The Problem with the Abuse of Telemarketers

Setting aside the details of how to do the job, I’d like to talk briefly about telemarketer abuse. This is the mistreatment, low pay, and job insecurity that are rained down on all telemarketers, both the good and the bad.

Telemarketer abuse occurs because fewer than 5% of the candidates who present themselves as professional B2B telemarketers know how to do the job. As a result, business owners (and call center managers) have no choice but to ride herd on their employees. They need to record their calls so they can correct their technique (which is funny, since most call center managers don’t know what an effective technique is in the first place). They need to measure dial rate ahead of lead quality because it can be measured more easily. And they need to pay as little as possible because they need to preserve cash for turnover and failure. And because there are so many candidates available, they can get easily away with all of it.

As a result, despite the ability of a good B2B telemarketer to “ring the cash register,” most are used to being abused by their employers because there is so much competition for the position. And because there is such a lack of understanding by the business owner or call center manager of what really works.

This is also illustrated with another type of telemarketer abuse that comes in the form of pay-per-lead programs. This is where the business owner or call center pays the lead generation specialist on a per-lead basis to offset their risk. Given that the risk exists because the owner or call center doesn’t really know what works, it seems cruel to put the burden on the telemarketer. But since there are so many people who are desperate for the work, especially in today’s economy, they can easily get away with it.

But the telemarketers contribute to the abuse by claiming that they’re “good” as a way to separate themselves from their competition. When you do this, unfortunately, the natural reaction is for the employer to say, “Okay, if you’re so good, you should be willing to work on a pay-per-lead basis.”

And, again, since the telemarketer needs the work, he agrees.

The better solution for the telemarketer, though, is to refuse these abusive structures, and instead use his selling skills to negotiate a fair rate of pay. After all, if you think about it: if you have the skill to get an appointment with a busy decision maker, don’t you think you should also have the skill to negotiate a fair pay rate?

And for the business owner, how effective do you think someone is going to be at convincing a busy executive to grant an appointment if they can’t even convince you to pay them a decent wage?

About the author

Founder and CEO at | Website | + posts

Jeff Josephson is the founder and CEO of, the one stop shop for all your sales and marketing needs. has found nearly a billion dollars in new business for their clients over the years, helping to overcome their barriers and challenges so that can meet and exceed their revenue, growth and profitability objectives.