What is a Telemarketer?

A telemarketer is a phone-based sales representative, working in employer call centres or for third-party call centre firms.

Using leads generated through a company's marketing department, the telemarketer's primary role is to try and sell goods or services to 'prospects'. Telemarketers typically never meet their customers face-to-face, therefore an excellent telephone demeanour is imperative, as is mastering the art of convincing a customer to invest in what you are selling.

What does a Telemarketer do?

A telemarketer working at a call centre with other telemarketers.

Telemarketers are the main source of sales and profits for many companies, and are the backbone of the telemarketing industry. Telemarketing has become one of the largest industries in many countries, and provides millions of people with employment.

However, not everyone can be successful as a telemarketer. Telesales (telemarketing + sales) involves the art of having to be patient, persuasive, and friendly all at the same time. A good telemarketer with a successful rate of sales is highly valued in a call centre, and can receive a high income through bonuses.

Successful traits of a telemarketer:

  • Speaks clearly
  • Speaks intelligibly
  • Speaks without halting or stumbling over words
  • Can read well
  • Is friendly
  • Is polite
  • Listens well
  • Can handle questions easily and knowledgeably
  • Knows the company product or service extremely well

The most common form of telemarketing is outbound sales, where the telemarketer is constantly making sales calls to consumers or businesses. Telemarketers are given phone numbers of prospects to call. These phone numbers are either bought from another company, or received in response to some type of survey,.

Inbound telemarketing is the opposite, where the telemarketer waits for their phone to ring. An example of this is late night advertising on television, where a consumer picks up their phone, calls the toll free number that is displayed, and willingly buys an exercise program, or an amazing gizmo that slices and dices.

Most individuals that start out in telemarketing usually move on to other types of employment, as this type of work is not as easy as one thinks. Anyone that lasts in telemarketing even for a little while does pick up some useful skills that are highly valued by other employers, such as:

Learning how to:

  • Deal with a variety of people
  • Listen and communicate effectively
  • Sell products or services based on customer needs
  • Handle responsibility
  • Be organized (by keeping records of client interactions)
  • Handle a work schedule (arriving on time)
  • Work under pressure
  • Work under time constraints

Are you suited to be a telemarketer?

Telemarketers have distinct personalities. They tend to be enterprising individuals, which means they’re adventurous, ambitious, assertive, extroverted, energetic, enthusiastic, confident, and optimistic. They are dominant, persuasive, and motivational. Some of them are also conventional, meaning they’re conscientious and conservative.

Does this sound like you? Take our free career test to find out if telemarketer is one of your top career matches.

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What is the workplace of a Telemarketer like?

A telemarketer can work in either a call centre or from a home office; with most working out of a call centre. Telemarketers typically work in a cubicle amongst many other telemarketers.

Because of the noise in the background, some companies opt to have their employees work out of their home. This might be a perfect job opportunity for stay-at-home-moms (or dads), and disabled individuals.

Telemarketers are also known as:
Telemarketing Sales Representative Telephone Sales Representative Telephone Service Representative Telesales Representative Telesales Specialist