FROM LAW DEGREE TO TELEMARKETING CAREER: Q&A WITH CHRIS CLARKE, CLIENT DIRECTOR AT MARKETMAKERS

Q. Chris – You are a Client Director at MarketMakers. Can you tell us what the company does?

A. Market Makers is the UK’s number one business-to-business telemarketing company. We’re based in Portsmouth, and since being set up in 2004 the company has grown incredibly rapidly. We now employ more than 190 people, have a turnover of £7.2m, and we’re lucky enough to have household names like HSBC, Samsung, Deloitte, Holiday Inn, and Microsoft among our clients.

Q. And what about your role? What does a Client Director do?

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Chris Clarke - Client Director - Market Makers
Chris Clarke – Client Director – Market Makers

A. We’re a bit different to many telemarketing companies where you start as an agent, and if you stick at it you get moved off the phone into management. Here, telemarketing can be a career, and we want to stay working on the phone but progressing up the ladder.

So, there are five levels of agent: account executive, account manager, senior account manager, client manager, and client director. The more senior you are the more autonomy you have in how you run your campaigns.

I have been given carte blanche for all my accounts – so every client win gives me that extra rush of pride. Equally, my role is very involved with the safeguarding and development of MarketMakers as a business. I currently have eleven clients including three top tier accountancy firms, and one top legal firm. For all of these clients I am their point-to-point contact.

Q. Can you describe a typical day?

A. Every day is different. I love a job that makes me think on my feet – one minute I will be spearheading a new account proposal, then I could get an urgent call from a client and I will be out in the car driving for an impromptu meeting with them. I can’t really describe an average day, because there isn’t one.

Q. Is it all telephone-based?

A. That’s a large part of the role, but by no means all. I tend to get in at 7.30 most mornings and I start by catching up on emails, and analysing progress on all my campaigns. It’s really important for me to make sure my team are investing hours into the most beneficial areas for my clients so I will always analyse each campaign’s dials versus opportunities figures daily.

Then at 9am I have a buzz session with my team. It’s just five to fifteen minutes long, and an opportunity to pick each other’s brains and make suggestions on improvements. It really gets the team motivated for the day.

After that the core dialling gets started and I speak to my clients. Who knows where the day could take me from there. Just today I received confirmation on a meeting that I have been pursuing for years which could mean big things for the client, so I’m feeling great at the moment.

Q. Did you always know you wanted a career in telemarketing?

A.No! Not at all. My plan was to work as a solicitor. I graduated from Portsmouth University with a good law and business degree, and took the job at MarketMakers as a way to earn some quick money and pay off a few debts while I was applying for jobs at law firms. That was three years ago, and I’m certainly not thinking about entering the law now!

Q. Really? What got you so hooked?

A.I think it’s the family atmosphere here. Everybody cares and we all work together for the results. We have more than tripled in size since I started, and I think the team spirit is the key to our success. We get rewarded for working hard – it’s not often you can say your company is taking you to Dubai for a holiday this weekend just for being a good employee.

Q. What about the pay?

A.Obviously, the money is good. I would say that I am earning a higher salary now than my peers who did pursue the law route, and in ten years, I will probably say the same. I have friends who graduated with me and who have spent the past three years searching for work. They’re only now just getting picked up by firms.

Q. Did your law degree help you at all in the world of work?

A.Very much so. My time at university provided me with the confidence to approach new prospects and think on my feet. The degree has given me the ability to research and present a case effectively while retaining a professional discipline. All the skills I developed during my studies meant that I was suited to telemarketing, and I’m so pleased that I went with my gut on this one.

Q. What are your plans for the future?

A.Hopefully to have my name on the door here, no all jokes aside, nothing is off the table. We have an explosive growth strategy in place and I want to nurture that growth. Maybe we could even see MarketMakers expand overseas in the future. I’d love one day to grow a grassroots team and offer training to staff on how to succeed in the telemarketing world. I say watch this space.

About MarketMakers

Founded in 2004, Market Makers has grown rapidly, delivering results-oriented telemarketing to B2B companies including HSBC, Samsung, Deloitte, Holiday Inn, and Microsoft.

Its combination of quality people and a relentless focus on achieving results for its clients has led to year-on-year growth of 40% and it is now the UK’s largest outbound B2B telemarketing company, employing more than 190 people with a turnover of £7.2m.

http://www.marketmakers.co.uk/

For further information please contact Alex Blyth, Director, Red Setter PR, 01273 260111, [email protected]

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