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 to market your product or service. 

Telemarketing can be B2B or B2C. If you are completely new to telemarketing you may want to check out our what is cold calling article.

B2B Telemarketing is business to business. One company makes a telephone call to the other to pitch 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 to secure leads and future business.
  • Consultancy Services

B2C Telemarketing is business to consumers. 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 their customers have permitted to contact them for future promotions

Telemarketing has traditionally been seen as a practical and 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 before 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 what you 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 from 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. However, you can expect to generate high-quality leads that 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 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 making a price comparison, and this is very common. However, if they are currently unhappy with their current supplier, we need to know what their issues are to 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 looking for permission to add your lead’s email address into a database for email marketing, don’t waste time pitching a sale to everyone. It can take around 60 seconds to get an email address when the call connects.

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

  1. The 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 price list 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 approval. If they give their email address, 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 benefit them, tell them an example that would go like this.
  4. Prospect: “Sorry, Sam, I am 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 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 prospect’s 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 tough for them to reject giving their email. As a business person, their job is to increase profitability, efficiency, and overall success. 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 fine. The following person to call may have a different experience. On the other hand, you may get a lead. Takedown 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 vast email database and you spend one hour talking about your product with a prospect, you have gained one email address but lost tens of potential email addresses. 

Combined over 8 hours and multiplied by the amount of staff in your telemarketing department. This can be a massive 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 not of that opinion. After a long career in marketing, it becomes apparent when you pitch 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 be happy for the opportunity to talk to someone, and this might be the one time in their day someone has called them or started a conversation and wanted to hear their opinion. As lovely 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. Like any other telemarketing 101 guide out there, we recommend you cover the basics before going into more in-depth pitches.