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Telesales calls: the perfect solution!

  1. Dec 11, 2004 #1
    Hah! You fell for my sales pitch. In fact I haven't got the solution to telesales, but have cunningly lured you into this thread.

    My point: sales techniques in general and telesales calls in particular tend to annoy me. I know, we all have to make a living, but perhaps disturbing people by phoning them isn't the most noble of professions. But seeing as its going to happen anyway - at least until laws are passed against it - how can we best deal with them? Here are few of the things I have tried:

    1/ Being polite: saying 'No thanks, I don't need XYZ' and ending on a positive note e.g. 'goodbye'.

    2/ Being frank, but rude: 'Why are you disturbing me? I'm in the middle of something important. Why don't you get a job that doesn't involve annoying people?'

    3/ Being polite, but honest: 'Look, I don't want XYZ. I appreciate that you have a job to do, but if I did need XYZ I would have phoned you. Is it possible to take me off whatever list you got my name from?'

    I have just spent 10 minutes using strategy 3, but ended up feeling like I was talking to a machine. The salesperson kept telling me he was doing market research in order to reduce the amount of 'irrelevant' junk mail and telesales calls I could expect, then proceeded to try to pump me for demographic information to more effectively target me. I pointed this out to him several times, including the fact that for me all junk mail etc was irrelevant, but he was like a scratched record and gave me the same pitch over & over.

    How do you deal with telesales calls?
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 11, 2004 #2


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    I always try to lure them into phone sex; for the most part I've been pretty successful.

    And if the telemarketer is a chick, having a voice that sounds rather hot, it never hurts to make a request for her phone number.

    Edit: Why be polite? They called you, being impolite themselves. It's only appropriate to return the favour to them. They called you; you might as well get a little sexual pleasure out of it. :rofl:
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2004
  4. Dec 11, 2004 #3

    If some salesperson calls I usually just hang up immediately, although I may be tempted to try graphic7's idea next time one calls.

    I think in the US there is a no call list, or something like that, ran by the government. It is a start I guess.
  5. Dec 11, 2004 #4


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    Yep, we have a do not call list. It doesn't work for everything, I still got an awful lot of machines calling to tell me to vote for thus and so in the week before the November election (I think next election I'll leave a recording on my answering machine that any messages left from political campaigns will result in my putting that candidate on my "do not vote" list. :biggrin:

    I also still get people doing surveys that somehow don't get included in the do not call rules. Those are easy, I answer "no" to everything. Usually a "no" to the first three questions terminates the survey. If that doesn't work, I start giving them answers outside their list of multiple choices...long narrative answers that are a pain to fill in on survey forms. If all else fails, I tell them I don't have time, they always ask for the best time to call back, so I tell 3 in the afternoon (when I'm certain to be at work). :devil:

    When I used to get bona fide telemarketers bugging me, most of the time I just hung up as soon as there was a delay from when I answered the phone to when the person on the other line said anything (they automatic dial, and it takes them a moment to pick up the phone when someone actually answers). When I had time and was in the mood to play (i.e., really bored), any number of strategies worked. The phone sex one was always good (i.e., "You have a sexy voice. What are you wearing? Mmmmm...can you take it off?), this even works better with the same sex! Asking to speak to Joe was a good one too...pretend like you called them looking for Joe. Run the vacuum while talking and shout into the phone asking them to repeat everything 2 or 3 times because you can't hear them over the vacuum. You can try to sell them your services for something. Quote your phone consulation fee (make it exhorbitant), and ask for a billing address. You can act paranoid, "Who told you my name?! You're with them, aren't you?! Stop reading my mind!"

    You can get rid of them quickly if you just say no, with no explanation, a few times in a row. They usually ask three times, and if you offer an explanation, they will try to address that, but if you just tell them a straightforward no, there's nowhere for them to go with it.

    I heard of someone once who just put their toddler on the phone. The little one LOVED to talk on and on and on.

    Until you can ban them completely, might as well have fun with them. :biggrin:
  6. Dec 11, 2004 #5


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    Since the implementation of the national Do Not Call List, I never get telemarketing calls anymore. It is so nice. Sounds like the UK should implement the same thing.
  7. Dec 12, 2004 #6

    I'm actually looking forward to my next telesales call. Do you think they'd let me put myself on the US list?
  8. Dec 12, 2004 #7

    I'm impressed. Have you tried this with a sales assistant in a shop?

