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What defines an effective telemarketer?

This post was written by myself on the behalf of Great Guns Marketing and was originally posted on the Great Guns Marketing blog site.


I’ve been working in a marketing agency with a strong heritage in telemarketing for a while now. During this time I’ve had a chance to meet a number of professional telemarketers who don’t hesitate to hit the phone tens or even hundreds of times a day to reach the right decision makers and to book sales appointments for their clients. Having observed their daily routine I’ve developed an insight into what key characteristics define an effective telemarketer. In a nutshell, these are:

  • Ability to build a strong relationship with a client: a successful telemarketer knows that this needs to be a partnership. At Great Guns the clients come in for a briefing day so that telemarketers can get to grips with the finer details of the project. This is a great opportunity for them to get to know one another, and to get a complete understanding of the business itself and the client’s overall objectives.
  • Excellent knowledge of the client’s product/service: a telemarketer must have a deep knowledge of what their client is offering. This information is absolutely crucial when entering into a persuasive dialogue with a prospect and when handling objections.  As when they come across as knowledgeable and confident, telemarketers are much more likely to gain a prospect’s trust and respect, and therefore succeed.
  • Ability to ask the right questions: an effective telemarketer knows what kinds of questions help encourage conversation and elicit necessary information. They always ask open questions to encourage an answer other than “no” in order to build a rapport with a prospect and to gain control over the conversation.
  •  Strong listening skills: in my opinion this is the most important characteristic. Effective telemarketers do not perform a phone monologue, nor allow themselves to listen to one. It’s all about active listening. They absorb, acknowledge and address what is being said in order to comment and ask pertinent questions to establish the prospect’s needs. By doing so they show a genuine interest in the prospect. Active listening facilitates eloquent conversations – something no script would ever enable.
  •  Outstanding verbal communication: due to the nature of telemarketing, verbal communication is the only way a message can be conveyed. An effective telemarketer must sound confident, competent, and professional. There is no room for hesitation or confusion. Furthermore, a good level of vocabulary and a friendly but professional tone of voice that makes them sound like a sales and marketing expert is an absolute must in a telemarketing profession.
  •  Upbeat personality: an effective telemarketer needs to be tenacious, charismatic and enthusiastic. Telemarketers sometimes make up to 100 calls a day and might only speak to 10 decision makers. It is crucial therefore, that when they do manage to speak with someone, they are engaging; able to sell succinctly but allowing their personality to shine through. It is easy to get disheartened when your call continually goes to voicemail but it is so important to remain enthusiastic and have a positive mental attitude.