Sunday, March 2, 2008

Careers in Sales - Telemarketing

Do you enjoy talking on the phone? Are you a positive and upbeat person who doesn't take rejection personally but considers it as a motivation to keep on trying? Do you enjoy conversing with diverse people and encouraging them to try new products or services? If so, telemarketing might be the perfect position for you. Telemarketers, telephone solicitors, or sales representatives are people who ask for charitable donations, solicit information, and market or sell products or services by the phone. Their job duties include cold-calling prospective customers, delivering prepared sales talks, answering questions, recording contact information and much more.

The clients of telemarketers range from banks, schools, credit card or insurance companies, nonprofits, etc. Sound interesting? You bet it is! In this article, we'll discuss the outlook of telemarketing professionals, educational background and skills required, and much more. In essence, we'll provide you with a ton of information about this career so that you can decide whether telemarketing is right for you. So, without further adieu, let's discuss the career outlook for telemarketers.

Career Outlook

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, 415,000 people worked as telemarketers in 2004-2007. Currently there are many state and federal government laws that have placed strict restrictions on the telemarketing industry. For instance, people can now sign up for the "Do-Not-Call Registry" and telemarketers are prevented from contacting these people to inquire about their interest in products or services. This has significantly impacted the telemarketing industry.

Although the majority of telemarketers work in offices, a few of them work on a freelance basis and can be found making calls at home or from their own office. The majority of telemarketers work within corporate telemarketing departments whereas others work as freelancers and contract out their services. The most common industry that hires telemarketers is the retail and advertising industry.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the typical salary of telemarketers is $23,520 a year and they typically work days, evenings and even weekends.

Educational Background and Required Skills

Although a background in sales is preferred, there is no real educational experience required. However, most employers prefer that telemarketers have at least a high school diploma and some sales training. In many instances, telemarketers will be trained on the job and have some sales experience. Lastly, foreign language fluency is often preferred.

In addition to the above, most employers look for telemarketers who have these skills:

-Enthusiastic, personable, easy-going, upbeat and friendly
-High self esteem and a great sense of humor
-Resistant to stress and able to work in a highly stressful environment

-Flexible and decisive
-Proven ability to think quickly and handle irate customers with respect and dignity
-Clear telephone speaking voice
-Excellent telephone personalities
-Able to engage customers on the phone
-Great organizational skills
-Verbal and written communication skills
-Able to work collaboratively or as an independent team members

Disadvantages and Advantages
Now that we understand the educational background and required skills, let's discuss the advantages and disadvantages of this position:

-There is a high demand for this type of profession.
-Telemarketers may receive monetary compensation for exceeding sales quotas
-Those that work on a commission basis tend to get paid more.
-They are able to work effectively with diverse personalities
-Potential for advancement

-High employee turnover and low pay for hourly workers
-Telemarketing can be grueling and frustrating work
-Telemarketers often work long hours, including weekends and evenings
-There may be under tremendous pressure to meet sales quotas
-Telemarketers may receive rejections from irate customers

In conclusion, telemarketing is a very lucrative and fulfilling career opportunity. Although there are no educational requirements, telemarketers are rewarded for outstanding sales and computer skills. It is a position that seems to be in great demand and allows employees to utilize their strong verbal and communication skills in an effective manner.

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