The joy of cold calling?

My eldest son works in a call centre, raising money for charity. I have some sympathy for his as it can’t be fun extracting cash from people – especially in the current climate.

I seem to be going through a phase again of get cold calls – principally about my firms mobile telephones. The contract is due for renewal in the summer this year. But, following some pretty appalling experiences of private firms who promise the earth and then deliver nothing, we have gone directly to the big firms, Orange, O2 and Vodaphone. Although our experiences have been varied, I do know where I stand. We won’t ever go through a third party again.

But this doesn’t stop the cold callers. My favourites (not) are the ones who start with my first name – in a sort of ‘best mate’ way. Then they are concerned about how my day is, ‘are you having a good day?’ I’m not usually, so this is a bit of a blow to them when I share. Then the outright lie, ‘you told me to call you back’ or ‘you said I could come and see you’. They are pretty convincing – and seem genuinely disappointed when I let them down with ‘no I didn’t’. Emphatically I didn’t. I always remember when I have ‘promised’ to let them see me / quote me. Because it’s been never.

The lies really irritate me the most. They must do this on one of two grounds – firstly they get lucky and find me in a pleasant mood (unlikely) or that they think my memory has failed me and I’ll roll over (unlikely) and let them come and share my office for an hour.

It can’t be fun trying to earn a living doing this, but the manual about winning new clients from cold calling needs re-visiting!

4 comments on “The joy of cold calling?

  1. You’re totally right. These shady tactics are like spam for the ear. Tasteless, unexciting and ultimately unhelpful.

    This relates to a problem I have at the moment. I don’t want to start cold calling potential clients for my web design and marketing business. But without a network I don’t have many other choices.

    Respect and honesty are going to be key in those calls. No point wasting someone’s time if they don’t want or can’t afford a service, is there?

    • Simon, yes I do understand – and winning new business is a challenge. But networking and personal recommendation are a million times more effective than cold calls laced with lies. Good luck!

  2. I often have sympathy for them after I have left them with a flea in their ear! Given the volume calls being made and the companies that use this tactic then it must work at some level? I wonder what the success rate is. I’d be surprised if it it was anything higher than 1 in 10.

    I agree that these are like spam (but for the ear) – but most of my spam emails I never see; with these calls you can either ignore the call and potentially lose business or answer it and tie up your phone line and resources dealing with it. A lose-lose situation :(

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