In graduate school, along with college teaching, I held down some part-time tele-sales jobs, enabling me to eat well, drive a sports car, and have a lot more fun than a lot of my academic peers.
One telemarketing place was owned by a couple of bodybuilders.
Looking at them, you just felt they were going to deter most misconduct that telemarketers would think of getting into.
I’m not saying all tele-managers should be able to bench press more than three hundred pounds.
But you do need to be tough, because tele-sales people, especially those you’ll find in major urban areas, will test your mettle, time and again.
(1) Managers or supervisors need to “own” the space in which their people are selling, walking down aisles, standing next to desks, dispensing coaching tips here and there as much as is necessary. Weak managers won’t spend enough face time in the selling environment. They’ll be cowering in corner offices, every chance they get.
(2) Managers need to compel compliance with rules and regulations. Do you remember Arnold in the movie, “Kindergarten Cop”? He blew a whistle to get the attention of his distracted little ones. You need to do something similar.
(3) It’s a pain to have to correct people when they stray from selling scripts, but no pain means no gain! EVERY SINGLE TIME PEOPLE STRAY THEY MUST BE GUIDED BACK TO THE PATH. This takes strength, commitment, fortitude, and yes, toughness to do, day in and day out.
(4) Managers need to fire people, fast. There is no such thing in a successful unit as giving people a month or two to prove themselves. A day or two is about right.
(5) Managers need to be vocal, outgoing leaders and motivators. Sales meetings need to take place frequently, and they should be upbeat, energetic exercises.
This job isn’t for the laid-back individual who wants to “retire on active duty.” It’s only for the tough, believe me!