    You have a point. Call me a wuss, but I tend to think that this person needs to pay their rent etc, and their probably not any happier to be speaking to me than I am speaking to them.
  9. Dec 12, 2004 #8


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    number42! Do you happen to know about this ultimate answer thing? Does it have any real backgroud or is it a purely fictional something invented by Adams?
  10. Dec 12, 2004 #9
    Hmm. Don't know what you mean by 'Adams'. Do you mean Adam (PF member) or mattmns?

    I'm afraid Moonbear and graphic7 are in the lead with suggestions. Yes, this is a bogus thread and its all just a bit of fun. But if you have any ideas, I'm all ears. Just don't phone them in, that's all.
  11. Dec 12, 2004 #10
    Having said that, my new book 'Telesales calls: the perfect solution!' will be in all good bookstores soon. Just keep those suggestions a comin', folks.
  12. Dec 12, 2004 #11


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    Well, one time I told one I had glazed my body down in vaseline lotion, and I was ready for her. I told her since she already had my address, she's welcome to come on over; she hung up. Needless to say, I never heard from her again, or that company for that matter.

    Graphic7 - the phone rapist of telemarketers. :biggrin:
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2004
  13. Dec 12, 2004 #12


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    I would go into a sob story that I wished I could buy what they were selling to improve my home because it sounded so wonderful, but that the bank was about to foreclose on my house, my car about to get repossed, no job, no money. They would fall all over themselves trying to get off the phone. They can't sell to someone with no money.
  14. Dec 12, 2004 #13


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    :devil: I like that one! I used to love getting those calls from people selling aluminum siding and gutters when I lived in dorms and apartments. :uhh: Hey, cool! Can you install those on the inside? I think aluminum siding in my dorm room would be so cool! Oh, wait, there are these fire codes about wall hangings...can you just put it on 30% of the walls? :biggrin:
  15. Dec 12, 2004 #14


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    I just wish I'd stop getting telemarketing calls for Robert Harrison.

    We have an unlisted number, but this Robert H obviously didn't. I think we got his number when he died or something.

    Two Roberts in the house, plus calls for a dead Robert we don't even know - it gets a little frustrating to even answer the phone.
  16. Dec 12, 2004 #15
    You're right. It would take a special kind of sales person to fall for phone sex with a dead guy.
  17. Dec 12, 2004 #16


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    I keep getting calls for a John Davis. It's usually women calling for him. I wonder if I have his old number, or if he's intentionally giving a wrong number to women he meets. :rofl: I've been tempted to start telling them things like, "What are you looking for him here for! Are you another of those b*****s he's been cheating on me with?! He's all yours if you want him, I kicked him and all his crap to the curb, good riddance!" :rofl: I bet he'd make sure he gave out the right number (or at least a different number) after that! :biggrin:
  18. Dec 13, 2004 #17


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    I manage to dodge most of the telemarketing calls, because more often than not, they are after my parents, so I say "No, sorry they are not in." Sometimes they decide that maybe I'd do instead, but ask me if I'm 18 or over before they try to sell me car insurance. My instinctive answer has become "No, I'm 17." even though this has not been the case since April.

    There are a couple of techniques I've been meaning to try, only I never remember when the phone rings.
    Number one is to seem interested for about a minute, and then scream "Oh no the cat is on fire again!" and quickly hang up before they have chance to figure out whats going on.
    Number 2 is whatever they try to sell you, you don't need it. If its double glazing, answer "I'm sorry, my house has no windows." If its car insurance "I have no legs, and thus can't drive" If its a magazine subscription, "Sorry, I'm illiterate" etc.

    We have one, however for some reason it only applies to UK companies/call centres. All my calls nowadays are from India, America and occasionally France.
  19. Dec 13, 2004 #18
    I was a telemarketer once. Hated it. What bothered me the most was when someone hung up on me while I was talking. I've actually had several telemarketing jobs, they can pay well, but I always quit somewhere between day 2-7. It just sucks so bad. The one time I didn't quit I got fired. I was bored reading the same script over and over, so I just made a little change and instead of saying "Good Bye" at the end I said "Good Bye, love ya" I got quite a few love you toos. Once I lost money telemarketing we were supposed to sell anti-telemarketing packages. It was total fraud, telemarketers were telling people they were investigating a case credit card fraud, then get the people's credit card number. I quit after 20 minutes, then had to spend my own money to make a long distance call and tell the lady who wanted to buy the antitelemarketing system not to buy anything, it was a scam.
  20. Dec 13, 2004 #19
    I have two nephews that were telemarketers with a major bank, so know a little about the business and I usually try and be polite. I wait and see what they are selling then cut in with, "Sorry, we're not interested, but thank you for calling. Goodbye." and hang up.

