Telemarketing for dummies. Learn Telemarketing 101 to help you quickly understand what makes a campaign successful.


Telemarketing is a direct form of marketing in which you make a telephone call to a prospective buyer with the intention of marketing your product or service. Telemarketing can be B2B or B2C.

B2B Telemarketing is business to business, in which one business makes a telephone call to the other with the intent of pitching their product in the hope of generating a lead.


Some examples of products suitable for B2B Telemarketing could be:

  • Commercial Insurances
  • Industry specific software
  • Industry specific consumables
  • Support services such as outsourced IT Support, Recruitment, Accountancy or other services required by the target business
  • Advertising
  • Free samples, trials in order to secure leads and future business.
  • Consultancy Services


B2C Telemarketing is business to consumers. Where a telemarketing agency will contact a homeowner on their landline and try to sell or market a domestic product.


Some examples of B2C suitable products would be:

  • Personal or Homeowners insurance
  • Energy services such as heating and water rate comparison
  • Businesses who have been given permission by their customers to contact them for future promotions

Telemarketing has traditionally been seen as an effective but also intrusive form of marketing. B2B telemarketing is also seen as having a higher conversion rate than B2C as you generally know what the target business is involved with prior to calling. This allows for a more effective marketing campaign with accurate data. Rather than just calling homeowners and playing the numbers game and relying on statistics for conversions.


What result do you want to achieve from your telemarketing campaign?


The first lesson in Telemarketing 101 is deciding on what you actually want to achieve from your campaign. Do you want to gather emails to use within an email marketing campaign with a tool like Mailchimp? Or do you want to gain leads of interested potential customers who are open to your product or service?

Telemarketing campaigns are a form of marketing and therefore you cannot expect to make sales within the outreach process. You can however expect to generate high quality leads which a sales rep can then pitch effectively. If you want to build a ready to pitch database you need to secure as much data as possible. This article is pointed towards cold callers who are looking for a telemarketing for dummies guide. The most common data points to capture into a CRM or spreadsheet would be:

  • Decision makers name and contact information
  • What is the decision making process?
  • Do they have a budget for such a product or service that you are pitching?
  • If so, when is that budget available and does its availability revolve around any other factors?
  • What is the decision maker’s opinion on your telemarketing pitch?
  • What is the decision maker’s reason for being interested? Are they currently using a similar product or service? If so, why would they consider yours? Maybe they are doing a price comparison, this is very common. However if they are currently unhappy with their current supplier we need to know what their issues are so that we can try to tailor a proposal based on this information.

There are many more data points to capture but generally anything that adds value should be recorded. For future reference and to assist in the cold calls and sales process which follows.


How long should my telemarketing pitch be?


Think about your end goal and work backwards. If you are just looking for permission to add your leads email address into a database to be used for email marketing don’t waste time pitching a sale to everyone. It can take around 60 seconds to get an email address from the time the call connects.


Scenario: Get an email address to add to an email marketing campaign


  1. Call connects to the decision maker
  2. You: “Hi, Thank you so much for taking my call. My name is Sam and I am calling businesses in your industry because we offer x. I do not want to take too much of your time today but can I send our pricelist to your email? If you like our offer, drop me an email back or you can call my number. It will be on the email?”
  3. Now you will either get a rejection or an approval. If they give their email address then make a record of their email in your CRM or spreadsheet if you are not sure whether you got it correct or not then do not be shy to confirm it with your prospect. Thank them for their time and keep it moving. End the call and move on to the next one. If you get a rejection ask them why? If your product is relevant to their industry and can genuinely be of benefit to them, tell them and example would go like this.
  4. Prospect: “Sorry Sam, I am really not interested I am really busy thanks for your time though”
  5. You “Like I said I do not want to take your time right now. I’m busy also. But to be honest this product has cut costs by 60% in some of our customers’ experiences. I am not trying to sell you anything right now, I am in the marketing department. We just want to send you our price list and PROOF that our products do what we say they do. What is your email address? I will send it across and make a note for no one to call you again but at least then you will have our info and if it’s relevant you can come back to me at a later date when you are less busy”
  6. Respect the prospects time but tell the truth. Tell them why they are missing out, if you can quote actual savings or time saved by using your product now is the time to stop the lead in their tracks. If you can give them real reasons to consider you and show your competency it is very difficult for them to reject giving their email. As a business person their job is to increase profitability, efficiency and the overall success of the business. Give them a scenario in which it simply does not make sense for them to pass you up.
  7. They are now either going to say yes or no. If they say no, wish them a good day and end the call. You tried twice and got shut down. Some people will not give you their information and that’s totally fine. The next person to call may have a different experience. On the other hand you may get a lead. Take down their details into your CRM and make note if you said you would not call them back you should abide by that. There is nothing worse than being lied to.

All in all this first call should take between 1 and 3 minutes.


If your end goal is to gather a huge email database and you spend one hour having a conversation about your product with a prospect you have gained 1 email address but lost tens of potential email addresses. Combined over an 8 hour period and multiplied by the amount of staff in your telemarketing department. This can be a huge waste of time.

Only pitch the decision maker, and don’t waste time pitching someone who will never buy.

Some marketing professionals will tell you no pitch is wasted, but I am definitely not of that opinion. After a long career in marketing it becomes very clear when you are pitching a dead lead. As soon as this is recognized I would recommend recording your data correctly in your CRM for future reference and politely ending the conversation and moving on to the next prospect.

Some prospects will just be happy for the opportunity to talk to someone. This might be the one time in their day someone has called them or started a conversation and wanted to hear their opinion. As nice as it is to have someone pick up the phone and listen to your pitch, more often than not there is no value in the conversation. Niceties won’t make you money. This article “telemarketing for dummies ” are the first steps you should take. Just like any other telemarketing 101 guide out there we recommend you cover the basics first before going into more in depth pitches.