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How Do I Become a Telemarketer?

K. Testa
K. Testa

A telemarketer is a salesperson who uses the phone to contact people about a particular product or service. With the right skills and access to available job opportunities, it is generally easy to become a telemarketer. You can usually obtain a telemarketing position with a minimal amount of education — most companies accept candidates with high school diplomas and offer on-the-job training. Having sales expertise can help a candidate stand out amongst the competition, however, as can earning a degree in a communication-related field. Some telemarketers work as employees for specific companies while others go into business for themselves, often working from home as independent contractors.

Most employers prefer a job candidate who wants to become a telemarketer to have earned at least a high school diploma. For those who wish to further their education, many colleges and universities offer associate's degrees or bachelor's degrees in fields such as communications or business. Regardless of one's major, some helpful courses to take to become a telemarketer include those in marketing, sales, and communications.

Most companies accept telemarketers with only a high school diploma.
Most companies accept telemarketers with only a high school diploma.

Since there are various types of phone marketing jobs, many new telemarketers are trained on the job. Selling a particular product, for example, might require different sales techniques than fundraising for a charity. Still other telemarketers do not sell anything at all — some conduct customer surveys or opinion polls to gather consumer data, for example. Each of these positions entails a unique set of skill requirements.

Consumers may buy products over the phone from telemarketers.
Consumers may buy products over the phone from telemarketers.

In addition to good sales skills, a pleasant speaking voice and an engaging personality could help you become a telemarketer. Furthermore, successful telemarketers usually have the ability to remain calm under pressure and to deal with rejection from people when on the phone. Many jobs require telemarketers to follow specific directions and work from scripts, though different phone marketing positions might have more latitude in terms of what telemarketers can say. As such, the ability to think quickly and creatively on one's feet is another beneficial trait. An additional skill that is normally helpful is familiarity with phone technology and software programs.

Many jobs are listed in local newspaper classifieds.
Many jobs are listed in local newspaper classifieds.

After deciding to become a telemarketer, you should determine whether you would prefer an office job, working at a call center, or working from home. You might work for a particular company, selling a specific product or service, or you could work as an independent contractor and work for a number of firms. If you decide to work from home, you might need to dedicate a separate space to use as a home office and acquire a business license.

A successful telemarketer will be able to deal with frequent rejection.
A successful telemarketer will be able to deal with frequent rejection.

Someone who wants to become a telemarketer can often find available jobs by consulting classified ads, both in print and online. Telephone sales and marketing research, for example, are two commonly advertised telemarketing positions. You might want to research companies before submitting applications to ensure they are legitimate and that they have existed long enough to establish good reputations.

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Discussion Comments

Logicfest

It seems that having a thick skin is invaluable to anyone wanting to become a telemarketer. Think about it -- how many people become furious when they pick up a phone and there's a telemarketer hawking some good or service on the other end? Telemarketers get cussed at, hung up on and generally verbally abused on a daily basis.

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    • Most companies accept telemarketers with only a high school diploma.
      By: Media Bakery
      Most companies accept telemarketers with only a high school diploma.
    • Consumers may buy products over the phone from telemarketers.
      By: auremar
      Consumers may buy products over the phone from telemarketers.
    • Many jobs are listed in local newspaper classifieds.
      By: Feng Yu
      Many jobs are listed in local newspaper classifieds.
    • A successful telemarketer will be able to deal with frequent rejection.
      By: sakkmesterke
      A successful telemarketer will be able to deal with frequent rejection.
    • Some telemarketers work as employees for specific companies while others go into business for themselves.
      By: WavebreakMediaMicro
      Some telemarketers work as employees for specific companies while others go into business for themselves.