How Telemarketing Has Changed
My first ever full-time job was in telemarketing. I joined the company bright eyed and bushy tailed, a week before my 17th birthday, with no real idea what the job would entail. What a baptism of fire it was!
Over 10 years later, I have come full circle. I am now back working in telemarketing as an Operations Manager – but boy how the industry has changed!
In my first job, time monitoring used to fill me with dread. I have never responded well to micro management. My first role was the epitome of micro management. On your dialling system you had to log yourself as ‘ready’. It also had options for ‘break’ and ‘lunch’ and even ‘toilet’ you were assigned times that the company felt were appropriate for all of these and it was monitored constantly. If you went over any of these by more than 10 seconds, you were put on a naughty list which was emailed round to the entire business.
At Premium Sales we work on productive time, we allow people to work flexibly. All of our staff work part-time hours and we ask them to be ‘productive’ for 95% of that time. We do not monitor breaks and lunchtimes and we empower the team to manage their own time, from our perspective, as long as they complete the hours they need to during the week, we don’t mind how/ when they do that.
Motivating a team
Incentives was a big focus in my first job – our managers bribed us with games and prizes of sweets, chocolate or alcohol for making sales – which were all good fun. However, they also liked to play a game called ‘you can’t sit on your chair until you have made a sale’ which basically meant you had to stand up from when your shift started until you got your first sale. Not so fun. People would at times be stood for up to 2 hours! Not necessarily the best way to motivate anyone.
I’m glad to see things have moved on from this. Instead of offering our team prizes. We give them a great working environment, a good commission scheme and plenty of flexibility and autonomy. We also are transparent with them about how important their work is to us and how what they do directly impacts our customers and encourage them to take ownership of this.
Calling Styles & Rapport Building
My first telemarketing job was working for an FCA compliant organisation. This meant there was little room for personalisation when it came to the sales calls. We had to follow a strict script. The only real rapport we built would be the usual disingenuous ‘How are you?’. We were basically told to sell them the product, we didn’t really identify the need by asking questions or trying to understand more about their situation, we basically just told them they had a need and forced the product upon them.
Telemarketing is very different now. I think companies have realised that people buy from people and successful telemarketing calls require that personal touch. We like to build a rapport and ask lots of open questions to find out more about prospect’s businesses and how they operated and then we can intuitively tailor our approach, both over the phones and on email.
What were your best/ worst old school telemarketing stories?
How has your business adapted their telemarketing approach?
If you would like to find out more about how we approach our telemarketing campaigns, get in touch here