Telemarketers: What you need to know
Telemarketing is a marketing method where agents, or telemarketers, are tasked to sell the company’s products and services through a phone call or web conferencing. It’s a well-known, lucrative job that enables you to talk to people from all over the world, all of them with varying cultural backgrounds.
Telemarketers should be able to connect with their prospects so they can sell the company’s offerings. To be able to do this, what skills should a good telemarketer have? Is it being an active listener or maybe it’s all about being persuasive?
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Read on and let’s find out.
What should a telemarketing job description tell you?
A job description summarizes the duties and responsibilities of the position you are applying for. Most of the time, job descriptions are general and vague with specificities sprinkled throughout the text. A good job description tells you the basic rundown of what the job looks like on a normal day.
With telemarketing positions, a job description should tell you what your job entails should you apply for it.
- “You are expected to reach monthly quotas assigned to you by your Superior.”
- “As an integral part of the telemarketing department, you are responsible for keeping all data secured.”
- “With this job, your duty is to update all customer data as they specify.”
These are good indicators that the department values data privacy and reaching assigned goals.
Tip: Be on the lookout for hyper-specific descriptions that may only apply to that company and not to others.
Jobs and duties of a telemarketer
The following are just a few examples of what should be considered as the basis of what telemarketers should do in a professional setting.
#1. Identifying prospects
A good telemarketer can spot a prospect from a mile away. A great telemarketer, on the other hand, can identify a prospect if they are a valid lead right away.
However, this doesn’t mean that the other one is less qualified, it just means that the experienced telemarketer had more exposure in the field. Companies, businesses, and agencies train and onboard their new hires with their own approaches to make sure that they are putting their best foot forward.
Identifying prospects may mean getting their basic information and finding out which demographic they fit in.
#2. Cold-calling and following up
More than half of the time, telemarketers are on the phone with their ideal leads and prospects talking about products and services that will make all the difference for the person on the other end of the phone.
Telemarketers can also follow up on their past leads with re-engagement emails, text messages, and calls. Another way of following up is to make their leads update invalid phone numbers and emails.
#3. Assisting customers in buying products and securing services
Hand in hand with calling their identified leads, telemarketers also assist customers and consumers in buying products and securing services that the company offers and provides. Sometimes, this also means that they have to upsell products to consumers over the phone.
#4. Completing the customer’s orders and handles personal information
This doesn’t come as a surprise that telemarketers help customers complete their purchases to fruition. Finishing up orders may mean filling out forms with personal data.
Telemarketers handle private personal information such as
- Names (first, middle, and last)
- Credit or debit card numbers
It is expected that they are handling these data with discretion and with the customers’ safety in mind.
#5. Follows information security protocols to keep the customers’ data safe
In every telemarketing job description (even on non-telemarketing jobs and positions), it is expected that each and every employee will follow information security procedures to keep data secure. This is of utmost importance as telemarketers handle the bank and card details of their customers and leads. Breaching protocols may lead to termination and legal issues.
#6. Contributes meaningful effort to their respective teams and departments
As generic and as vague as this job responsibility be, this still applies to telemarketers. Even as an independent employee, you must collaborate with your co-workers, team leaders, and supervisors to ensure smooth sailing in the department.
Soft skills of a telemarketer
What are soft skills? These are measured by how you act and work with others. Outstanding employees embody soft and hard skills that complement each other.
Telemarketers spend more than half of their days talking to customers, clients, and consumers over the phone. One of the soft skills that a telemarketing expert should possess is empathy, as this will allow them to put themselves in the shoes of the person on the other end of the conversation.
This should not come as a shock, but as a telemarketer, you are expected to be attentive to details and the conversation. A great telemarketer is detail-oriented and an active listener at the same time, as most calls are happening live. Being attentive means that you actively listen and participate in the conversation, contributing meaningful answers and asking pertinent questions that can lead to a sale.
This leads us to…
#3. Active listener
What is an active listener? It’s more than just saying “yes, and…” when the opportunity to talk arises. It is when you process the information being verbally given to you and you keep what was said if asked to repeat or summarized afterward.
If you are having a hard time comprehending what’s being said, these clarifying phrases may help you:
- “Sorry for interrupting, but what did you mean by…”
- “Can you elaborate on this part…”
Keep these three soft skills in mind as they make all the difference with how you work with others.
Hard skills of a telemarketer
Hard skills are what you would put in your resume. Technical skills, proficiencies in word processors, any skills that can be taught and be easily quantified are counted as a hard skill.
Every telemarketing job description will have some variation of the word “multitasker.” As expected, your normal day will comprise taking calls, preparing forms, filling out said forms on behalf of your leads and customer, and so on.
The ability to multitask without getting frazzled and overwhelmed is a must-have for telemarketers.
#2 Close attention to detail
Alongside the ability to multitask, having a close eye for detail is another must-have if you ever find yourself applying for telemarketing jobs. As mentioned before, every telemarketing position requires you to fill out many forms and type in sensitive information into your system, so an error-free output is expected.
#3 Basic marketing skills
Another part of telemarketing is the selling (and upselling) point of each call. This part is crucial as you are this close to turning and converting this lead into a sale and a closed deal.
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Basic marketing skills can be condensed into four bullet points:
- Initial interest
- Open communication
- Needs versus wants
- Customer satisfaction
Ask qualifying questions to play out your customer’s interest; keep your communication open and clear of misunderstandings by actively listening; and pinpoint what the customer wants versus what they need. With the information you’ve gathered up to this point, it will be much easier for you to anticipate and cater to what your prospects and returning clients need.