Home-based telemarketing is much like any other work from home business, really - except in most cases, you get paid an hourly "base" rate (usually $7 to $9 an hour) plus a commission structure. Done well, the commission structure can make telemarketing extremely lucrative. It's a difficult occupation for those that are not good with people, or not confident speakers - because your prospect can't see your body language, facial expressions, or any other information you're presenting, you need to have a fun and dynamic personality, because it's up to you to prove your likability and credibility based on a phone call alone.
Telemarketing is sometimes difficult, however, because although you are working, you're also working to earn even more money - which makes you doing a job, and running a business - from home.
The purpose of successful telemarketing is to reach the people who make the decisions to buy. That being said, in telemarketing, it's very easy to waste a lot of time speaking to the wrong person. In fact, much time spent is simply qualifying leads and in lengthy conversations that seem to go nowhere fast - except, to the eventual "no".
If you're new to telemarketing, and you're interested in learning more before you apply for a home-based telemarketing job, it's important for you to know that there are guidelines for each conversation you have. Telemarketers typically have scripts to work from - many employers ask their telemarketers to use the scripts word for word, while others allow their telemarketers to become comfortable and simply use them as guidelines over time. There are three basic types of telemarketing scripts that the home-based telemarketer should be aware of:
• The verbatim script. This is the first level of script, the one an employer will insist that you follow word for word. Usually this will be used by an employer that is used when you are calling consumers, instead of businesses. Usually you won't have to talk a long time, at most, three to four minutes, and usually you simply ask a series of questions.
• The guided script. This script is less restrictive and allows you to improvise based on what your prospect answers. Usually this type of conversation script is used for the business to business telemarketing call. It can also be more effective for experienced telemarketers when calling consumers if you need more information to qualify a prospect.
• The outline script is considered to be the most difficult type of scripting. This method is used in business-to-business calling. Outline scripts are basically like note cards to keep you on track in your conversations - you know what you're selling, you're aware of who you are selling it to, and you are intimately familiar with your products benefits and features. These are usually reserved for very experienced salespeople.
If you are new to telemarketing, and you're eager to work at home, don't fret - remember, simply put, telemarketing is a people business. If you enjoy talking on the phone, and are willing to be persistent, just remember that the most important quality that a telemarketer must possess is a good telephone voice. Be enthusiastic and confident, act mature and controlled.
Most work from home employers do offer training, so your enthusiasm, coupled with training and hands-on experience, will point you in the right direction for a successful home-based telemarketing job. Expect to make hundreds of calls daily but only speak with 50 or so people, and try to make those calls count. Ask advice from your employer and fellow telemarketers on how to make more sales. Don't give - every telemarketer has good and bad days. And remember - every day you work from home is a new day to make things a little better!
Melissa Brewer is the author of the Little White Ebook of Homeshoring Jobs, the complete guide to work from home call center employment available at [littlewhiteebook.com parked domain] The Little White eBook Store She has worked as a freelance writer for the past nine years and currently resides in Washington, DC, three miles from the Obama White House.