Take a walk around the expo: network with fellow exhibitors and visitors. It’s also a good idea to visit shows where potential clients are exhibiting: nothing better than a captive audience.


This is a courteous lead-generating method comprised of three steps. First, get transferred to the company’s decision-maker. Ask if you may forward him relevant information. Secondly, send a succinct, well-written email outlining how your product will add value, and mention you’ll be making a follow-up call. Lastly, dial that number and make that sale.

Leaflet Drops and Email Marketing

This involves distributing leaflets or sending bulk emails, casting wide nets to possibly catch a couple of meaty ones. Again, make sure you’re targeting the right demographic. So, if you’re selling educational toys, approach schools to include your leaflet with the school newsletter.

Shopping Centre Promotions

If your product or service is designed for the man on the street, promote yourself at a busy shopping centre on a Saturday. Run a competition to gather those prized contact details, and – voilà! – you have yourself tons of warm calls lined up for Monday