Over 9 percent of telemarketers, or telemarketing reps, felt their jobs made the world a worse place as of October 2012, according to "CNN Money," versus the 1 percent national average for all occupations. One factor that telemarketers don't like about their jobs is interrupting peoples' dinners to sell them products they may not need. Still, an outbound telemarketing job can help get you off unemployment and start earning money again. And, if you have the right blend of communication, persuasive and selling skills, you can do quite well in this field.
Outbound telemarketing reps write and use scripts to call current consumer and business customers. This script is usually a one-page presentation that keeps you on track during each call. You may introduce yourself during the first part of the script, and then ask people questions to better qualify them as serious buyers. Your ultimate goal is to make sales. Whether you sell meats or electronics directly to consumers or Yellow Pages advertising to businesses, you will be expected to meet a specific sales quota as a telemarketing rep. Outbound telemarketing reps are also required to make cold calls, which involves selling to people who aren't already customers.
An outbound telemarketing rep also has administrative duties, including filling out sales invoices when they make a sale and reporting their total sales each day. You may also mail brochures and price lists to customers who haven't made a purchase, giving them time to decide. And, most outbound telemarketers spend some of their time handling customers' problems, such as late shipments or damaged merchandise. Once you gain significant experience in this field, you may train other outbound telemarketing reps on company policies and procedures.
Outbound telemarketing reps usually work in offices. Their hours can vary, and depend on the types of customers they serve. For example, you would call business customers during the day and consumers during mornings, afternoons or evenings. Some stress is involved with the job because you have to meet sales quotas. These sales quotas often determine the bonuses or commissions you will receive.
Education and Training
Most outbound telemarketing reps have high school diplomas, though some may work without them. The diploma or GED can enhance your chance for a promotion or more job opportunities in this field. Outbound telemarketing is an entry-level position, so experience is not required. Your company may have a short training program to better familiarize you with product features, prices and successful selling strategies.
Average Salary Ranges
Telemarketers, including outbound telemarketing reps, earned average annual salaries of $25,920 as of May 2011, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. You could earn over $39,440 per year if you are among the top 10 percent in earnings. You would earn the highest salary working in the metal and mineral wholesale industry at $45,940 per year. And you would make $42,650 per year working in the consumer products rental industry. The top-paying states were Vermont, Connecticut and Massachusetts -- $39,370, $34,920 and $33,360 per year, respectively.
The number of telemarketer jobs, including outbound telemarketing reps, is expected to increase by only 7 percent between 2010 and 2020, according to the BLS. This rate of growth is half the U.S. average of 14 percent for all jobs. Jobs will be available because there is relatively high turnover in this field.
- Bureau of Labor Statistics: Occupational Outlook Handbook: Data for Occupations Not Covered in Detail
- Bureau of Labor Statistics: Occupational Employment Statistics: Telemarketers
- CareerPlanner.com: Telemarketer
- StateUniversity.com: Telemarketer Job Description, Career as a Telemarketer, Salary, Employment - Definition and Nature of the Work, Education and Training Requirements, Getting the Job
- U.S. News & World Report: University Directory: Telemarketers
- CNNMoney: Jobs That Make the World a Worse Place
- Jupiterimages/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images