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.)
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I thought this was an interesting post, as I recently experienced the caller ID showing a 1-800 number, but there was complete silence when I answered it. And when I tried to dial the number back, it wouldn’t go through. So I don’t know if they were just confirming that I was home or what – luckily, no sales call followed.
BTW, I am a huge Tom Mabe fan. If you’ve never heard of his “Revenge on the Telemarketer” CD, you need to Google it. Classic!
I totally agree with Dick. I’m so sick of telemarketers calling. I’ve gotten a lot of the calls where no one is on the other line. When I try to call that number back, they say it’s disconnected. I love having fun with telemarketers. I’ve pretended to be a nanny that doesn’t speak english and told them that they were “at the bar”, “i’m watching kids”. I just got one the other day. They started with they weren’t selling anything, but that they were calling people in my neighborhood to let them know they have won free windows or doors. I told her that if it sounds too good to be true it probably is and that right now, nothing is free, there is always a catch. I told her to try to call the other neighbors, but like me there not dumb and won’t fall for there scam. I hung up and smiled. Other times I will go along with them acting like i’m interested, then just as they think they have a sale on the line I hang up.
I don’t get too many telemarketing calls at home because of the no call registry, but the politicians are exempt from that. I do get a lot of the political pre-recorded calls.
Are they being paid a per answered call. It would seem that this wouldn’t be very much, though. We, too, have received these calls. It is very irritating!
I seldom get those calls due to the No Call Registry and caller ID. On the rare occasion I do, I simply hang up as soon as I recognize it’s a sales call. Saves me time and gives the telemarketer more time to go harass…um…demonstrate their marketing skills to a potential customer. When they come to the door, that’s when I let NutJob the dog, an expert Cujo channeler, loose. Haven’t talked to a Jehovah in the 7 years I’ve had her.
I love it. The phone rings, the caller idea comes up with “Unknown”, you answer the phone and you hear, “Please hold for an important call…” you hold thinking its important and then its just a stupid sales call.
I miss the good old days of real people on the other end of the phone.
The calls are an uninvited irritant. I do hang up with a “Goodbye”.
The new one at my place is random fax machines calling at 5 a.m. And of course they automatically call back. Lovely.
Well, at least I’m not alone! Caller ID had the telemarketers scrambling for new ideas and they came up with a few beauty’s, how about the one “by staying on the line you verify that you are so and so” or how about the ones who call and leave a message saying it’s “critical” that you call them back, while leaving no name or reason for the call. I too am on the do not call registry but they seem to be able to get around it with “this is not a sales call” I would be interested in the statistics about telemarketing, since they obviously use “bot” dialers now how many thousands of calls does it take to land a sucker?
Check through this link
A lot of these companies are in violation of several regulations out there, but if you don’t know then you can’t take it to them. Also if you have put that # that they are calling you on down on an application for “free stuff” or at the retail stores list for a promo then you may be re-opening the door that you are trying to close.
I work in a call center industry, however it is not telemarketing, and they “telemarketers” are ruining it, and making it difficult for those who do need to utilize the phone for their main source of communication for their job.
I do like to have my fun with them, I had a man call up to lower my credit card rates. I was trying to sound as interested as I could so that I could get to the point of getting a supervisor on the line. When I finally got her on the line, I asked if I was auto dialed or manually dialed,and she froze. claimed that that wasn’t an issue they were trying to help me. I asked again, she swore and hung up. I called the # back and it was disconnected. Don’t even get me started on the Acai berry calls.
I love telemarketers. Telemarketing as a profession is a good as it gets…where does one go to school and what do they have to study to become a telemarketer? I love geting the calls at around 5 or 6 pm, just before or during dinner. I politely listen to their scam and then say, “I’m glad you called. Just a minute. She is right here.”
I then hand my wife the phone and walk out of the room! You should see her face when she realizes what is going on. Her face turns bright red… That is as good as it gets. My wife hates telemarketers. I love telemarketers, because they allow me to pull tricks/scams on unsuspecting people! My wife gets very suspicious everytime I answer the phone, wait, listen and say, “Oh, she is right here!” Priceless!