Not many people know that I used to be a telemarketer. Yes, it's true. I got much of my business and sales experience talking on the phone. This was during a rough spot of my life and I will honestly tell you that, at the time, I considered the work I was doing as embarrassing and unfriendly.
Here's the bold faced truth - working in a successful outsource call center, yes, the one I worked in was one of the best in the country, taught me so much about how business works and how to be good at customer service, I think it's a great way for entrepreneurs to get some valuable insights into building a business of their own.
Call centers are tough places to work, unless you drop your preconceived notions that they're one step above cockroaches. Good call centers work with the brands that hire them to reach the right people, and they train their workers well. I was trained extremely well. I learned how to be polite when my call was unwelcome. I learned how to gently ask the right questions to move the conversation forward. I learned to be professional, on the phone. And, I was taught the value of respecting clients.
It's a skill not many people have, today. We've lost our ability to reach out and touch someone - in a way that they find acceptable. Texting is all the rage now - and social media. Impersonal connections. Using a phone brings a truly human quality to the forefront. When you're hoping for a truly Global Response, as the good folks who prompted this post no doubt are, it stands to reason that you will put the time and energy into training your staff properly.
When I get a call from a telemarketing company, and it's clearly someone in a call center, I try to be gentle. Often, I discover that the person calling has information that's useful to me. I discover that the voice at the other end is a real person and he or she is doing her job. The ones who do it well will go on to become successful business professionals if their company has a good product, trains them to represent that product well, and has researched the database the caller will be calling in to.