How to make the right telemarketing hires


Good telemarketing staff are worth their weight in gold. In business terms, the work they do is nothing short of pure magic. They pick up the phone, pull a few nifty moves and POW! You have a new client. So how do hiring managers attract them, identify the right talent for their organisation, and onboard them?

It’s one of the questions we’re asked year after year at Blue Donkey. And while we’ve learnt a thing or two about making good hires, there’s definitely no exact science. Here are some of the things our recruiters are mindful of.

Avoid the suggestion there’s ‘no cold calling’

The basic truth in telemarketing is that sometimes you need to cold call. All businesses have telephones, yet so few people are comfortable dialling someone they’ve never spoken with and starting a conversation. On this basis, you might decide to include the words ‘no cold calling’ in your job ads. You might not include those words but suggest it in your discourse. Maybe based on you having a list of customers, ex-customers, people who have enquired or called at some time.

Telemarketing from a list, to build rapport, and build relationships with potential buyers is essentially cold calling. Warm list, cold list, it doesn’t really make a material difference to the job.

Honesty is the best policy

Learning how to engage someone you’ve never spoken with, and can’t see, is a skill worth mastering. So instead of saying ‘no cold calling’ in your job ads, consider saying ‘we’ll teach you to make great calls’.

Being completely transparent and honest will help you make the right hires, win their respect and keep them long term. Creating a picture that’s not entirely candid won’t. The concept of the psychological contract in HR appeared a few years ago to aid understanding of these scenarios. The damage that can be caused by well-intentioned recruiters misleading candidates can be hard to fix.

According to experts at HR Zone, “The psychological contract refers to the unwritten set of expectations of the employment relationship as distinct from the formal, codified employment contract. Taken together, the psychological contract and the employment contract define the employer-employee relationship.”

Look for carers, not closers

For outsourced providers of telemarketing, reputation is everything. At Blue Donkey, our unique brand of intelligent telemarketing is reliant on team members putting the customers they are speaking with at the heart of their call. At the interview stage, situational interviewing techniques are used to assess how candidates handle real world situations. They are questions that often begin “tell me about a time when you …” These methods help Blue Donkey recruiters select a potential telemarketing person who displays signs of the carer personality trait. These questions help the hiring manager gain insight into how a candidate actually reacted in specific circumstances. So they might, for example, ask about when a candidate chose to pick up the phone and call someone.

Seek out the right behaviours

The term ‘hungry’ is often used in job ads for telemarketing staff. It describes someone who hunts opportunities in a voracious or eager manner. While this word still seems to appear in job ads, most professional organisations steer away from modelling their roles on this kind of behaviour. These people might cold call, they might hit targets, but over-goal-seeking behaviours are loaded with peril. By having these personalities on your sales team, the risk they present may not be worth the gain. Far better to remove that kind of language from your communications completely.

Equally, big incentives and bonuses will pose the same risk. They don’t make the job anymore fulfilling. Money incentives will attract staff, but they’ll be staff looking for high earnings, not those looking for careers. In telemarketing roles, that can again lead to conduct that is not consistent with the company’s values or mission. Making sure your values come through in your job ads is important to the type of people you attract.

Our 22 years make Blue Donkey one of the most established telemarketing companies around. Talk to us today about how our expert teams can help you reach your next gamechanger client.

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