Telemarketing, or phone sales, can be a cost-effective way to market your small business. The overhead for telemarketing is lower than many other forms of promotion, such as print and broadcast media and direct mail sales. To be effective, however, you must employ a well-trained sales force that has above-average communication skills.


Telemarketers must attempt to create a positive, sight-unseen relationship with potential customers in seconds. This requires a friendly attitude, a personable nature and a willingness to listen as well as talk. Telemarketers who come across as pushy or overly forceful run the risk of scaring off potential customers before the sales pitch is even made. A kind approach, paired with a friendly and understanding attitude, can establish a sense of trust between the caller and the customer.

Good Communication

Strong communication skills are vital to the success of a telemarketer. Make sure the people you employ are easily understood and come across as personal and relaxed, rather than stilted and rehearsed. Telemarketers should be able to read spoken cues and draw a potential customer into a conversation. Salespeople should also be patient, willing to explain details and to respond in a positive manner to customer queries.

Product Knowledge

Regardless of what type of product or service a telemarketer is selling, product knowledge is vital. Employ people who are able to become familiar with a product’s selling features quickly and can accurately convey the specifics to potential customers. Telemarketers should be well-versed on product lines and trained to answer the most common questions. A telemarketer who can’t quickly and accurately answer questions runs the risk of losing a sale if he has to stop, put the customer on hold, or pause to look up basic information.


Working in a sales role, telemarketers must be able to persuade potential customers about the value and necessity of the product or service they are selling. This requires a persuasive attitude and an ability to make a solid value proposition and demonstrate the specific need the product or service will fulfill. Your telemarketing representatives should be able to think on their feet, overcome objections and effectively close the sale.