How Do I Become a Telemarketer?

Telemarketers make sales over the phone, using marketing techniques to interest customers in the products and services they offer. Learn about the training needed to gain a job in telemarketing, the job duties of this position and the salary potential. Schools offering Sales & Marketing degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Job Duties Will I Have as a Telemarketer?

Telemarketers make sales for businesses via telephone. You will call potential customers who are on a list, or you might answer calls from consumers responding to ads. While you'll use a prepared script when talking to potential customers, you may sometimes vary that script to sound more spontaneous or to make the pitch more appealing to a specific customer. Prospective customers might be private consumers or business representatives. You will record successful sales on a computer along with the customer's payment method and personal information.

Many telemarketers work in call centers surrounded by numerous other telemarketers. Telemarketing jobs range from full-time, part-time and temporary positions. Some telemarketers seek donations for causes rather than business sales.

Do I Need Any Education?

A high school diploma is recommended for telemarketers, but not all companies demand it. Most companies don't mandate a college degree for their telemarketers, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), yet some firms prefer employees with a college education (www.bls.gov).

According to the U.S. Department of Labor's career database, O*Net, 59% of telemarketers had a high school diploma or equivalent, while 30% had less than that level of education (www.onetonline.org). If you decide to pursue a college education, you could study courses that teach theories and skills in marketing, sales and communications. You will also need computer skills and a strong command of written and spoken English.

Will My Employer Provide Job Training?

You will probably complete a short training period when hired for a telemarketing position. Your on-the-job orientation may include learning how to make successful sales calls, listening as seasoned telemarketers interact with customers and comprehending the laws that govern the telemarketing industry.

What Could I Earn?

The median salary for telemarketers was $22,310 in May 2010, the BLS reported. The top ten percent in the field earned $38,500, while the bottom ten percent earned $16,480 per year. The industry of business support services had the highest employment concentration at this time.

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