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Beginner Agent Telemarketing

We have compiled the most crucial steps to beginning your telemarketing business, as well as answered the most common questions businesses have regarding telemarketing. These steps will help guide your process and save you from mistakes, while entering the telemarketing industry.   

What’s Telemarketing?

Telemarketing refers to the process of selling products or services over the telephone. Telemarketing also involves the process of contacting, vetting, and approaching prospects to make them customers. 

Types of Telemarketing

There are four major forms of telemarketing:

  1. Inbound 
  2. Outbound
  3. B2B 
  4. B2C

Inbound Telemarketing

Inbound telemarketing is when the telemarketer receives an inbound inquiry from the prospect and follows up on the inquiry through a “warm” call. Since the prospect has already contacted the company, they should be expecting a call. 

For instance, a potential customer signs up for a free trial on a company’s page. When the telemarketer calls them back to discuss their inquiry, this is considered inbound telemarketing. 

Outbound Telemarketing

Outbound telemarketing is when a telemarketer makes “cold” calls to prospects or existing customers. This indicates that the people receiving the calls are not expecting them. 

Let’s take an air conditioning technician, for example, who calls numbers that live in the same zip code of his business to promote his summer deals. He makes outbound telemarketing efforts.

B2B Telemarketing

B2B telemarketing, also known as business to business telemarketing, is when a business promotes its products or services to another business. Usually, in this type of telemarketing, there is a greater emphasis on relationship building because there will be a smaller number of companies to promote products to. 

B2B telemarketing is when, for example, a company that sells local honey, calls grocery stores to promote the purchase and the reselling of their honey.

If you haven’t already, check out the 5 golden rules of B2B telemarketing

B2C Telemarketing 

B2C telemarketing is a business selling to consumers. The business will research potential customers and gather prospects to call, who are more likely to want/need the product or service. The sales reps wouldn’t invest time in calling everyone, but they’d rather contact a smaller number of ideal candidates.  

B2C telemarketing is involved when, for instance, an insurance company calls people who own two or more cars to promote their insurance bundles for automotive.

To set clear objectives on who to call for B2C telemarketing, read the article The Secrets to Planning a Successful B2C Telemarketing Campaign

Why Telemarketing Is an Effective Marketing Strategy

Nearly all advertising happens online. People see roughly 6,000 to 10,000 advertisements a day and if a business only advertises through a pop-up on the prospects’ computer screen or a 30- second clip on Instagram, it’s likely to get overlooked. What does stand out, however, is a human interaction. 

So, why should you still cold call? Telemarketing allows potential customers to talk to a person and answer any questions they have in real time. It stands out from the thousands of other advertisements that people SEE everyday. To TALK and LISTEN creates a more personable experience. This is what makes telemarketing so effective.

Follow the Telemarketing Sales Rules and Regulations

Although telemarketing is an effective form of advertising and selling, it’s also used in fraudulent ways. Since fraud is so heavy in telemarketing, Federal laws and state laws have been put into place to protect consumers. Due to this, your company must be informed about the rules and regulations of telemarketing. 

Telemarketing Laws in the USA and Canada

In the USA, there are three federal laws, which telemarketing must comply with: 

  1. The Telephone Consumer Protection Act
  2. Telemarketing Consumer Fraud and Abuse Prevention Act
  3. Telephone Sales Rule (TSR)

Check our Brief Guide to Outbound Telemarketing Laws for full details.

The Canadian telemarketing guidelines include three regulations for companies to follow: 

  1. Register with the DNCL 
  2. Subscribe to the DNCL list 
  3. Follow the unique guidelines issued for your line of business 

Telemarketing Do Not Call Registry

The do-not-call registry is very much enforced both in the USA and Canada. Make sure your company either uses a third party to scrub the phone list or software that has the capabilities to scrub your list along with a dialer system like the Dolphin Dialer

Another good resource to use to ensure you comply with the DNC regulations is the Telemarketing Sales Rule: DNC Scrubbing & Compliance article. 

Telemarketing Calling Hours

According to the Federal Trade Commission, the hours for legal telemarketing are between 8:00 AM and 9:00 PM. Keep in mind that the hours are in regard to the time zone in which the phone number belongs. 

Do You Need a Telemarketing License?

While there is no national telemarketing license required for the USA, some states have a state-specific license. To check whether your states or the states you’re calling have state-specific requirements, visit TelemarketingLicenses.com

In Canada, all telemarketers must register with the National DNCL even if you only make exempt calls or send exempt faxes, you must still register. On the bright side, there is no registration fee!

What Makes a Good Telemarketer?

A good telemarketer will be able to not only promote the product or service but also be able to listen to the potential customer and understand how the product can help their needs and wants. There are five types of sales personalities that a good telemarketer will use to listen, help, and communicate with the prospects. 

