March 29, 2010 by admncc
Here at The Constant Complainer, in addition to my own posts, readers can submit Guest Posts on topics they’d like to complain about. I’d like to welcome Dick with his first Guest Post. His complaint is telemarketing. Great topic! If I were to look at the universal complaint list, I’m sure that telemarketers have a spot. So enjoy and without further adieu, here’s Dick…
I am no expert when it comes to the world of telemarketing, although I have done my share of it over the years, and the number one thing I hated most about being in sales was the “dialing for dollars” aspect of it, prospecting as it were. I knew it was necessary, and confident that I had a great product to sell I would launch into my pitch as soon as I had a live person on the line. Didn’t matter if it was a receptionist or a secretary, my approach was casual, not too jokey or familiar and sometimes they would react favorably, even transfer me to the appropriate person or give me a name and extension.
But all too often I was met with a phenomenon that exists which I used to call the “iron curtain” an unseen wall of attitude that can be described accurately by anyone who has ever been treated to it. Cryptic responses to innocent questions, dull tone or just plain unresponsive, and sometimes just downright hostile. They might as well just say it out loud, “What the hell do you want?” or jeez, “Not another sales idiot.”
That kind of attitude is hard to overcome, or as a stand up comic might say, “This is a tough room!” You have to be on your game if you are going to be persistent but you always have the option of hanging up with a curt, “Thanks for you help, have a nice day.” I suspect that often you run up against these sales person “haters” because of another phenomenon that exists with some office-bound workers, the ones who do not have the freedom to come and go as they please, take however long for lunch, and run up ridiculous expenses which they feel are unnecessary. It’s just plain jealousy, but that is a subject for another day.
Let’s get back on track with my complaint which has to do with today’s telemarketing techniques, which for the life of me I just don’t get. Never in my wildest dreams back then would I have imagined that the phone sales technique I describe here, which I can only describe as moronic, would have a chance in hell of success. It involves calling a prospect and then not saying a word! You heard me right, not one single word, just dead silence. It seems that had I remained mute, I would have been more successful. I say this because that is what’s happening to me, day after day. I get these 800 or 866 prefaced calls, and when I answer them (to tell them to stop calling me) I am met with silence, awful music, or worse yet, some kind of recorded sales pitch.
I have to ask myself, is this the new telemarketing? What genius came up with these programs? Excuse me, but I always thought that the idea of calling a potential customer was to sell something. And to do that you had to actually speak. So it’s a bit confusing to me as to how anyone expects to make a sale if they don’t talk! Is this some new kind of phone phishing scam? What person in their right mind would not be offended by a recorded sales pitch, much less actually respond to it? Or how about when you answer the phone and all you hear is static loaded elevator music. Whatever happened to the old methods?
All I can say now is thank goodness for caller ID! (***Note from The Constant Complainer – you can check out Dick’s site and blog here.)