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  1. 1. Brief 590 Chronicle Guidance Publications Telemarketers Occupational Brief Title Codes: Telemarketers (tele`mar-ket-ers) make and receive telephone calls to sell D.O.T.: 299.357-014 goods, market services, gather and deliver information, take orders, make reserva- G.O.E.: 08.02.08 tions, provide instructions, listen to complaints, or handle miscellaneous business. S.O.C.: 41-9041 O*NETTM: 41-9041.00 Telemarketing is a branch of marketing and selling, and is an integral part of N.A.I.C.S.: 561422 customer service. Marketing involves finding the most likely customers for a H.O.C.: ESC product or service and then targeting those customers for sales. Marketing moves goods and ideas from sellers to buyers. Work Classification Based Related Telemarketers sell products and services over the telephone. They make large D.O.T. Occupations: numbers of calls to prospects, attempting to sell a company’s product or service Telephone-Answering-Service themselves, or to arrange appointments between prospects and outside sale Operators representatives. They use the telephone to keep in touch with current customers, Telephone Clerks Telephone-Directory Deliverers and keep consumers up-to-date on new products or services. An advantage of Telephone Operators telemarketing is that it offers direct contact with potential customers. Telephone Quotation Clerks Telemarketers usually work for one of two kinds of business. Some are part of the in-house staff of medium to large companies or corporations. Interests Based Related Telemarketers employed by these firms make or take calls for their own company G.O.E. Occupations: only. Other telemarketers work for a telemarketing service agency. They make or Group-Sales Representatives receive calls for the clients of the agency. They serve companies who need Membership Solicitors telemarketing services only for certain times, or who want to test a program, or Sales Representatives, Door-To-Door Subscription Crew Leaders who prefer that a different company manage this operation. These agencies Telephone Supervisors sometimes specialize in certain fields such as fund-raising, campaigns, product Telephone Switchboard Operators sales, or insurance. Telemarketing consists of inbound and outbound activities. In inbound Skills Based Related telemarketing, representatives receive calls from existing or potential customers. O*NET Occupations: They may take orders, make reservations, offer information, answer questions Advertising Sales Agents about products, or receive complaints. In outbound telemarketing, representatives Driver/Sales Workers Insurance Sales Agents Retail Salespersons Sales Representatives, Agricultural Sales Representatives, Instruments Noteworthy Quote: “Telemarketing is a very challenging field where your communication skills, persistence, and patience are tested admirably. The ability to talk to a variety of people with diverse backgrounds is a great learning experience. This skill is valued by many companies. Those who succeed in this field will blossom into great marketers, and will be able to climb the corporate ladder in an accelerated manner.” –Phani Tej Adidam, Ph.D., Executive Education Professor of Business Administration, University of Ne- braska at Omaha Telemarketers or telephone salespeople sell products and services over the telephone. Photo by CGP © 2005 Chronicle Guidance Publications, Inc., Moravia, NY 13118 Printed in United States of America, December 2005 Visit our Web Site
  2. 2. call prospective customers to try to sell them goods or likes and dislikes about certain products. They may ask if services such as types of insurance or credit cards. customers were satisfied with a product they had or- Telemarketing employees of large firms or corporations dered. They may gather demographic information for may handle both inbound and outbound calls but those government agencies. Some telemarketers canvass voters working for telemarketing agencies usually do one or the for political candidates. They may work for a charity other exclusively. organization in a fund-raising campaign. They may sell season tickets for a symphony orchestra. Work Performed Due to federal, state, local laws, business codes and Most inbound telemarketing consists of order process- regulations, telemarketers must properly identify themselves. ing and customer service. Normally customers speak with All outbound calls must properly disclose, in a clear manner, an inbound representative when calling an 800-number. the identity of the seller. They must explain the purpose of They may want to place an order for goods they saw on a the call is to sell goods or services. They must present the home shopping television network, in a televised advertise- nature of the goods or services being offered, and in the ment, in a catalog, or advertised in a magazine. They may case of a prize promotion, that no purchase is necessary to want to make airline or hotel reservations, buy tickets for a win. It is important that telemarketers are clear and concise concert or sports event, answer a classified ad, or ask for so that customers understand the reason for a call. more information about products or services. Telemarketers taking inbound calls and 800-number Working Conditions calls take down the caller’s name and address, and infor- The work environment for telemarketers can range mation on the item such as catalog number, size, quantity, from an office with four or five telemarketers to a large and other details. If the operation is automated, they enter telemarketing center with hundreds of telemarketers this information into a computer, which may already be working with toll-free telephone lines and computer programmed to list choices and availability. They enter the terminals. Many of these centers have automatic call caller’s credit card number, method of shipment, shipping distribution that evenly distributes incoming calls among address, and other information. operators to insure prompt response. At this point the transaction is complete. The The work is repetitious. Telemarketers can make and telemarketers may transfer the order to shipping clerks or receive almost 100 calls a day and repeat the same order fillers. Sometimes, however, telemarketers also message or answer the same questions over and over. ) encourage customers to buy related items)a jacket to Telemarketers often get rejections ranging from a match an order for pants, or an extension telephone along polite refusal to a slammed-down receiver. Most calls in with a request for telephone service, for instance. This is telemarketing, in fact, do not result in sales. Some people known as cross selling. find this kind of work discouraging. Turnover in this line of With customer service calls telemarketers take incom- work is high. In cities where there are several ing calls to answer questions, provide instructions, or telemarketing companies workers often move from one explain products and their uses. For products that require company to the next over a period of time. precise or technical expertise, they may collect information about the problem and then hand off the information or the Hours and Earnings call to a technical consultant. Telemarketing agencies hire telemarketers to work both In outbound telemarketing, telephone salespeople make part and full time. Many telephone sales representatives numerous daily calls to new and existing customers from a work part-time because of the long hours of sitting and the provided