Have you got bags of charisma that always win people round in an argument? Do you always manage to get yourself out of trouble using your charm alone?
If you've got the gift of the gab and could sell ice to the Eskimos, then a career in telesales is calling you, so better pick up the phone...
So, what will I actually be doing?
As a telephone sales executive you'll be expected to sell the products and services of the company you work for by calling prospective clients. You may also be carrying out market research, so you won't necessarily be stuck to the phone.
Working within a team of other sales executives you'll be set targets and strategies by the team supervisor. Your day will be mostly spent calling buyers and persuading them to either purchase a product, trial a service or accept a visit from another member of the sales team.
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The nitty gritty
Often based in busy call or business centres you'll work as part of a sales team, so it's not for those that like to work alone. Very much a typical desk job, you'll be tied to the telephone and sitting at your workstation for long periods of time so it’s not a career for anyone who fears feeling office bound. While sales executives often work regular 9 – 5, Monday to Friday hours, large call centres may operate on shifts, so flexible and part time hours are common in this career.
Want a career in sales? Then this is the place to start. "Telesales executive roles are where many sales professionals learn the ropes, and those who have worked and been successful in these positions are often highly sort after," say ISMM. From telesales you can move on up to become a sales executive, manager or director.
Money, money, money
Anyone new to telesales will be looking at earning around £18k per year which can rise to £30k plus. There are often bonus schemes that will boost your salary.
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The good points...
"Working as a telesales executive can be one of the most exciting and rewarding starts to any career," say the folk at the Institute of Sales and Marketing (ISMM). "Telesales positions are often in young, vibrant and exciting environments, they can be competitive, but you'll be working with fantastic people and the social sides to these roles are always a plus!"
...and the bad
"This job can be very results driven and highly pressured. Successful professionals are well rewarded financially but there will be an expectation to deliver revenue. If you can't handle rejection, this may not be the job for you. A lot of telephone activity needs to take place to communicate with the right people; therefore, even with well-targeted and professional sales approaches, there will be some frustrating days."
Is there study involved?
"Generally the best roles will go to those educated to A-level or degree level, but employers will often look for personality rather than academic qualifications when looking for personnel" says ISMM. Training in telephone skills and company policy are usually given to new employees. Courses that will give your sales credentials a boost include:
- NVQs/SVQs in Telesales, Levels 2 and 3
The Institute of Sales and Marketing Management (ISMM) offer a variety of courses including:
- Level 1 & 2 Award in Basic Sales Skills
- Level 2 Certificate in Sales & Marketing
- Level 3 Award & Certificate in Advanced Sales and Marketing
The Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) also run a variety of courses from an Introductory Certificate in Marketing to Certificate in Professional Sales Practice.
Need additional qualifications? Find a course at our Learning Zone
OK, I'm interested... But is it really the job for me?
Shy, retiring types need not apply! You need to have plenty of confidence to be a successful telephone sales executive as a charming and persuasive personality will help you sell. Other qualities that will help you up this career ladder are:
- Excellent communication and listening skills
- A polite and friendly manner (being rude never gets you anywhere)
- Lots of initiative
- A positive attitude
- The ability to think on your feet
It’s also important to be able to deal with negative responses from customers who don't want to talk to you, and above all, you must enjoy the buzz of working under pressure and meeting tough targets.