Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Hello... Hello..? Didn't you want to sell me something?

Finally I have found a good use for being long winded! (or at least it got the job done... this time...)

Everyone who gets annoyed with telemarketers or telesales people please raise your hand. I know my hand is up!

I had just received a call from a telesales person wanting to increase a policy that I have. Right now I am not interested. He asks me for a few minutes of my time, but unfortunately I already know what is coming. I politely try to prevent him from wasting his time – and mine – by simply explaining that I’m not making any financial decisions right now. He uhm’s, ah’s and but’s – he must think that I’m simply trying to brush him off – which I’m sure many do – I am not one of the many, however. Then again, there is no way for him to know that, is there?

So, in order to try and convince him of my short, simple statement, I proceed to explain to him my circumstance of WHY I say what I say. Not even halfway through proving to him that he stands no chance in selling me additional insurance he puts the phone down in my ear!

My first response – "GOOD RIDDANCE!"

My second response - "...hmm... a little rude, don’t you think?" I only had one more sentence to go. He didn’t know that of course.

Oh well, I guess I won this round. Got rid of him and was polite about it!

I’m not so sure that this is a sure-fire solution though. You always have those who are just as polite. They’ll hold the line and hear you out, but if you really think about it – in those instances – they might have won. Not because of selling something, but for succeeding in wasting your time nonetheless – the same time they would have wasted had you gone ahead and let them ramble on while you already knew that you were not interested. The only difference would be who is doing the talking.

We live and we learn, so back to the drawing board, I guess...

What experiences have you had and what have you done to get rid of this (more often than not) nuisance?


  1. Hahaha, here's mine:

  2. HaHaHa Cindy, what a good laugh!! Thanks for sharing. Great to start the day with a giggle ;)

  3. I try to be as nice as possible if it's a real person, but I usually cut the conversation very short. That's so great that you tried to actually explain - I'll bet the salesperson wasn't expecting that!

  4. Nope! Obviously not, Tracy - haha. I feel bad for them, but that is precisely why I don't think they should waste their time on me - especially not if your income is determined by your sales. However, I simply don't have the heart to be rude/crude. I've heard some stories that have made me feel very sorry for the telesales person, shame :( I always think, 'do unto others...'

  5. I got a mate who works in open plan IT environment (by definition; a creative bunch). They have a running kitty for best reverse-prank call. Simply speaking it goes like this:

    Annoying number-withheld call on cell.
    Answer expecting work related caller.
    Disappointed when idiot tele-marketeter (aka schmuck or mark or the delightfully sounding toidi [idiot spelt backwards, or backward-idiot if you will]) starts rambling/ reading a scripted intro with cunning (but by now predictable) open-ended question about you cell phone/ insurance/ holiday venue/ waistline/ pantline/ pant-content or other lesser (or greater) but oh-so-important saving you're missing out on.

    The trick here is to change tack, take said schmuck, off their normal path and still cunningly entertain open-plan office colleagues (who by now are taking odds on length of call, type of sales sector, patience levels, endurance and general IQ/ EQ and SQ (look it up) scores on the typical Rorschach cards (or similar, even reading the side of a Happy Meal box with 5 or fewer errors, qualifies you as a schmuck operative) of schmuck and dishing out popcorn, those little jelly-tots and Wriggly's gum [grape is always popular]), whilst you change the phone to speaker-phone, for everyone's mutual enjoyment.

    The best approach I'm told is to use a schizophrenic line (for first-timers to the game, advanced operators are encouraged to diversify, and try different techniques out). This approach requires varying between threatening; assault, bodily injury and through-the-phone high-frequency brain-melting torture devices (last seen by the CIA/ KGB/ X-files/ Fringe or latest conspiracy website) and then the more tempting "cajoling" by asking in the sweetest Jekyll & Hyde voice why the schmuck is backing off, "don't they want a sale?" and "please forgive the outburst, but I may be interested after-all"...

    The record I'm told is 4-and-a-half cycles, and the odds showed it was a relatively new schmuck in the business and a 20-call veteran of the ploy. Schmuck had no chance, and it seems schmuck is now selling homeless talk in Oxford Street, close to Corlett Drive, a promotion, certainly!

    So, in short with a little planning, a willing group of supporters, time and imagination tele-calls can become entertaining, instead of the all too frequent fiscal failure and bottom-of-the-barrel-grunge-employment people resort to, to waste our time and energy while we wait for that important call from Bill Gates about the $575,000 he promised for using his email, or saving that poor child in some long lost village in Africa before some flesh eating spider eats his leg or bed or what-ever.

  6. Paul, I can just imagine that the caller doesn't know what hit him. I remember when I attended training for telesales once how they train people to be a parrot using a script. If someone throws you a curve ball you are not taught how to deal with it. Then it is each to his own. On the flip side though - for the intelligent caller - a response like you've described could make some good conversation material over dinner with friends. Sounds like it could be an equal good giggle :)

  7. I had a very funny experiance once.... I was working at Samsung doing customer returns, one day I got a phone call from a very upset Russian man who wasn't willing to explain his problem to me as he has been transfered from pillar to post and retold his problem-storie to so many people already he just wasn't going to do it again. I explain that he would need to explain it just this one last time so I can understand what the problem is and actually help him.... Well after a brief second he screamed at me, then said and I quote "DO YOU KNOW WHO I AM?" .... I have to admit that by then I had just about enough and I put my phone on speaker and shouted accross the office and I quote " EXCUSE ME EVERYONE.... We have a customer on the line who seems to have lost his identity, please can someone help him find it"... The customer put down the phone... I believe it's my right not to be bullied regardless of who you are. However I'm happy to report, eventually this Russian customer and I formed a very good friendship and I did resolve his 'problem'

  8. Now that is thinking on your feet, Immortal. For me it might have been something I would only think of afterward. That is usually what happens to me ;) Glad it turned out positive in the end.