When I’m asked what I do for a living, I groan inwardly before taking a deep breath and quietly whispering "Telemarketing". Sometimes I’ll resort to an overcomplicated and vague description of my job, peppered with jargon. Phrases, like B2B business development, sales lead generation, out-bound marketing activities, can throw them off the scent for a while. I might tell them about some of the world-class technology companies that work with us or about the different geographies and markets we target. Eventually the person I’m talking to is too baffled to care about what I do and wishes that they had never asked the question in the first place…anything to avoid the dreaded term “Telemarketing”.
But why is that? When the simplest thing would be to say “I do telemarketing”, why do I beat around the bush and leave people walking away 10 minutes later muttering “I still don’t know what she does!”
It’s because poor standards in telemarketing have given the whole industry a really bad rap. It’s frustrating to see people squirm when you tell them you work in telemarketing. You can see that spark of disgust behind their eyes. Then the inevitable story about how they don’t answer their telephone after 6pm anymore because they were called by the same company 3 times in one week even though they explained on the first occasion that they weren’t interested. I’ve even had someone say to me “Aw, but you seem like such a nice person”….the connotation being that telemarketers aren’t!
Who would want to be associated with an industry that can provoke vehemence from the calmest of people?
Granted, B2B telemarketing is quite far removed from the type of B2C telemarketing that has people reaching for the whistle before they answer the phone. But there are poor practices being followed in B2B telemarketing too and if you want to run a telemarketing campaign that you and your company can be proud of, it’s important to avoid these.
The truth is that I love my job and I want to be proud of what I do. I’m lucky that I get to work with really innovative technology companies that are passionate about their products and their brand and understand that they need to adopt a professional approach to telemarketing for it to work well for them and for their prospects. So today I’ve decided to put together a list of the reasons I’m proud to be a telemarketer.
Reasons I’m Proud to be a Telemarketer:
- I work for a great B2B telemarketing agency. We understand what works and what doesn’t and we always do the best for our clients.
- Clients - Our clients are some of the most innovative companies in the world. I’ve have the opportunity of working with a wide spectrum of IT clients who are all passionate about what they do and want to share it with the world.
- Experience – I get the chance to work with large, established multi-nationals and small, niche start-ups all in the same week! I work internationally with companies doing B2B telemarketing campaigns in the UK, EMEA and the US.
- Colleagues - I work with great people. All of my colleagues have years of experience in B2B sales or marketing and are willing to share their ideas with each other and across campaigns.
- Personality - It takes a certain type of person to be able to do it. You have to be tenacious, outgoing, confident and friendly (and not afraid of the odd rejection).
- A higher purpose – Somebody somewhere has a problem that my client’s technology can solve. Problem is…they don’t know about it. B2B technology companies don’t typically advertise in the same way as B2C companies. So it’s great to be in mid-conversation with a prospect who realises that what I’m telling them about is potentially a game-changer for them.
So maybe the next time you hear the word telemarketing, you’ll spare a thought for those of us who strive to always do a great job at something we love.