Businesswoman in the office on the phone

Working in telephone sales can be challenging and rewarding in equal measure, and many jobs give you the opportunity to determine your own level of success to a large extent.

So how do you go about working in telephone sales and ensure that you are achieving the most you can, not just on a day to day basis, but over the long term too?

1. The groundwork

First of all you need to get a job in sales, and if you don’t have any direct experience, then you’re going to need to do some work to prove yourself to a prospective employer.

Read up on the basics of the role, and focus on the most well known and respected literature in the industry; if you have friends already working in sales, talk to them about their jobs too.

The more you can learn at this stage, the more you can demonstrate to the recruiter that you know the potential rewards and the possible pitfalls too, and that on balance, you still want to work in telephone sales.

2. The interview

Many interview questions are based on personality traits rather than on qualifications – which can be seen easily on your CV – so be prepared for more probing questions.

Ambition is a desirable quality, as is patience and a steady temper, as you are likely to face angry and even abusive call recipients several times a day.

Attention to detail can also be worth mentioning, as you will need to be very clued-up on the product or service you are selling – and remember to put the effort in at the start of each new campaign, as it will always pay off.

Young male call center employee using landline phone in office

3. The ego

For once, you don’t have to hide your ego – in sales, self-confidence is a must if you are to hold the conversation and seal the deal.

It’s not about selling yourself though, so channel that enthusiasm into genuinely believing in the product or service – however mundane it happens to be.

That might mean suspending your disbelief to an extent, but the more you can put your self-confidence into the way you talk about the thing you are selling, the more chance you have of passing that confidence on to your prospective buyer too.

4. The ambition

Know that you want to achieve, and the results you need to get day by day to manage this – most salespeople are driven to achieve more than just the bottom line that is expected of them.

Once you’ve got your foot in the door at a marketing company, don’t be afraid to ask colleagues and bosses for their insight, as there may be a particular approach that works best within a specific company culture, and honing your skills on an ongoing basis will boost your conversion rate and your promotion prospects too.

Casually dressed workers in a busy open plan office

5. The reflex

Finally, to make it over the long term, you’ll need to be adaptable, and that can also be true within the space of a single call.

Make sure you know how far ‘off script’ you’re allowed to go in order to build rapport and to get that final ‘yes’ from a prospective customer – the ability to think on your feet can make the difference between a good salesperson, and a great one.

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