Telemarketing Candidates – The Good, the Bad and the Ugly


Image Source – Christopher Michel (CC License)

Telemarketing is not a simple job that can be done by just anyone. It is a difficult job because it normally involves calling strangers. Often conversations do not flow as expected. Telemarketers must have the skills to deal with all types of people. Recipients of a telemarketing call may be courteous, uninterested or downright hostile from the first word the telemarketer utters. Telemarketing is not a job for the faint hearted. It takes perseverance and skill. This article will explore what traits you should look for when hiring telemarketers.

It goes without saying that the first step to ensure a successful telemarketing campaign is to hire the right people. The telemarketer is the company’s representative to potential clients. He or she is supposed to represent the company’s image and culture. The telemarketer is often the first point of contact with a potential client so a lot rides on the ability of a telemarketer to make a great first impression. Here are some points to consider when hiring telemarketers.

The Good

A good telemarketer should be confident, personable and persuasive as well as persistent. A good telemarketer displays professionalism at all times and under all circumstances. Companies should look to hire people who have the confidence, personality and stamina to handle rejection without taking it personally. A good telemarketer should always be cheerful and good-natured. One should treat each and every call as if it is the first call of the day. A good telemarketer should know how to gently persuade potential clients without appearing to be too pushy or overbearing to close the deal by the end of the call. Other factors to look for in a telemarketer include loyalty, passion for their job, quick thinking and intuition. Finally, listen to potential hires to find those with a pleasant, pleasing voice. The quality of the voice cannot be underestimated in terms of importance.

The Bad

There are some traits that hiring managers should be on the lookout for when hiring telemarketers. These traits include overbearing, pushy or over confident candidates. Other traits to avoid include shy, easily embarrassed or those applicants that have low self-esteem or low self-confidence. Hiring managers should also steer away from candidates who are easily frustrated because telemarketing has a very high rejection rate. Other traits that work against a telemarketer’s success include going off topic, failure to handle rejection, talking quickly, mumbling, or vague knowledge of the product they are trying to sell.

The Ugly

There is a breed of applicant that is totally wrong for a telemarketing position. Individuals who are cocky, disrespectful and overbearing cannot be successful in a telemarketing position. Typical traits you can use to identify such applicants include the use of derogatory terms, interrupting another and controlling the entire conversation, inability to actively listen and take direction. This kind of telemarketer lacks proper phone etiquette and often fails to recognize the right time to end a phone call. These individuals do not handle rejection well and often become aggressive if the recipient is not open to listening to their pitch.

Telemarketing is a tough industry and a tough job. Understanding the personal traits that lead to telemarketing success are crucial to hiring the right people. With the right people in place, good scripting and training a company can benefit greatly from using telemarketing services.


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Andy Dickens

Andy Dickens is a veteran of IT Sales, used to leading by example. He is the CEO of Virtual Sales Limited (VSL) who offer telesales, telemarketing, lead generation and appointment setting services to B2b businesses. He previously was Sales Director EMEA for Red Hat and before that ran sales at Visio before it was acquired by Microsoft.