The five personalities are:

  • The Friend – establishes an emotional contact with their prospects, followed by pitching the product later.
  • The Guru performs the essential groundwork before pitching a product and gives precedence to a logical approach rather than establishing emotional connections.
  • The Consultant  possesses the acumen of a “Guru” and the emotional intelligence of a buddy.
  • The Socializer utilizes the social approach, is an eccentric networker, and depends on several sources to generate leads.
  • The Persuader is highly focused and connects with a prospect with an intention to sell in the first go.

The telemarketer should be able to ask questions and determine which approach to use that will best help get the prospect to purchase. 

What Skills Do You Need to Be a Telemarketer?

There are many traits required to be a telemarketer, but there are four essential traits to look for: 

  1. Planner: A telemarketer needs to plan out the call and how best to approach the individual and their needs.
  2. Intuition/Verbal Cues: The telemarketer must be able to hear the signals that the customer is close to making a buying decision and needs to act to close the sales. 
  3. Listener: The telemarketer shouldn’t be afraid of silence and also shouldn’t be afraid to allow the customer to do the talking. What’s most important is to listen and gather information.  
  4. Gratitude: The telemarketer should be able to show gratitude for the prospect’s time. If the prospects purchase, then the telemarketer should thank them for their purchase. 

One thing to keep in mind is that even with the skills to sell over the phone, a telemarketer is only as good as their list. Providing your telemarketing team with a reliable and accurate telephone list will be a major factor in the success of your telemarketing team. Read our article ‘Telemarketing 101: You’re Only As Good As Your Telemarketing List’ to understand what to look for in a good phone list. 

Telemarketing Techniques That Work

If your company is selling to another company, a good technique to include is identifying the ‘Decision Maker’. Oftentimes telemarketers get too focused on selling that they forget to find the individual in the company who can actually make the purchasing decision. 

Another useful technique is asking questions like: 

  • Have you bought a product or service like this before? And If yes, who did you purchase from? 
  • What are you looking for in a product or service? 
  • How can I ensure your satisfaction? 

Asking open-ended questions gives the telemarketer good information to sell to their needs. 

For further techniques and strategies, check out our articles: 

5 Telemarketing Tips for Beginners

Running and starting a telemarketing business can be overwhelming, so we have taken the liberty to compile a list of five practical and achievable tips to include in your telemarketing plan. 

#1 Prune Your Telemarketing Script

You very well might have a telemarketing script, but chances are it could use some pruning. The script could be outdated or overused, so look over your scripts and try to see them as your customers would. If you find that revising your script is challenging, refer to our articles on Cold Calling Scripts for Financial Advisor and Cold Calling Scripts for Banking.

#2 Research Your Telemarketing Database

In researching your telemarketing database, determine these three critical areas:

  1. Target Market: Determine the-
    1. Data Quality 
    2. Market Selection
    3. Competitor Analysis 
    4. Buyer Hooks
  2. Data Composition: Determine the-
    1. Job Roles
    2. Referral Opportunities 
  3. Value Proposition: Answer three questions- 
    1. What’s the product?
    2. Who is the intended user?
    3. What’s the utility?

#3 Segment Your Telemarketing Lists

There are many ways in which your business can segment prospects, but here are 8 ways we suggest for segmenting your telemarketing list:

  1. Past Purchases: A segment of individuals who have already purchased from your business.
  2. Brand Knowledge: A segment based on the level of knowledge about the brand. You can use the amount of purchases to help determine the level of brand awareness. 
  3. Age: A segment that separates individuals by age ranges of your choosing. 
  4. Geographical Location: A segment based on zip code, city, state, etc. 
  5. Customer’ Job Roles: A segment based on the individual’s role in their company. For instance: sales, management, c-level.
  6. Abandoned Shopping Carts: A segment based on the prospects who were close to purchasing but for whatever reason didn’t follow through with the purchase. 
  7. Gender: A segment based on the prospect’s gender. 
  8. In-Store Vs. Web Store: A segment based on if the prospect is purchasing through the internet or in the store. 

