What Skills make an Effective Telemarketer?

Assuming that you have chosen your telemarketing strategy what else do you need to deliver outbound calling success? It’s certain that you need the right blend of a clear target market, a good list to work from (with numbers and named decision-makers) and a clearly defined and compelling proposition. However, the critical missing component is the person that makes the calls.

But what are the key factors that make a successful telemarketer? Below we look at the main components. 

Are telemarketers born to be callers? – Maybe. There are certainly some traits that are natural to some and not others. People talk about the ‘gift of the gab’. Below is a list of some skills that perhaps support better quality telemarketing. Consider how you or your callers measure up!  The list is far from exhaustive and is only meant as a start. But it demonstrates that certain core skills are required and companies should not jeopardise their business and brand reputation by putting callers on the phone to prospects and clients that aren’t able to deliver against most or all of those requirements below.

      • A positive attitude and sunny disposition  
      • A strong belief that you have something that is of benefit to whoever you are calling
      • Good relevant product knowledge but not a features-heavy sales pitch. Understanding benefits is much more compelling.
      • A broad knowledge of the target marketplace
      • An understanding of the issues the target buyers face – what keeps them up at night?
      • Aptitude and confidence to converse with senior/key decision makers without worry
      • Good pace, pitch and tone and the ability to be natural and conversational, not scripted and stilted. 
      • The ability and knowledge to pose insightful and engaging questions
      • Excellent listening skills once the prospect answers your questions!
      • Excellent communicationand rapport building skills
      • The aptitude to be able to filter prospects out of your net as well as in. Not everyone is a prime prospect
      • Techniques to deal with tough Gatekeepers. You won’t get far if you don’t get through
      • The ability to handle and deflect objections that will inevitably come up from budget holders / decision-makers and gatekeepers
      • Time management skills to ensure calls are carried out on time and without becoming distracted
      • Consistency with calling hours. This is to ensure that momentum is built with calls and planned call-backs that will in turn build momentum
      • The willingness and dogged determination to have a go and to keep going in the face of rejection.  People saying no doesn’t matter, as long as a given percentage say yes
Ultimately, communication and rapport skills mixed with a good measure of passion and determination hold together good telemarketing. Without them, the rest will fall apart and the company will fail to achieve its sales objectives through telemarketing.
It is a fair to say that product knowledge can be learned but enthusiasm cannot. If your callers are not motivated, how will they motivate the potential buyers to purchase? Telemarketing techniques are useless without passionate and motivated use of them. All the product knowledge in the world and a great proposition will fall on deaf ears if the caller is subdued, dull and / or uninterested.

So, make sure the person that represents you on the phone exhibits most of the traits above. That’s how you will deliver more telemarketing success and generate more telemarketing appointments.

2 responses to “What Skills make an Effective Telemarketer?”

  1. John says:

    One that in my opinion you missed. The willingness to work for less than what you deserve. Professionals that work on the phone discovering new opportunities are worth more.

    • Jonathan Silverman says:

      Hi John

      It is a challenge to get organisations to value the skills that telemarketers bring to the party. It’s as much the responsibility of the organisation to support the callers with marketing impetus and skills training as it is the telemarketers’ responsibility to deploy the skills and be persistent.

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