list. The names of the people they call may be stress of rejections. Many work about 20 to 30 hours a from a list of former customers, reply cards from maga- week. For this reason, telemarketing can be a good job for zines, or a list bought from another company. Calls are persons interested in part-time work. Telemarketing is targeted to people or companies thought likely to have a sometimes an employee’s second job. Since many use for the product or service. telemarketing agencies need staff at unusual hours, In most outbound calls telemarketers follow a scripted telemarketers can usually find work during the hours that sales presentation when calling on customers. They present match their own lifestyles. Full-time jobs are available with the features or benefits of the product and inform current companies that conduct in-house telemarketing operations. and prospective customers of new or upgraded products They may work about 40 to 60 hours a week. and current promotions. Telemarketers then must enter Work shifts vary with the kind of telemarketing. prospective client information into a database, hand off Agencies and centers taking airline and hotel reservations, sales leads to appropriate departments/personnel, distribute for instance, employ telemarketers twenty-four hours a materials by mail or e-mail as needed, and answer custom- day, every day of the year. Telemarketers calling consum- ers’ questions, concerns and requests. ers at home usually work evenings and weekends. These outbound calls also serve other purposes. Customer service calls take place in normal business Telemarketers sometimes conduct surveys to learn the hours. Telemarketers who make calls to other time zones reasons behind the buying habits of consumers, and their may work earlier or later than the local business hours.
  3. 3. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2004, phone scams and fraud. Many states require some kinds of telemarketers earned an average of $23,490 a year. Earn- telemarketing centers to register each year with the state. ings ranged from a high of more than $37,250 a year to a They forbid misleading statements or partial truths and low of less than $14,490 a year. Wages vary depending on sales calls pretending to be surveys. Several states prohibit geographic location, employer, and years of experience. random and sequential dialing. In 2003, the Federal Trade The kind of telemarketing also affects pay rates. Commission started the Do Not Call Registry. The Registry Part-time employees contacting consumer prospects earn lets people sign up their phone numbers so that telemar- from the minimum wage to $15.00 an hour in most regions. keters cannot call them. To date, almost 60 million people Telemarketers making sales presentations in outbound calls have registered their phone number. earn higher pay. Pay scales for experienced telemarketers The Direct Marketing Association (DMA), which making business calls are also higher. Most part and full-time represents about 5,200 member companies, has drafted telemarketers earn a salary plus a bonus or a commission on ethical guidelines for telemarketers. It also offers an the goods they sell or the sales leads they develop. A education foundation, numerous research tools, information significant part of earnings may be in the form of commis- on governmental issues, and employment opportunities. sions, which can vary considerably, depending on perfor- The American Teleservices Association (ATA) also mance. Telemarketers who take inbound calls for direct promotes ethical telemarketing practices. ATA represents marketing, catalog, or home shopping networks usually work the call centers, trainers, consultants, and equipment for a straight hourly rate. Salary usually increases as suppliers that initiate and generate telephone, Internet, and telemarketers advance. e-mail sales, service, and support. ATA offers information regarding government affairs and industry research, as well Education and Training as forums, advanced education and training opportunities, Most telemarketing centers and agencies prefer persons and many other member benefits. with at least a high school diploma. Useful high school subjects include English, business, and computer science. Personal Qualifications Agencies that serve clients with high-technology products Telemarketers should have a pleasant telephone voice sometimes hire persons from that field and train them in that projects sincerity and confidence. They should be able telephone skills. In order to obtain a full time position, to sense how people are reacting and how to keep them persons must have a minimum of two years of college or interested. Telemarketers should have an alert mind, be equal credit hours, technical training or hands on experience. able to work well with details, and have good computer and Before making or receiving calls, telemarketers must data entry skills. receive adequate training in professional telemarketing It is important for telemarketers to develop a relation- skills and follow recognized procedures and practices for ship with the customers. Representatives should relate to proper etiquette and courtesy. clients in order to make the conversation comfortable. Telemarketers get a great deal of on-the-job training. Skilled telephone sales representatives can think Instructors explain how the equipment works and discuss quickly and answer smoothly and tactfully. Excellent the products or services and the companies the communication skills and a demonstrated ability to work telemarketers will represent. They show the trainees how with difficult customers are a necessity. Detachment can to use the scripts. Trainees learn to use their voice, to help telemarketers when they get refusals. deliver a script, and to listen. They learn sales techniques Occupations can be adapted for workers with disabili- and measures to calm angry customers. ties. Persons should contact their school or employment Volunteer telemarketing is a good way to get experi- counselors, their state office of vocational rehabilitation, or ence. The Public Broadcasting System conducts their state department of labor to explore fully their indi- fund-raising campaigns several times a year. Volunteers vidual needs and requirements as well as the requirements take the incoming calls. Political parties and candidates of the occupation. often need volunteers to make telephone calls. Churches, schools, and other nonprofit organizations also need Where Employed volunteer telephone solicitors. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, about 410,360 telemarketers were employed throughout the United Licensing, Certification, Unions and Professional States in the year 2004. Large agencies with several hundred Societies telemarketers are in large cities near business headquarters Telemarketers must be trained and aware of all and a large labor market. Big corporations often have their applicable federal, state, and local laws; business codes; telemarketing centers in cities where salaries and operating and regulations. The government bodies administering costs are low. these laws include the Federal Communications Commission Firms that sell their goods through catalogs often have (FCC), The Federal Trade Commission (FTC), and federal their telemarketing centers near their headquarters. and state attorneys general offices. These guidelines and Department store chains may have them in the cities and laws are intended to protect consumers from unscrupulous towns where they have their stores.
