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How to survive working as a telemarketer and a salesman

Updated on November 30, 2012

Real life tips to survive a telemarketing job.

Where should I start with this one. I think the title pretty much give you a jest of what this is all about. Telemarketing has made many rich, many poor and drove plenty of people insane that have to deal with the calls. The telemarketer is somewhat of america's punching bag, if someone on the other line is mad about something, be sure they will take it out on you. This job is not for the weak minded, well I guess it is sometimes, but you won't get very far without wits or thick skin.

Let me start by explaining why I know so much about this subject. I have worked a longggggg list of telemarketing jobs here in the telemarketing capital of the world. You think I am in India? Ha! No, I am in Pinellas County Florida. Home of the retirees, drug addicts and the secret world of telemarketing. I have been in customer service, collections, sales, management and training positions all throughout my phone career. It is a ruthless and cutthroat business, as most sales jobs are. You can expect high pressure, micro-management, and constant need to validate your value. You are as good as your current day. The saying, "What have you done for me lately" comes to mind and is the secret telemarketing managers motto.

Now I know I have pretty much bashed this field of work, but there are some pluses, granted you land in the right company.

My 1st Tip: Location, Location, Location.

Yes this is very important for a variety of different reasons. First you need something near you of course, that's kind of self-explanatory. A job that makes you travel very far for a little compensation will not last, you will start to go downhill fast. You will start to regret working there and almost feel trapped since you have allowed yourself no personal time to search for something else if needed. You want something close by, because if it is a fluke company then you will be out in the cold.

My 2nd Tip: Do your research!

Basic as it seems, it goes a long way. When you interview or apply for the position take a look around. Is there 200 bikes on the bike rack and 3 cars in the parking lot? Is there people dressed in raggedy clothes or professional outfits? Even look at the sales board and see how people are actually doing in there. I have been sold many a dreams. The manager in the interview will paint a rosy colored picture, tell you how sales are booming like never before and how you will have so much money in bonuses that you may want to get a financial advisor. Don't forget they are salesmen as well, and since they are in management, chances are they can sell a dream. So ask people that have worked there or heard of the company before. Do a online search and see what people say about the company. Don't let every bad thing you see deter you, some employees just were horrible at sales or came in with a negative attitude and you may have a different experience. Just analyze a little bit of everything and see if this might be the right place to work at!

My 3rd Tip: Do NOT get discouraged.

I have seen people with all of the abilities in the world at great companies fail. And why did they fail? Because negative feelings and attitudes and being let down when things did not come to fruition as they imagined. Set goals, but don't set the bar so high that it is unreachable and when you do not reach that goal you want out of the game. Be realistic, look at others in the room and see what they do differently then you. Mostly every place I have worked for has had a few high level salesman and no one else seemed to be able to get close to their sales. But those employees often never took lunch or cigarette breaks, and put 100% effort in to every call. In this business hard work does really pay off.

My 4th Tip: Don't take it personal!

I cannot stress how important this is, in so many aspects. Do not take people cursing at you on the phone personal. If they cursed you out because you called them, do you think if someone else called them they would have been happy and paid? Probably not, unless you are extremely charismatic. Also managers have a way of belittling people at certain times. Some managers have stress handed down to them by not reaching quotas and if you are not at your minimum, expect some unwanted attention. Whatever negatives you are told brush it off and keep moving, focusing on 1 minute of bad times will ruin your entire day. And sometimes people get defensive when someone is trying to coach them. Most management will try to help you get to where they need you to be and where you need to be. The more money you make, the more money they make, it's a business.

My 5th Tip: Getting paid.

Now hopefully you did your research, you worked hard and got into bonus! That's great! Now since you did your research, the company's check should clear. If you go to cash it and they say there are no funds, you are pretty much stuck. So you should have read the earlier tips and not skimmed to the last tip, that is your fault. Attention to detail is very important in this business, when it comes to learning, and selling. You better keep track of your sales, plain and simple. Because when you get paid the following week, you don't want to get shorted and you should have the proof to show them they owe you more money than what was paid. Proof in any business clears up issues right away. If they refuse to pay what they owe, then run away and call the labor board.


This is just an introduction to my telemarketing tips. Really just the tip of the iceberg. If you have any questions or comments, leave them and I will answer! Look for more tips on this business in the near future and thanks for reading!

- Gritty

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      Jason Greaves 4 years ago

      well I'm starting a new job which is telemarketing, and I want all the information that I need before I begin this new era in my life. This is something that I'v never done before so I need help in every area and direction as possible.