Telemarketers are classified in the Enterprising Theme Code Category of the Strong Interest Inventory®. First released in 1927, the Strong Interest Inventory® has been revised and refined over the better part of a century. This inventory categorizes careers into six career Theme Codes. Such individuals are assessed to determine their occupational interests and work preferences. The results are then compared to those people who are satisfied and who have similar interests in matching assessed careers. This analysis can be applied to pair individuals with a career that they will find fulfilling, functionally satisfying and enjoyable. People who score highly in the Enterprising Theme Code Category tend to enjoy interacting with people and conducting negotiations related to business or marketing.
Telemarketers are responsible for soliciting donations or payment for goods or services over the telephone. They deliver scripted sales talks to prospective customers, often by reading from text that describe the products or services in detail. They are designed to convince customers to purchase them or to donate to a specific cause. These calls may be made to businesses and corporations as well as to private residences. During these calls, Telemarketers may need to answer customer questions or concerns, record their names and addresses, and any payment information. If customers have negative reactions, telemarketers may need to note these reactions and report them to their supervisors for proper quality control, including revising scripts and rethinking marketing strategies for specific products or services.
In some cases, a Telemarketer may also take incoming calls from customers, especially those which have been solicited through various forms of advertising. Additionally, Telemarketers may at times write and send letters or emails to potential customers, either as an initial point of contact, or to follow-up with specific concerns or issues that may have been brought to their attention. For companies or organizations that have sales representatives, Telemarketers may need to make and schedule appointments for representatives to meet with potential customers, so that sales deals can be arranged. Telemarketers tend to engage in a high degree of customer contact, with polls estimating that they communicate with others nearly 100% of the time. Another major job responsibility is the ability to enter information into computerized interfaces quickly and easily, so a level of computer literacy is essential to success as a Telemarketer.
Telemarketers use relatively simple tools, including personal computers, telephones with headsets, and autodialers. From a technological standpoint, they often use customer relationship management software, including Database Systems Corp Telemation, as well as call center software like Softphone or Acarda Sales Technologies Arcada Outbound. Of course, email platforms like Microsoft Outlook are invaluable, as is Microsoft Office Suite, including Excel and Word.
Telemarketers expertise is typically in sales and marketing, as they need to be aware of how to seal a deal as effectively as possible. They also need to be comfortable in expressing themselves in English and must also be able to understand their prospective customers over the phone. Speech clarity and the ability to communicate fluently are extremely important. Most Telemarketers have a high school diploma or less. Almost 60% hold a high school diploma, while 30% hold less than that. The remaining 10% may have completed some college coursework, but they do not have a completed degree in-hand.
Telemarketers’ salary averages $23,530 per year nation-wide, though the best-paid Telemarketers can earn over $38,450. In some states, particularly in Montana, South Dakota, and Kansas, as well as in New England, the pay rates tend to be significantly higher, with averages nearing $30,000 per year. In less lucrative states such as North Dakota, however, a Telemarketers’ salary can be much lower, often below $20,000 per year. The rate of employment for a Telemarketer is expected to fall nation-wide before 2024. However, in large western states like Washington, Arizona, Utah, and Colorado, the growth rate is expected to stay well above 15%, with Washington leading the way at over 35% before 2024.
Below are some employment trends for Telemarketers
- Median Telemarketer Salary: $11.31 hourly; $23,530 annually
- Employment: 238,000 employees
- Projected growth (2014-2024): Decline (-2% or lower)
- Projected job openings (2014-2024): 43,900
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- Bureau of Labor Statistics wage data and 2014-2022 employment projections Onetonline.org