A few thoughts. When I first started, it seemed to me that hooking customers was just LUCK. Just stumbling across someone who would give you the time of day, then maybe actually fit the model of someone who the service would benefit, and then somehow trusted telemarketers enough to business over the phone. So if I made bad sales it wasn't my fault... it was just bad luck. But I listened to one of our "veteran" workers (LOL three weeks in this place gets you veteran status, but she can actually back it up) who declared it was about 20% luck, 80% talent. And when you think about it, why would she be so consistently lucky while other people are so consistently unlucky?
So I thought, if I want to take credit for days when I have good sales, I have to accept it when I have bad sales as well. So I adopted her 80 skill/20 luck idea and I keep it in mind when coworkers bitch about bad data.
Secondly, I'm convinced it's all about how bored you sound. If you sound bored, no one will give you the time of day. After my first week I got my (first) script down pat. Then I started sound perfect, but bored. One day I overheard one of the supervisors giving a coworker a pep talk with an example call. It was much more edgy, straight to the point. So I sucked it up and started trying this more confrontational approach. It's been working a lot better. At least if you don't have your script perfect, if you're nervous about it, even if you stumble over a few words, at least you don't sound bored.
Thirdly, my least favourite type of person to answer the phone... the person who politely listens to your entire spiel, "mmm"s at all the right spots... and then right at the end, reveal they're in a contract/they're not the right person/or actually... they're just not interested. I would rather a quick "no thanks"/hangup than to get my hopes up on someone who will never say yes!
Lastly... I'm still just surprised by how many people actually say yes to telemarketers. I thought everyone had been trained by now to just hang up as soon as you spot one. (For me, it's always been easy, as my surname is unpronouncable if you don't know it... and even then sometimes.)
Just remember: don't blame telemarketers for the telemarketing industry... blame the idiots who still say yes!