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Steps for managing telemarketing for effective communication

The telemarketer's job is not an easy one. Do not call lists and a negative stigma associated with telemarketers can make it difficult for a telemarketer to get his or her job done. However, if the success of your business relies either in full or in part on telemarketing, you'll want to do all you can to manage them effectively.

The success of a telemarketer comes down to communication. Positive communication skills, such as knowing what to say when, tone of voice, and knowing what questions to ask will all have an effect on the success of your telemarketers.

Effective communication can be reached through helpful and thorough training for your telemarketers. The following training tips will help you to manage telemarketing for effective communication:

- Practice. Practice makes perfect, and this is true in the area of telemarketing as well. Often, especially for new telemarketers, it's easy to get flustered or become unsure of how to respond to a specific objection. While this gets easier with time on the job and experience, practice in your training meetings. Have the telemarketers role play, with one person acting as the potential customer and the other acting as the telemarketer. Practice handling objections, giving opening statements, and asking open-ended questions.
- Don't insult the customer. This is a no-brainer, but many telemarketers may be doing this without realizing it. Train your telemarketers that phrases like "Did you understand that?" and "Are you following?" may come across as insulting and implies that the customer doesn't have the intelligence needed to follow and comprehend the conversation. Teach alternatives instead, like, "Did I explain that clearly?" or "Am I making sense?"
- Encourage telemarketers to use notes. It's easy to go blank or get flustered while on the phone. Have your telemarketers put post-it notes of words, phrases, and responses to common objections around their desk so they can have visual reminders and prompts.
- Build rapport. One of the most important things a telemarketer can do is build rapport with his or her potential customers. One of the ways this is accomplished is through effective listening skills. Often, a telemarketer will be so focused on what they are going to say that they neglect to actually listen to the customer, who may be explaining his or her needs, which would allow the telemarketer to then cater his message accordingly. Teach listening skills and how to ask appropriate questions, which will help to increase success.
- Be a friend. This goes for both you and your telemarketers. Communication is more likely to be successful when you come across as a friend, not someone who only cares about numbers or who only wants to make a sale.

As a manager, you should be approachable and attentive as well so you can you're your telemarketers as much as possible. Observe those who may be struggling and ask them personally how you can help. In addition, it's also a good idea to survey your team and find out what things they feel like they could use help with. Take these ideas and tailor your training seminars and meetings around them.

Effective communication is vital for success in managing telemarketing. By having an open door policy and encouraging your telemarketing team to go to you with questions, as well as by holding useful and relevant training meetings when necessary, you can improve the communication skills of your telemarketers.

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