Why Don't Telemarketers Earn More?
Radion and TV expert commentator, best-selling author, and President of Customersatisfaction.com, Dr. Gary S. Goodman, explores the disparity in earnings between inside and outside salespeople. This popular keynote speaker and sales authority finds no logical or economic justification for it.I used to literally sit at my father?s feet while he made business to business calls, to introduce himself, and to set appointments. He was a spectacular telemarketer, before that word was invented. His formal title varied, but one of them was, Account Executive. Wherever he worked, he rose to the top in sales, and his earnings reflected his achievements. He used to enjoy the fact that his ministrations were largely invisible to his cohorts, and he made a point to make his calls from home, to keep them shrouded in mystery. His peers and managers saw sales results, but they seldom saw sales processes.
I think if he were alive today he?d agree that the most crucial part of his success came from telephone effectiveness. Without breaking the ice and being able to get through to top decision makers and setting appointments with them, there would have been significantly fewer sales.
Today, my dad might have had people making calls for him, and he would have rewarded them, handsomely.
They are doing the heavy lifting of the persuasive process, opening doors and making a smooth entry. Why shouldn?t they earn top dollar?
There are some biases that hold down their wages, unfairly, I believe. Favoritism is shown toward field salespeople, who almost universally earn more in a company that has both inside and outside sellers.
But as most astute observers can attest, it is easier to transform an inside person into a field person, than doing the opposite. What does this say about their respective skills?
To me, it says you have to be more talented, more resourceful if you?re on the phone. If so, why aren?t you paid at least the same, if not more than the outside person?
Perhaps field selling is thought to be more arduous because it involves driving a car, occasionally in traffic? If you?re inside, you don?t have to brave the elements? You?re closer to a coffee machine?
No matter how you slice it, it?s very hard to generate a sensible and defensible reason that telemarketers are paid less money. If you have a viable explanation, please send it my way!
Until telemarketers are recognized and rewarded for their true and significant contributions, we?ll continue to have difficulty staffing the phones with talented, motivated folks who stick around and see it as a solid career opportunity.
Dr. Gary S. Goodman, President of Customersatisfaction.com, is a popular keynote speaker, management consultant, and seminar leader and the best-selling author of 12 books, including Reach Out & Sell Someone? and Monitoring, Measuring & Managing Customer Service. He is a frequent guest on radio and television, worldwide. A Ph.D. from USC''s Annenberg School, Gary offers programs through UCLA Extension and numerous universities, trade associations, and other organizations in the United States and abroad. He is headquartered in Glendale, California, and he can be reached at (818) 243-7338 or at: firstname.lastname@example.org.