The following is an excerpt from an interview conducted in June 2006.
In this interview, Denise Clancey talks about her business, Teledirect Partners, and her enthusiasm for Telephone Sales.
JD: Where did you get your start?
DC: I actually started my career in Higher Education Administration, thinking that I would be a Dean of Students someday. While there, I enrolled in a MBA program and found myself intrigued by the subject of Business, a course I never thought much about during college.
JD: Then how did you get into this work?
DC: When I left my campus position and moved to Boston, I thought it was time to try out the business world. My first job was a Field Sales position, selling to small and mid-sized businesses. I liked it ok, but did not like the long hours on the road and I quickly figured out that I like the camaraderie that comes with an office setting. I wasn’t about to give up on Sales, though, so my second position was a telemarketing position selling MCI Telecom Services to consumers.
JD: What happened to make you stay?
DC: Ahh, that is the key. I found that I loved, loved, loved phone selling.
JD: Why such enthusiasm?
DC: Telephone selling is a wonderful combination of art and science. The art of selling and the science and predictability of ‘working the numbers’. At the end of the day, you know what you have accomplished and what you need to do the next day, the next week, the next month. There is instant feedback and you can change your course and direction quickly.
JD: How long have you been selling by phone?
DC: I have been in this business for over 20 years, starting with my first position selling MCI services. I was promoted into supervisory and management positions there, eventually running two call centers for the Northeast Division. My next move was to Lotus Development where I started their Corporate Inside Sales department. I held a number of Sales and Marketing positions at Lotus and IBM, ending my career there as Vice President of Telesales for North America. It was a great run.
JD: How and why did you start your company, Teledirect Partners?
DC: At some point in my in-house career, I began to think that I wanted to go out on my own, be my own boss, chart my own course. Through the years, I had used my telephone sales skills to train non-profits how to fundraise and I knew there was a big telephone world out there with a great deal of opportunity.
In 2001, I had an opportunity to ‘retire early’ from IBM and that was an ideal time to start my business. So I took a year off and launched my business in January 2003.
JD: Tell me about the clients you serve and the work you do.
DC: I work with companies and organizations to launch a new Telephone Sales organization or to improve the ones they have in place. The companies can be any size but I restrict my engagements to telephone organizations that are less than 50 employees. This typically means that the company is small or mid sized but I have worked with small organizations within Fortune 500 companies.
Typical engagements include an in-depth assessment, a recommendations document, and a series of program offerings which deliver solutions and results. I also work with a number of partners to provide my clients with a full range of ancillary services.
JD: What distinguishes you from other companies who offer like services?
DC: My approach is pragmatic and results oriented. Because of my deep and varied experience, I am able to quickly assess the situation, identify root causes of problems, and identify specific opportunities for improvement.
JD: What do you do when you are not engaged in Telephone Sales?
DC: Aside from the typical response ‘spend time with my family’? I contribute to a number of organizations, as a board member or volunteer. Right now I am on the Board of the North End Community Health Center and NEMPAC. I volunteer for IMCNE and the Boston Public Schools.
JD: Any last words?
DC: Sure. If your readers are looking for help launching a new Telephone Sales group or reengineering the one they have in place, they should give me a call at 617-973-6667. Thanks for letting me include that plug!