How to be Good at Telemarketing


"I would rather have the flu than do it," is how one sales professional describes telemarketing in Inc. magazine. Those receiving telemarketing calls aren't always excited about it either; the presence of the Federal Trade Commission's Do Not Call Registry is evidence of that. With those hurdles, telemarketing might seem next-to-impossible, but that's not the case. You can call those who request information from your company and current or former clients, and if you are telemarketing for a nonprofit, you're not subject to the restrictions of the Do Not Call Registry. If you put in the effort, there's no reason you can't be successful at telemarketing.

  • Practice your call script. Work on it so that it sounds natural and genuine. Read it aloud, then find someone to practice with you. Ask for your practice partner's feedback and incorporate it into your calls.

  • Review your call list. If you're calling individuals, make sure your list is Do Not Call-compliant. Consider what specific objections you may receive based on the information you have on your call list. Make certain your list is organized and legible.

  • Dial your call list. Speak slowly and project, and smile while you deliver the script you've practiced. Smiling actually makes your voice sound friendlier, making those you call more likely to be receptive. Continue through your call list, dialing consistently and talking to as many people as possible to increase your chances of a positive result.

  • Evaluate your calls. When you have a particularly good or especially difficult call, take a moment to consider what went well or what you could have done better. If you're having a lot of difficulty, ask someone to listen to your calls and give you some advice as to how to improve. Incorporate what you learn into your next call, and keep dialing.

Tips & Warnings

  • Attend local seminars on sales and telemarketing; these will give you new ideas and an opportunity to practice your skills with new people with a fresh perspective.
  • Don't allow yourself to be discouraged by calls that don't go well. Take a deep breath and call the next person or company.

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