Telemarketing as a Calling
By the Monster Career Coach
Ready to enter the workforce but not sure which direction to take longer term? Instead of waiting to find your ideal job – and maybe go broke in the meanwhile - you can be paid to work as a telemarketer with little or no experience.
That’s why so many recent graduates end up flocking to jobs that involve calling people to market some sort of product or service. It can be a solid way to get hired quickly and start making a living.
What Does A Telemarketer Do?
You’ve probably been in the middle of dinner sometime when suddenly your phone rings. You’re tempted not to pick up but curiosity gets the best of you (maybe you’re caller I.D. is busted). Turns out it’s one of those companies calling to give away a free vacation package to an exotic island, or arrange to pick up used clothing from your driveway to give to a good cause.
The person at the other end of the phone is a telemarketer. They may be working for a call center, which is a company that puts together staff and marketing campaigns that are carried out over the phone. Otherwise they could be working for a business or not-for-profit that’s doing direct calling to you itself.
A telemarketer’s job is generally to persuade people to do or buy something. The most common form of this is called outbound dialling. This means that the telemarketer is actively making phone calls to households (consumers) or businesses (commercial accounts). The opposite of this is inbound telemarketing. Here’s where the telemarketer would wait for their phone to ring before they sell something to the caller. An example? Could be you’ve seen one of those cheap ads running at 3:00 a.m. for a gizmo that slices, dices, chops and creates a better world. If you’ve ever called in to buy one - which many people do, amazingly – the person answering is doing inbound sales.
How Much Do Telemarketers Make?
How much you earn in telemarketing depends on whether you work on commission or on a straight hourly rate. Often you’ll see these kinds of entry-level jobs advertised as follows: $9.50/hour to start, with 20% commission on each sale. Some go as high as $15/hour or more but you’re likely to get a much lower commission or none at all.
Opting for the low commission, higher guaranteed hourly rate means you’re sure of getting paid a certain amount based on the number of hours you put in. This can be good for those who need to know exactly what their weekly pay will be. If you’re a bit more entrepreneurial and feel you’d like to get paid based on your performance, then go for the higher commission, lower hourly rate.
Is Your Calling Calling?
Some people make an actual career out of telemarketing. They rise up the ranks and end up spending years progressing in this occupation. You can start as a junior telemarketer and work your way up to become a team leader, where you oversee the work of several juniors. Then you might get promoted to Manager, Director and eventually even Vice President of a call centre.
What Other Skills and Career Options Does Telemarketing Give Me?
Not every telemarketer will go on to head up a big call centre. But anyone who lasts in a telemarketing job for at least a while picks up skills that are valued by other employers. This list of transferable abilities includes:
· Dealing with a wide variety of people and learning how to communicate well
· Selling products and services based on the needs of specific customers
· Working under time constraints and a fair degree of pressure
· Managing your workflow, showing up and leaving on time, handling responsibility
If nothing else, a starter telemarketing role tells future employers that you can conduct yourself in a “real” job. They can rest assured that you understand some basic rules of the workplace and can conduct yourself in a mature, reliable manner.
Keep in mind that if you stay in telemarketing for too long, you might find it tougher to get other types of jobs. Future employers might wonder why you haven’t diversified outside of that one industry.
Where Do I Find Telemarketing Jobs?
Right here on Monster is a fine place to begin your search for telemarketing positions. Make sure that the resume you submit when applying for such a job shows that you’re not sloppy or unserious about finding work. There are some sketchy telemarketing firms out there and they might offer to hire you thinking they can get you to promise just about anything over the phone.
Since telemarketing jobs are available on a full-time or part-time basis, they’re ideal for students and recent grads who are trying to get a leg up in the working world. Try to hook up with a legitimate firm: you’ll earn some coin, get marketable experience and hopefully receive a positive reference you can take with you elsewhere.