  4. 4. Employment Outlook Direct Marketing Association, 1120 Avenue of the The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that the number Americas, New York, NY 10036-6700. Web site: of jobs for telemarketers will decline though the year 2012. The outlook depends on whether companies continue using telephone calls to sell goods and services. Some direct selling Acknowledgments has moved to the Internet and e-mail. Some selling takes Chronicle Guidance Publications appreciates the place by postal mail. The outlook also depends on whether cooperation of the following who reviewed the information enough people answer the phone when marketers call. Many in this brief. people screen calls. Others ask telemarketers to take them off the call list. The national Do Not Call registry is also Phani Tej Adidam, Ph.D., Executive Education Professor expected to affect sales made through telemarketing, which in of Business Administration, University of Nebraska at turn will affect the number of jobs. Omaha, 60th & Dodge Streets, Omaha, NE 68182. Entry Methods Most companies recruit through want ads in newspa- pers. Job titles in these ads can vary. They may ask for O*NETTM is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, telephone salespeople, telephone solicitors, service sales Employment and Training Administration. representatives, telesales representatives, inside salesper- sons, or telemarketers. Some ads may specify a field, such H.O.C. codes adapted and reproduced by special permission of the as telemarketers for newspaper service. publisher, Psychological Assessment Resources, Inc., Odessa, FL Job seekers should check with agencies that place 33556, from the Dictionary of Holland Occupational Codes-Third part-time or temporary workers. Job seekers should also Edition, by Gary D. Gottfredson, Ph.D., and John L. Holland, Ph.D. Copyright 1982, 1989, 1996 by PAR, Inc. register with the state employment office. Those interested in working in in-house centers should write, call, or e-mail the personnel offices of the companies that have them. People who have done volunteer telephone calling, sales, or promotional work should list these activities on applications Briefs Related to This Title and resumes. Advertising Agency Workers. Brief 113. Job seekers should be aware that some firms interview Agricultural Supply Sales Representatives. applicants over the telephone. Employers do this to judge the Brief 498. applicant’s telephone voice, confidence, and assertiveness. Automobile Salespersons. Brief 133. Advancement Automotive Parts Salespersons. Brief 307. Large companies tend to promote telemarketing staff Marketing Researchers. Brief 254. rather than hire outsiders. The growing need for middle man- Product Demonstrators. Brief 299. agers who serve as training managers or operations managers Public Opinion Researchers. Brief 583. will open opportunities for advancement. These managers Radio and Television Time Salespersons. hire, train, and motivate new workers. They prepare reports, Brief 309. schedule workers, make projections, and coordinate opera- Retail Salespersons. Brief 15. tions. Writing telemarketing scripts is another possibility. Sales Agents, Business Services. Brief 228. Promotions are also possible to positions as call center Sales Agents, Insurance. Brief 218. managers, service managers, sales directors, and account Securities Sales Representatives. Brief 433. executives. Advancement to higher management almost always requires a college degree in business administration, For a complete list of brief and reprint titles marketing, or a related discipline. with current pricing information call: In telemarketing agencies, telemarketers may become assistant managers and then managers. Some of these Chronicle Guidance Publications, Inc. managers get a commission on the net sales of the agency. 66 Aurora Street Their earnings can be very high. Moravia, New York 13118-3569 Phone 1 800 622-7284 FAX (315) 497-3359 For Further Research Visit our Web Site at American Teleservices Association, 3815 River Crossing Parkway, Suite 20, Indianapolis, IN 46240. Web site: Occupations discussed or illustrated should be considered valid for all persons regardless of disabilities, age, sex, or race.