Tips: Telemarketing Training and Etiquette

Professional telemarketers employ superior communications skills to understand customer problems, identify priorities for solving those problems and do all this in a way that is convenient, cost-effective, innovative, and timely.

If you opt for in-house telemarketing instead of outsourcing your campaigns, specific staff training is essential. Here are some key points:

  • Train staff to generate new business from customers already onboard. It costs six to eight times more to sell to a brand-new customer than to keep an existing one.
  • Know your product and its value. Prepare trainees to handle any situation that might arise. Knowing everything about the company and its products allows your telemarketers to emphasize unique points that can win the sale.
  • Sell by effective listening. Listening is the most effective communication skill. When a telemarketer lets prospects talk, sales happen.
  • Serve the customer. Train staff to help prospects solve problems from the buyer's perspective. People purchase for their own reasons, not to help the telemarketer reach his sales target.
  • Employ solution selling. Teach telemarketers to offer solutions based on those products that work to satisfy the customer's needs.
  • Overcome objections. Use a script to teach trainees how to close the deal.

Telemarketers likewise should work on cultivating a personal phone style and setting performance goals: Here are some guidelines to share with your callers.

  • Prepare mentally before a call shift. Align a positive mindset with your language, or the dialogue will sound contrived. Strive to develop a warm telephone voice that is friendly and casual.
  • Role-play your phone style before making calls, particularly if you are shy or self-conscious. Practice in front of a mirror using a good script. As you articulate your message, relax facial muscles and posture. Body language translates into voice quality. For good measure, tape your sessions; play them back and write down your observations. The first couple of tries may seem weak, but you will improve over time.
  • Focus on tone. Your voice should come across as professional, yet warm and direct. Go for a conversational feel – for instance: "We are offering half price on all our milkshakes until the end of the month. Have you ever stopped in when you’re in town? If not, how about giving us a try? We make the best strawberry milkshakes in the county.”
  • Make your workspace your happy place. Decorate with photos, quotes, awards, and art, and add some soft music to the mix. When you feel good, it shows in your delivery.
  • Maintain a steady pace. Experts suggest three minutes per call, which comes to about 20 calls per hour. This timeframe allows you to be friendly yet forces you to get down to business and reach your goals. Once you’ve finished a call block – 15 or so – take a quick break to relax, grab a breath of fresh air or drink a bottle of water.