Beginner Agent Telemarketing

Are you trying to take your telemarketing skills to the next level? Then this is the blog for you! You will find everything from the ‘Do’s and Don’ts’ of telemarketing to ‘how to schedule a follow-up’ and much more. These steps will help guide your process and save you from mistakes, while entering the telemarketing industry.   

What Is 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. 

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.

💡 If you want to start your own outbound call center, you can read our guide to starting a telemarketing business.

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: 

  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. 

10 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 Follow a Telemarketing Script

Develop a sales script that will grab your targeted audience’s attention and hold it. With each campaign your agents do, there needs to be a sales script to guide the conversation. The script needs to provide relevant information and enticing information, so the caller will want to buy or at the very least set a date for a follow-up call.

When creating the sales script for each campaign, think ‘what is in it for the customer?’ Will they get a discount if they buy now? Is there a limited-time sale? 

Once you give that ‘hook’ to keep them interested, the agent can go into the sales pitch. The sales script should have information like:

  • Who is calling (agent name) 
  • What the purpose of the call is 
  • How to call the agent/company back
  • And, of course, the incentive to call back. 

It’s highly encouraged to say the incentive more than once, it reminds the caller that they either want to act fast or call back to claim the incentive. 

 If you find that revising your script is challenging, refer to our article on How to Write a Cold Calling Script.

#2 Research Your Audience

Every business has a target audience. Now, some businesses might have larger target audiences than others, but there are defined audiences for each company. Knowing who buys your product, why they buy, how they buy, and when they buy, will help the company understand how to market and who to market, too. 

Fast Fact:

  • Only 37% of prospects feel that sales reps who had made calls to them delivered information relevant to their needs.

Understanding who your audience isn’t is just as important as understanding who your audience is. Your sales team doesn’t want to waste time on prospects who aren’t interested or aren’t ready to buy. 

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 Build Tactics to Go Past the Gatekeeper

The gatekeeper is anyone who does not make the purchasing decision. The objective is to always speak to the decision-maker, however, occasionally you will have to get past the gatekeeper. The best way to do this is by politely asking if you can speak to the decision-maker or asking for a way to contact them directly at a time when it’s convenient for them. 

Never disregard or disrespect the gatekeeper because they might have more say in the decision than you think. Also, you want to represent your company well, by respecting everyone you meet. 

#4 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. 

#5 Ask Effective Questions

Vague questions will get you vague answers, therefore, effective questions will give you effective answers. Ask 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. 

#6 Be Empathetic

Want to learn how to improve telemarketing sales? Then know the difference between sympathize and empathize. 

Sympathizing is when you try to show your understanding of someone’s situation when you have never experienced what they are experiencing. Empathizing, however, is when you show understanding to someone’s situation because you have experienced what the other person is going through. 

When you actively listen, you will be able to empathize and show understanding of the specific needs that need to be met and you will be able to gain their trust as well. 

It’s hard to sell something to a customer when you don’t use/believe in the product or service. So, remember your company has a product or service that will make their life better in some way and it’s your job to empathize with them and let them know that you understand their need for the product/service because you also needed the product/service. 

#7 Use Proven Follow-Up Strategies

When securing a follow up there are four strategies that are important to remember:

  • Get a Commitment (a specific day and time)
  • Be On Time (not early, not late, on time)
  • Refresh Their Memory (remind them of your name and business and briefly state what you discussed on the last call or email)
  • Don’t Pester the Prospect (give them time and don’t push the sale too much) 

You can dive deeper with our article on follow-up strategies.

#8 Use a Warm Tone of Voice

Since people can’t see your non-verbal cues, you must overcompensate with your voice. You want to portray a ‘warm’ tone. There are four effective telemarketing strategies to remember on your sales calls that will warm up your cold calling:

  • Add personal touches (ex. referring to them by their name)
  • Smile while you talk. People can hear the difference and it helps you remember to keep your voice friendly and light.
  • Timing is everything. Calling people when they are willing to talk, is sure to put them in a better mood for receiving a call. (ex. right after lunch or towards the end of a workday)
  • Allow for conversation. Pausing is a great way to allow the person room to talk. They don’t want to be talked at, they also want to add input and they will appreciate the opportunity to do so. 

#9 Expect Rejections 

People are going to say no, so you need to learn to handle rejections. No matter how much you target the phone list and no matter how good the sales script is, there are external factors that can hinder prospects from buying. Even though you will receive rejections, don’t assume that they will never be able or willing to purchase in the future. 

Try to uncover the reason for their rejection (e.g They don’t have the money to purchase, their business found another solution, etc). Knowing the reason will help you determine whether they will be a future candidate or whether they no longer fit the criteria for your target audience. 

 #10 Seek Permission for the Customer’s Time

Always consider the time of the call receipt. If they were nice enough to answer the phone and hear you out, be sure you don’t take advantage of that. Some prospects, of course, will want to continue a conversation with you, however, not everyone will have the time. A few ways you can seek the customer’s permission is by:

  • Assuring them that the call will be brief
  • Asking if now is a good time to talk 
  • Asking what day and time of day is best for them to discuss the offer or schedule a follow-up

5 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.

#4 Analyze Data Constantly

You might have a plan or a goal in mind of what you want to achieve, however, what does the data say? Is it achievable and if so, how? These are questions that can only be answered by looking at the data. 

Data can say a lot about what tactics work and don’t work, what the industry is doing, when the times right, and much more. Data does not lie. Therefore, knowing what the data says will help you make educated decisions and help you determine the outcome. 

Examples of data that needs to be analyzed:

  • Calls made until the sale
  • Duration of calls
  • Calls made per day
  • Returned calls from voicemails
  • Response from marketing campaigns (each campaign) 
  • Social media activity for each platform
  • Average customer spending within a time period 
  • Percentage of repeat customers and new customers

This list can be changed to suit your company’s needs and can include other data necessary to your business, but it is suggested to keep the amount of data limited to a manageable amount. 

It can be easy to overwhelm your staff with unnecessary data analysis, especially if your company doesn’t have the resources to do so. We recommend you to apply no more than 10 criteria, but you will be able to determine what number works best for your team and resources. 

#5 Have a Good Phone List

You are only as good as your phone list, so be sure to get the best one. Here are a few things to keep in mind when buying phone lists:

  • Buy from a trusted list broker
  • Scrubb your list against the DNC list
  • Segment the data so it’s more manageable and effective
  • Validate the prospects on the phone list
  • The more specific the phone list is to your target audience, the better! You won’t waste as much time on unqualified/uninterested leads and will have more time for qualified/interested ones. 

You can read further about how to choose a good telemarketing list.

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 

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“The Telemarketing Sales Rule”. Consumer Information, 2020, Accessed 10 Dec 2020.

“12 Worst Cold Calling Mistakes And How To Fix Them”. Business Residential Telemarketing Phone List | USA | Canada, 2021, Accessed 6 Dec 2020. 

“What Is Cold Calling?”. Business Residential Telemarketing Phone List | USA | Canada, 2021, Accessed 8 Dec 2020.

3 Major Telemarketing Business Challenges And Their Solutions”. Business Residential Telemarketing Phone List | USA | Canada, 2021, Accessed 13 Dec 2020. 

The Secrets To Planning A Successful B2C Telemarketing Campaign”. Business Residential Telemarketing Phone List | USA | Canada, 2021, Accessed 7 Dec 2020.

“Want To Grow Your Business? Understand Telemarketing Rules And Regulations”. Business Residential Telemarketing Phone List | USA | Canada, 2021, Accessed 10 Dec 2020.