Thursday, October 7, 2010

Another call center post - how to telemarket and keep your sanity

I've written several posts in my Empoprise-BI business blog about call centers, but I've never gotten around to the major issue with call centers.

For outbound call centers, you have to make calls.

I happen to know someone who recently started a telemarketing job, and the person was drained by the first day. Some people have a personality for telemarketing, and some don't. I wondered if there were any tips that would help telemarketers deal with the pressures of the job. I found a Michael Russell article, and looked to see what advice he provided. Here's one tip:

Telemarketers are given a script. They are told under no uncertain terms to follow the script. But the truth is, these scripts can get annoying and make you sound like a robot. So if you find an opportunity to get away from the script, even a little bit, do it. Don't let your supervisor bully you. If he should catch you and asks you why you deviated from the script, tell him that you felt it was necessary to do so. If you ended up making a sale, show him your sheet. That should shut him up.

More tips here.

eHow provided another tip:

Develop a simple spiel.

That sounds like it could certainly help, and even if the simple spiel leads to an equally simple rejection, perhaps that just means that you can make more calls. (Ironically, while I was writing this paragraph, I received a telemarketing call from a full services financial firm. I let him give his simple spiel, then told him that it wouldn't be necessary for him to send the information he wanted to send to me. I'm sure that he made his next call within ten seconds of the termination of our brief conversation.)

However, the big question that a telemarketer has to face is how to deal with negative people. Unfortunately, when searching for information on this, I found a lot more information on how call recipients can deal with the negative presence of a telemarketer in their home. Perhaps the reason for this is that while you can be a recipient of telemarketing calls for a lifetime, one's stint as a telemarketer is generally quite short.

Any telemarketing manager will tell you privately that the people under his oversee are not loyal sled dogs to be fed, they are tires to be changed and the advancement structure is full of all sorts of checks and balances to make sure that the floor is always filled with the most skilled but underpaid voices at all times....

[T]here is no future on the calling floor, and a bad month is always fatal. Think you can't have a bad couple of weeks? Well you will, and you will be fired or (more likely) driven to quit, every time.
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