#4 Improve Your Telemarketing Lists

We have compiled a list of 7 tips to consider as you improve your telemarketing list:

  1. Strategies before calling
    • Pick which market or markets you want to target:
    • Study the competitors (pricing, services, etc.) 
    • Monitor social networks to understand the ideal customer better
    • Create a script with an interesting intro (thought provoking question, sales hook, etc.)
  2. Train agents to identify buyer issues:
    • Ask questions about how the customer likes the service/product, including the customer service of your organization. 
    • Give surveys through the website, email, etc. 
  3. Work out techniques to get past the ‘gatekeeper’:
    • Gatekeepers are usually the secretaries/receptionists who prevent your calls from going to the decision maker. It’s important to reveal little information to them so they transfer you to the decision-maker.
    • Train agents to sound authoritative so they are more likely to be sent directly to the decision maker. 
  4. Build rapport with ‘decision-makers’:
    • Agents need to be trained to sound empathetic, this is a powerful persuasion technique to appeal to the decision-maker.
    • Agents also need to adjust their phrases and wording according to how the ‘decision-maker’ talks. 
  5. Train callers on smart questioning techniques:
    • Create a questionnaire on information that is most valuable to you, but don’t make the list too long. Prospects don’t want to be overwhelmed by questions. 
    • Questions need to be short. Include pauses between the customer’s answer and your next question. 
    • Ask the questions in a casual tone, not one of urgency or overly enthusiasm. 
  6. Focus on handling objections: 
    • Show empathy at the objections.
    • Then show the value of the product.
    • Find a compromise in pricing, delivery, addition of another product, etc.
    • Ask the prospect another time to call when it’s more convenient for them.
  7. Follow-up:
    • Update the prospect on any new sales, new products, or any changes in the company.
    • If they are a customer, get their feedback on the product.
    • Be sure to call/email the customer back on the exact day that you told them you were going to.

 #5 Optimize the Number of Telemarketing Calls You Make

Optimize the number of calls you make and use your time wisely. Apply proven cold calling techniques to make your telemarketing more effective and worth your time and the prospect’s time. Be prepared for any questions or objections they might have and if you do not know the answer, ensure them that you will find out the solution for them. 

Another way to optimize the calls you make and increase sales is through pre-recorded messages. When an agent gets sent to voicemail they simply say “Hi [insert person’s name] then click one of the prerecorded messages. This type of software can increase productivity and help agents get through numbers quicker. The Cricket Click Dialer offers this tool and is conveniently located on your desktop for easy access. 

3 Telemarketing Tips for Advanced Telemarketers

Your business may be established in telemarketing but what differentiates intermediate telemarketers from advanced telemarketers are three things: tested and verified telemarketing strategies, nurturing the leads that the telemarketer has already acquired, and measuring the ROI of the telemarketing efforts. 

#1 Test Your Telemarketing Strategies

The best way to know if your telemarketing strategy will be successful is to see if competitors have tested the same strategy. Since telemarketing has been around since the 80’s it has had plenty of time for trial and error on various strategies. By now, it can be relatively easy to pick a successful strategy used by others in the industry and make the strategy conform to the company’s needs. 

Another way to check your strategy is by testing it with prospects, making notes, collecting data on the responsive rate, and then comparing the data to old strategies. 

#2 Nurture the Telemarketing Leads You Get

You can’t be successful if you aren’t able to create loyal customers. And you need to create sales-ready leads for that. Gaining new customers is highly important, but the majority of business income comes from repeat customers. 

The sales process needs to be professional, organized, and personalized to suit the customer from the initial contact to the follow-up. If a customer has bought from your company once and is willing to do it again, show gratitude. If possible, offer them a discount or a gift. 

#3 Measure the ROI of Your Telemarketing Efforts

ROI is a marketing term that stands for the return on investments. It can be measured by subtracting the current value of the telemarketing investments from the cost of telemarketing investment, which then gives you the net return. Divide the net return by the cost of the investment and you will have the ROI. 

Keep track of the ROI as your company continues to invest in telemarketing to ensure you are increasing the return on your money. 

How to Start a Telemarketing Business

There are many steps and details to consider when starting a telemarketing business. To see a brief overview, check the five most crucial steps in implementing telemarketing to your business. 

  1. Outsource vs. Insource: Determine if your telemarketing will be done by your employees or if you will hire a third party to do it for you. If your company wants to insource the telemarketing service, you’d need software capable of operating the calls. A good option to consider is EVS7’s Telephone Answering Service called Fox TAS
  2. Establish your company’s target market by considering what product or service you’re selling, who will purchase/need it, and who your competitors are. 
  3. Gather a list of targeted consumers who you want to call and be sure you get your numbers from a reliable source that updates the list often. Also, be sure to abide by all rules and regulations
  4. Create a script that allows formality and personalized selling. The telemarketers have to adapt to the person they are selling to in order to make the sale, yet they also need direction in where to lead the conversation. 
  5. Create a pipeline that shows you and the sales staff where their prospects are in the sales process. This creates motivation and helps management set goals. 

