Top 5 Telemarketing Mistakes Every Business Must Avoid

Top Five Telemarketing Mistakes Every Business Must Avoid
Few professions are hated with as much passion as telemarketing. Even businesses hate receiving sales calls, and for good reason. The marketing or sales call is an interruption – usually with the intent of selling something that the business never asked for. Many businesses fail to understand this and continue to rely on old tactics of business telemarketing to increase their sales. So, how do you switch from becoming an unwanted pest to a welcomed guest? Stop making the same mistakes that everyone else is making.

Failing To Introduce Yourself

Many sales organizations put too much pressure on telemarketers to pick up the phone and make as many calls as possible to make the sale. This is insane. They think the number of phone calls made count more than the quality of the call itself. You’ve probably heard the old phrase that “people buy from people.” You absolutely have to connect with your prospects. If they don’t even know your name, why would they buy from you? You’re just some stranger who’s bugging them for their credit card.

Failing To Improvise
This is the mistake that practically every telemarketing firm does – they “stick to the script” until the prospect hangs up on them. It takes some of the pressure off of the telemarketer since the person doesn’t have to think, therefore a sales call gone awry isn’t the person’s fault. But it also doesn’t make for an effective call.

Your sales people have to be legitimately good at what they do. They cannot just read off of a script and hope for the best. Your customers are real people with real problems. Your sales people have to be problem solvers, not script readers (AKA actors).

Faking It

One of the dumbest things your sales people can do is to pretend to be someone they’re not. Unfortunately, this is very common in sales organizations. The sales person lacks confidence in his abilities, so he pretends to be the sales manager or the VP of the company or some other “higher up” in the company. It might work well initially, but as soon as the prospect finds out the truth, the sales person’s along with company‚Äôs credibility goes right down the drain.

Talking Your Prospect’s Ear Off

Everyone has had the pleasure of having their ears talked off by a chatty-Cathy telemarketer. You know these typers. The script-readers who try to talk the prospect into a sale. They start the conversation with “Hi, Mr. Jones,” and proceed to go on a sales “rant.” Interrupting them doesn’t work because they just tune you out and keep reading.
What are these people hoping to accomplish anyway? These are horrible sales tactics. Of course, the telemarketers are taught that sales is a numbers game. That the best B2B telemarketing service should include thick-skinned sales people that can “take it.”

The problem is that sales does turn into a numbers game without giving much consideration to human side. When you don’t care about your prospect’s time or input into the sales conversation, there is no conversation. And who really enjoys being talked at?

Presenting the Offer Too Soon

Jumping the gun is another common problem. Many sales people want to “cut to the chase.” As a result, they don’t spend time presenting the value in their offer. They just make the offer. Think about how this sounds and looks to the prospect. If you know nothing about a product or service, would any price matter to you? Would you be inclined to buy because a product is cheap? Expensive? Why would you care if it doesn’t solve a problem you have? You wouldn’t, and neither would your prospect.

Which mistake do you hate the most?


Kaylee Cowling has been a small business owner for some time now. An avid blogger, she likes to share her experiences on various blog sites. Visit the link for more telemarketing ideas for your campaigns.


  1. Chris Blackman - ASVP Group says:

    Further mistakes destined to have the call recipient hanging up fast::

    1. Call center systems that ‘dial ahead’ then leave the prospect listening to a background of noise that tells them they are getting a telemarketer’s call.

    2. Using heavily-accented telemarketers from cheap-labor countries who are difficult to understand. Who buys from people they can’t understand properly? Likewise dodgy, distorted telephone lines. Usually from cheapo telcos – “I would change to you… why?”

    3. Starting out the call with “Hello, my name is Joseph, how are you today? Don’t worry, because I am not selling anything…”

    • Chris – Good points. First impression is everything. If the customer is turned off from the moment he receives the call you can kiss any potential sale goodbye.