    If they catch me in a bad mood, I am not quite so polite. I pretend to not be able to hear them. "What? I can't hear a word you're saying...Who did you want?" They mispronouce my name and then I say..."You don't want to talk to him today!" They ask when they should call. "There is no good time!"

    I had a friend that used to pretend like they got the answering machine.

    Friend - "Hello (pause)"

    TeleM - "Good afternoon, this is Spanky with such and such, we have an offer for...

    Friend - "...We are not available to take your call but please leave a message at the beep. (Pause) Beeeeep."

    He would give them a second to see if they fell for it then hang up.
  21. Dec 13, 2004 #20


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    My favorite way of handling them is when they ask to speak to Mr or Mrs So & So, I would say "One moment please" and then just put the phone down and continue what I was doing (laundry, cleaning, reading...) After about 10 minutes I'd pick up the phone and ask "Are you still there?" Usually they had hung up, but sometimes they'd still be on the line. I'd say "Oh. Hang on just another minute or two. They'll be right here. REALLY!" Then I'd set the phone down again and continue what I was doing (again! :biggrin). They went away. :biggrin:
  22. Dec 13, 2004 #21


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    Oh, that one always gave me an easy out. Since there is no Mr or Mrs in my house, as soon as they ask for Mr or Mrs (My last name), I would either 1) tell them they had the wrong number, 2) tell them they must mean my parents, but they aren't in (Why would they be? They live in another state.), or 3) launch into a feminist rant about proper use of titles (usually if I used that last one, by the time I was done, they were sure I was a bit unstable and not worth trying to sell anything to).

    I did get one person trying to sell lawncare who immediately asked for my husband when I answered the phone. That one is probably still icing down his ear. I had immense fun with that one. Near the end of the conversation, he was trying to quiz me on lawn care to try to prove I didn't know what I was talking about. I think the final part of the conversation (okay, hardly a conversation at that point) was him saying to me, "You must think you're really smart," to which I answered, "Yes, I do." :rofl: That's when he finally hung up on me. :approve:
  23. Dec 14, 2004 #22
    He sounds like a jerk. You were right to 'get Dworkin' on his ass.
  24. Dec 14, 2004 #23
    I used to work for a company that did surveys over the phone. I always loved calling the States after they implemented the ‘DO NOT CALL’ list. They would always yell at me saying, “we’re on the do not call list you know! I can have you arrested!” or something stupid like that. Then I would cheerfully explain that the do not call list only applies to companies that are trying to solicit and we are just doing surveys. Some people still wouldn’t get it and threaten to sue. Others would sound very disappointed. Talking with the angry people was always the most fun.

    One of the dumbest replies I got from someone trying to be witty and imitate an episode of Seinfeld went sorta like this:

    Me: Hello I’m calling from _____, a national research company and we’re conducting a study on [something]…
    Guy: Actually I’m eating dinner right now. How about you give me your phone number and I’ll call you back.
    Me: Actually I’m on a phone that’s equipped for outgoing calls only so it would be impossible for you to get through to me directly. But I can schedule an appointment for a call back time that’s best for you or I can give you the number of main offices…
    Guy: Oh, so I guess you don’t like being interrupted when you’re eating dinner then!
    Me: Excuse me?
    Guy: [Click]

    Needless to say I just put teh number back into the system and he was probably called back within the evening :biggrin:

    *sigh*…. That was such an easy job. I got offered a promotion within my first two months which was kind of sad considering there were some people who had been working there for five or ten years and were still at the very bottom.
  25. Dec 16, 2004 #24
    My favourite trick (when I have the time for it) is to waste that precious thing tele-marketeers have: time.

    I lure them into explaining all details about whatever they sell, going from obvious to less and less obvious. Going from normal amount of people that can sit on the couch to the maximum amount of people it can handle (and what about uncle Jim, who's really fat ?)... to proper cleaning procedures, influence of the sun on the colors, ...

    I win when they are the ones who hang up, I loose when I have to say I'm not interested...
    I can usually stretch it to about 4 to 5 minutes of their time if they are professional, non professionals waste 10 to 15 minutes.

  26. Dec 16, 2004 #25


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    This is my usual tactic, the cable people think I don't have a tv, the internet people think I don't have a computer, the carpet cleaning people think I don't have a carpet (actually true), the newspaper people think I'm illiterate, and so on.

    My favorite is telling the long distance people that I don't have a phone. Usually followed by a period of silence where you can hear the mental gears turning.
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