What makes a great Telemarketer


Telemarketing, as with many sales and marketing activities, at it’s core is a very easy job to do.   You sit down (or stand if you’re trying to be healthier) in a nice warm office, dial the phone, ask a few questions and move on.   In reality though, it can be a very challenging job and, although many of the required skills can be learned and honed over time there are certainly distinct qualities as to what makes a great Telemarketer so here, in no particular order are some of those qualities.

This is to both act as help for anyone working in or planning on working in telemarketing and as an indication as to the sort of qualities I look for when adding to my team.

1 – Resilience.   There’s a huge amount of rejection involved in making Telemarketing calls.  You have to be able to firstly deal with the rejection in terms of not taking refusals personally but also be able turn that rejection into something positive.  Remember – it’s most likely the concept that’s being rejected, not you.   Although it might be you!

2 – Adaptability.  A great Telemarketer needs be hugely adaptable.  Over the course of a typical month you’re likely to be selling lots of different services or products on behalf of lots of different clients, likely to be talking to a wide variety of people in various levels of seniority and will have to constantly adapt your approach to suit those situations.   Whilst I’m a huge believer in having a structure to a sales/marketing call, scripts don’t work in the real world as every call will be different.  If you can’t adapt your approach, you won’t get very far

3 – Motivation.  It’s a phrase as old as the hills, but Telemarketing, cold calling and sales in general really is a numbers game – the more calls you make, the more chance you have of success.   It takes a lot of motivation to dial number after number and still sound as fresh and enthusiastic as you did on the first call

4 – A great voice.   This kind of fits in with adaptability but you have to adopt a tone of voice that suits the person you’re speaking to.  People read an awful lot into the voices they hear over the phone – do you talk too quickly? too slowly? is your accent too strong so prospects can’t understand what you’re saying? A clear, friendly yet authoritative voice works wonders.   You’ll never know exactly what prospects think of you (unless you ask and you may not get the answer you want!) but, try to put yourself in their shoes – would you want to buy from you?

5 – Computer skills.  This can cover  the operation of CRM systems, spreadsheets, invoicing/payroll platforms and use of the internet in general.  It’s important to know your way around google, linkedin, jigsaw, duedil etc etc as research can be a vital tool in helping you achieve success.  Do you know how to get hold of an email address if reception won’t give it you?  can you easily and quickly find the name of a facilities manager in a large organisation.   Less time spent researching = more time on the phone

And, lastly, – experience.   I’ve spent nearly 20 years selling over the phone and have probably learned more in the last 3 years running my own business than in the previous 17 working for other people.  There’s so many different approaches and methods I’ve picked up from doing this full time that I could easily write a book  (I might well do one day so, watch out) but, nothing makes you better at doing this job than just doing it.  You’ll learn to get over your fear of cold calling, you’ll learn what phrases work and what don’t, you’ll learn what questions to ask and when to shut up and listen and a whole lot more.  Practice makes perfect!

Happy calling!


Dan Smith 
Inspired Business Development
Unit K9 Cradley Enterprise Centre
Maypole Fields
B63 2QB
T:01384 566 078
W: www.inspired-bd.com


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