Know the Best Practices in Telemarketing

In another article, we break down the best practices for telephone lists and the upkeep of your database. Here is what we included:

  1. Organization: How you choose to organize and sort your list depends on what the company deems important. We suggest organizing the list by state, city, zip, etc. 
  2. Determine who can access the database: Your phone list should be treated with caution. Not only did your company have to spend money on them but given to the right people, they could also be sales. The phone number list should be given to people who can turn the prospects into sales.
  3. Develop your database: Databases are storehouse knowledge centers for your sales staff. They are essential for knowledge gain and sharing among your sales staff. Train the sales staff to develop the database by updating information on customers and adding new information when they can. This will help in making future sales and keeping customer notes. 
  4. Maintain your database: Delete obsolete records regularly to keep the database up to date and check your phone list frequently against the Do Not Call list provided by DNC.com

Choose the Best Telemarketing Software 

When looking for telemarketing software for your business, consider the following:

  • What are the calling limitations, if any? 
    • Ideally, you will want to look for software that offers unlimited calling to local or toll-free numbers. 
  • Ease of use in dialing
    • You don’t want your telecalling executives to waste their time and energy by looking back and forth at phone numbers while calling the prospects. To avoid this look for a power dialer
  • How can you avoid call drops and delays?
    • Dropped calls or “telemarketer delays” act as an obstacle to achieving sales. Therefore, find high-quality dialing software that eliminates this delay by routing calls to the available calling agents.
  • Do you want the software to be compatible with your CRM?
    • Look for a dialer software that comes with built-in CRM features, through which you can easily keep track of customer contacts, call lists, and campaigns.
  • Do you require reports on your telemarketing campaigns?
    • This feature may be necessary for your company to track the progress of your telemarketing campaigns. A power dialer allows you to look separately at inbound and outbound metrics, review call logs, the number of voicemails and missed calls received. 
  • Would software that gives reminders be helpful? 
    • If so, find software with the ability to set Callback Reminders with its built-in PC based reminder calendar.
  • Would an email automation tool be helpful?
    • Most high-end dialers will allow you to simply choose and click to send six different pre-typed emails to your customers and prospects while being on the phone.

Run Successful Telemarketing Campaigns

To put your campaign on the right track start at the beginning by setting objectives and parameters. Then, determine how you will measure success for the objectives and parameters. The measures don’t necessarily need to be metrics, they can be non-numerical goals based on activities accomplished. 

However you measure the goals though, use them to keep track of the company’s success. Once you’ve done that, make a campaign budget and stick to it. The budget should help keep your company in check on how much spending is put into its telemarketing.

Lastly, write down the objective/parameters, measures of success, and budget to then create a timeline and put your plan into action! Learn all about running a successful telemarketing campaign with TelephoneLists.Biz!

Works Cited 

“Telemarketing”. Investopedia, 2020, https://www.investopedia.com/terms/t/telemarketing.asp. Accessed 8 Dec 2020.

“Telemarketing Definition – What Is Telemarketing”. Shopify, 2020, https://www.shopify.com/encyclopedia/telemarketing. Accessed 8 Dec 2020.

“How To Start Telemarketing In Your Business | Nibusinessinfo.Co.Uk”. Nibusinessinfo.Co.Uk, 2020, https://www.nibusinessinfo.co.uk/content/how-start-telemarketing-your-business. Accessed 9 Dec 2020. 

“The Telemarketing Sales Rule”. Consumer Information, 2020, https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0198-telemarketing-sales-rule. Accessed 10 Dec 2020.

“12 Worst Cold Calling Mistakes And How To Fix Them”. Business Residential Telemarketing Phone List | USA | Canada, 2021, https://www.telephonelists.biz/blog/12-worst-cold-calling-mistakes-and-how-to-fix-them/. Accessed 6 Dec 2020. 

“What Is Cold Calling?”. Business Residential Telemarketing Phone List | USA | Canada, 2021, https://www.telephonelists.biz/blog/what-is-cold-calling/. Accessed 8 Dec 2020.

3 Major Telemarketing Business Challenges And Their Solutions”. Business Residential Telemarketing Phone List | USA | Canada, 2021, https://www.telephonelists.biz/blog/3-major-telemarketing-business-challenges-solutions/. Accessed 13 Dec 2020. 

The Secrets To Planning A Successful B2C Telemarketing Campaign”. Business Residential Telemarketing Phone List | USA | Canada, 2021, https://www.telephonelists.biz/blog/the-secrets-to-planning-a-successful-b2c-telemarketing-campaign/. Accessed 7 Dec 2020.

“Want To Grow Your Business? Understand Telemarketing Rules And Regulations”. Business Residential Telemarketing Phone List | USA | Canada, 2021, https://www.telephonelists.biz/blog/want-to-grow-your-business-understand-telemarketing-rules-and-regulations/. Accessed 10 Dec 2020.