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!