For lead generation companies, finding good staff is one of the biggest business challenges they have. For a good agency, this is an even bigger problem than finding new clients, because most growing companies need leads, and they know only too well how tough cold calling can be, so there’s generally no shortage of hungry clients out there. Telemarketers are therefore the most important resource lead generation companies have and dedicated, committed and talented staff make a huge difference to the success of the business and their telemarketing projects. As well as being better able to understand a complex brief, engage decision makers, and articulate a compelling sales message, good telemarketers will often lay the foundations for long lasting business relationships.
However, finding excellent staff is no easy task. Here at Blue Donkey, we’re often asked how we find such exceptional telemarketers. Though there’s no simple answer to this tricky question, we’ve had a long, hard think about it and come up with five key steps any business can take to find, and hire, the best telemarketers around.
Step one: Carers not closers
In general, the best way for lead generation companies to connect with another person and another business is to put their needs and requirements at the heart of every sales call. Staff who are solely focused on hitting sales targets can often fail to engage the people they’re calling, putting their sales pitch before a genuine two-way conversation. You need your telemarketers to be able to close of course, but that’s a taught behaviour, so most people can learn to do it. It’s harder to teach people to have genuine care and empathy for others. Staff who can empathise, and who want to deliver an outstanding customer experience, will be more likely to ask the right questions and communicate the right message, two things that can do wonders for building a trusting, long-term relationship, so we look for natural carers, not closers.
Step two: Ask questions
For lead generation companies, like other challenging occupations, the best way to get an accurate idea of the character of a potential hire is to ask the right questions. Situational questions reveal the most about a candidate’s personality and ability. Often beginning with questions such as ‘tell me about a time when’, situational questions push applicants to talk about actual achievements and actions rather than giving answers they believe are desirable. If you simply ask an interviewee to talk about how they would approach a certain thing, they’ll give you the theoretical answer, or how they would have liked to have approached it, instead of what’s really relevant.
Step three: Don’t undermine telemarketing
All too often telemarketing jobs are seen as a stepping stone to a ‘better’ position. And though it’s true that the skills employees learn working in telemarketing will stand them in excellent stead for a wide range of sales jobs, it’s crucial you don’t describe the job as being a low level position in your organisation if you want to attract the best people. The simple fact for lead generation companies as well as any other kind of sales operation is this, you can cover more ground, reach more potential buyers, do less environmental damage, and make your budgets go further by using the telephone well. If you can get under someone’s skin in a skilled telemarketing call, you can increase your sales conversions and save wasted resources traveling to see clients that aren’t engaged well enough to purchase.
Step four: Resilience is key
With the telephone being their primary work tool, it’s no surprise that most telemarketers spend their days making call after call. In order for someone to be a successful telemarketer, they need to be able to put the same energy, enthusiasm and passion into every single call. Look for signs of stamina in the candidate’s CV, keep an eye out to see if their enthusiasm levels wane during the interview and ask them questions aimed at revealing whether or not they will put 100% into each call they make. Ask them about tough days, how did they cope, what did they do to change things, what were they proud of and disappointed by. Use the information to paint a picture of how resilient and how energetic they will be.
Step five: Personality counts
The qualities displayed by the truly successful telemarketer include personality traits such as conscientiousness, positivity, and persistence. People with these character traits will stand out immediately at the interview, filling the space with their confidence and charisma. As well as being great at their jobs, these people will help fill a room and lift the entire team. Such characters will help motivate and inspire your workforce, they’ll make passionate calls that get results because people want to listen to them. For lead generation companies, these folks are the pixy-dust that helps us deliver results, time after time.
Increasingly employers are selecting staff based on the science of personality trait, and the attributes which certain traits make people suitable for particular roles. According to wellbeing experts at Very Well Mind Research on personality can yield fascinating insights into how personality develops and changes over the course of a lifetime. This research can also have important practical applications in the real world.
If you can find people who are naturally positive, engaging and enthusiastic, and who enjoy being part of a team, you’ll be well on your way to building an unbeatable telemarketing force. To find out more, or to learn how we can help supercharge your team, contact us today.