Is MiName about to turn telemarketing on its head?

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Check this out. Cold-calling is annoying right? You’re always getting hassled and it often smacks of privacy invasion. Yet, it’s someone’s job to make those sales calls and companies often have great products, it’s just that they’re not getting through to the right people.

Three South Africans who wanted to put an end to the exploitation of cold-calling, actuaries Gaurav Nair and Derrick Hyde, and an engineer Lawrence Joffe founded MiName.

MiName allows consumers to request calls from companies that sell products and services they actually need. The incentive? Cash rewards. MiName says the experience allows personal details to be kept confidential and rewards the consumer for sharing information with companies they choose and for purchases they actually need. MiName also offers sharing of customer experiences through social media and reviews.

Attracting new clients is an ongoing problem for most businesses. Cold-calling has notoriously low sales conversion rates and leads to companies wasting valuable resources trying to sell their products to disinterested consumers. In addition, customers are being hassled by the invasion of their privacy. Through MiName, companies wind up with qualified leads.

Says Derrick Hyde, director of MiName, “There are tremendous benefits for consumers and companies that sign up to attract additional customers. Only interested customers are brought – MiName customers tell us what products they want and name the companies that should contact them. Businesses therefore get access to clients who are waiting to be contacted, not just empty leads. This is a smarter solution to increase sales conversion rates and decreased client acquisition costs. There is no risk because MiName only charges on successful sales. Also the business will get increased brand exposure on social media.”

MiName believes that companies that typically sell products via call centres are ideal for this new system. Sales categories currently include financial services, sports, travel, motor, online shopping, security services, gyms and property.

MiName already has an impressive list of partners, but some of the notable ones include Planet Fitness, Pentravel, McCarthy Call-A-Car, Hatfield VW, Zando.co.za and Pam Golding Properties.

Although it remains to be seen how much of an impact MiName will make on the telemarketing industry, it’s a novel idea and one to get behind in the run-up to South Africa’s Protection of Personal Information Bill which is expected to be legislated within the next quarter of 2013. These laws are intended to empower consumers to access and request the correction or deletion of any personal information. It will bring South Africa in line with international data protection laws and at the same time it will protect personal information that is collected by organisations.

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