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Telemarketing - IT IS NOT for Everyone!

Updated on August 22, 2014
Billrrrr profile image

Bill Russo is featured in the film & TV show, The Bridgewater Triangle & has written several books (both fiction & non) on Amazon Kindle.

If you have been seeking a job without success; here’s a field that’s wide open. You can get a tryout quite easily.

How much money you will make depends entirely on you, because the jobs are commission based.

The telemarketing industry, has two main types of jobs. The one you might like best is ‘taking incoming calls’. In this situation, you are one of the operators who fields the calls from the late night pitches for all the silly gadgets from Flowbees, to Shamwows, Shoesunder, and Ped-eggs.

You know the deal, some shill comes on TV with a chreap plastic 'food chopper' and he slices his way through a zillion veggies in 30 seconds and you think that when you get it, it is going to work like it does on the tube.

People cannot resist these shabby spiels because it looks like you are getting a ton of stuff for almost no money.

“But wait there’s more. If you call now we will double the order. As an added bonus, for the first fifty callers, we will triple the order. Call now. Operators are standing by”.

That’s the pitch. And you, if you take the job, will be one of those operators standing by and will be fielding the incoming calls. You will be responsible for clinching the sale and possibly for pumping up the purchase with other items.

I will explain more about this job later.

The second kind of telemarketing takes place in a ‘boiler room‘. This is an office divided into cubicles equipped with phones and pre-printed speeches.

You will either call prospects whose name you have been given or make ‘cold’ calls. Either way, you will be reading a script and will be responsible for making a certain number of sales per hour. Often there is very low, or no pay for these jobs other than the commission. That said, you can make pretty good money if you read the script and do not let the prospect go until you get a ‘yes’.

During the years I was responsible for raising a family, I often worked ‘boiler rooms’ as a second job. The money was pretty good. I always exceeded the quota. I was a good reader and pretended I did not hear them say no. I just kept plowing on until one of two things happened. They bought or they hung up the phone.

Boiler room work is really pretty easy. If you like to talk on the phone, you will do very, very well in a telemarketing job.

Back to the ‘Operator Standing By’ job. This one is not as easy as it sounds. I had a friend, a seasoned sales pro, who quit after just one night. Let’s call her Margo.

Margo hooked on with a company that handled products similar to Telebrands - The New Jersey company that is the number one firm in late night TV gadget advertising.

By no means a prude, Margo was disgusted with the number of obscene and wacky calls she got. Here are just two of the phone calls she fielded on her one and only night.

“Thank you for calling Krazy Chopper, may I take your order?”

“No dear“, said the caller, “I don’t want to order. I just want some help.”

“Do you need instructions on how to use the Krazy Chopper?”.

“No I need help with my kids.”

“I’m the Krazy Chopper operator, I cannot help you with your children. What’s wrong with them?”

“They’re teenagers. Three girls. Ages 13, 15, and 16. I have grounded them and they said they are going to tie me up and gag me and they are going out to a party and stay out overnight. I’m afraid. They are coming closer. Get Back you kids! Listen to your Mother. Go to your room! Back! Help me operator. I‘m scared.”

“Oh I’m sure they are just fooling with you,” said Margo. She did not hear anything for about a half minute.

“Are you still there?”, Margo inquired. Silence still. And then, through her earpiece she heard a gagging, muffled sound. The phone went dead.

“It got worse Bill”, she told me. We were selling that male enhancement stuff, Extens. Well I had a half a dozen guys say they wanted to order it but that I had to give them a phone demo on how to use it.

After a few hours dealing with moon crazed callers, one final call prompted her to quit.

“Hello, this is your operator. How many sets of the metal wallet would you like to order?”

“Oh you sound very nice. Before I order can you tell me how many colors it comes in?”

“Yes of course, it comes in gold, brown, red, green, black and blue.”

“That’s nice. Really nice. Oh it’s good. Now tell me can I keep credit cards in it?”

“Yes you can.”

The conversation went on for ten minutes. The caller kept asking question after question, keeping her talking. He began to have some difficulty talking. He was breathing heavily and had trouble getting his words out.

Margo was worried.

“Sir are you okay? Are you having a heart attack? Do you want me to call 911?”

“No!” he panted. “Just keep talking. I’m cumming.”

And thus ended the telemarketing career of my friend Margo.

Now that you know the worst. If you need a job and can wade through the garbage, this may be for you.

Good luck. If you take this type of employment, please check back and tell us your experiences.

If this is not for you, and it really is not suited for most people, follow the link below to an opportunity that is for everyone. It's a job that comes with a free house or apartment........


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    • Billrrrr profile image

      Bill Russo 4 years ago from Cape Cod

      Hi Chinared. Thanks for the comment. Re the cold calls, as I told Paul; when I am on cold calls, or on a 'pitch' at a fair or flea market, I simply put myself in the salesperson mode. It's like an act. Study and practice your presentation until you can answer and overcome every objection and then the vehement 'no' answers and the constant rejections fall by the wayside, allowing you to get through to those who are actually interested in what you are promoting.

    • Billrrrr profile image

      Bill Russo 4 years ago from Cape Cod

      Thanks Paul. Re the cold calls, I always had trouble with them until I decided it was like being an actor. You have to have the mind-set that you are simply playing the role of a salesperson. It sounds a little strange, but really, really works!

    • chinared profile image

      Just call me, Rick 4 years ago from Asia, and all over

      Good hub. I used to train my Realtors to "cold call" people. One question I'd teach was, "If I could show you how to make more money, with less effort, in a short amount of time, would you set an appointment with me?" This ALWAYS worked... haha. Of course, that was before the economy took a dive. Yes, it's tough work, but someone has to do it. Persevere!! :)

    • Paul Kuehn profile image

      Paul Richard Kuehn 4 years ago from Udorn City, Thailand


      I found this hub very interesting and also funny. One of the many reasons I failed as a real estate estate agent was because I could not make "cold" calls To do this you really have to be outgoing and have the "gift of gab." You also have to know how to twist somone's ear. Voted up and sharing with followers.

    • Billrrrr profile image

      Bill Russo 5 years ago from Cape Cod

      Thanks Carol. In telemarketing, as in all sales, you have to be able to remain upbeat in the face of frequent rejection. You are so right, it's hard for some people to face all the no answers. The successful people are the ones who ignore the "nos" and keep on pushing.

    • carol7777 profile image

      carol stanley 5 years ago from Arizona

      It is tough work especially if you want to be good at it. You have to get over the many No answers...and overcome. I taught telephone sales many years ago...It is about disarming the person you are calling. Great hub.

    • Billrrrr profile image

      Bill Russo 5 years ago from Cape Cod

      Thanks for the comment Sherri. For the right person, phone sales can be easy and rewarding.

    • Sherri Wright profile image

      Sherri Wright 5 years ago

      as what you have stated earlier being in a telemarketing jobs actually helped you financially, and as for me its enough for a certain individual to try that job..