DEALING WITH COLD CALLERS
COLD CALL ALERTS
We all get them ! We usually hate them but still they continue to come ! SO WHY DO COLD CALLERS CONTINUE TO CONTACT US ?
The answer is simple in that however people you know will protest their distaste for them, the fact that they keep coming proves but one thing. COLD CALLING IS A VERY EFFECTIVE WAY OF GENERATING SALES. How can I be sure of that ? Simple, if the companies that have cold callers found they did not work, they would not use this method of seeking to generate sales. So, however much the guy next to you in the Pub says he never buys anything from a cold caller, chances are he is not really levelling with you. Let"s face it most people are too embarrassed to admit they have fallen foul of the unwanted caller and many have been ripped off by them.
Putting things into context, let us first consider the man or woman actually making the call. In many cases they are employed on a "Commission Only" basis. Thus, they need to make calls and close deals to make their living. Regardless of that, the majority will have gone through a Company Cold Calling Training and many are forced to stick to a prepared script by their employers who assure them that this is the ONLY proven way to secure that craved for deal.
In a way that is a good thing, for it helps you, the receiver to identify a Cold Call early on and decide how to deal with it. For example, if my phone goes and someone I have never heard of before asks if I am the person they are seeking to speak too, my alerts flash, ready for the next phase. If that turns out to be something like, "AND HOW ARE YOU DOING TODAY JOHN", I am then fully alerted that I have a Cold Caller on the line. Reason, why would someone I do not know take the trouble to ring to enquire of my well being ? Simple answer again is that the "script" requires it as a means of "establishing a relationship" between us. In my case, and yours too if you take my advice this does exactly the opposite and prepares me to deal as I see fit with the caller, and I will propose courses of action that may be taken later on in this Hub, including one which absolutely infuriates callers to the end of their tether.
Getting things into perspective, I classify Cold Calls into two categories as below:
1. Nuisance but relatively harmless calls.
2.Nuisance and potentially real threat calls.
In the first category, I place calls from companies seeking to SELL me a service or product, or to persuade me to change from my current supplier to themselves. The usual suspects here include, Utility suppliers, Satellite insures, Double Glazing and associated products, Solar Panels, Mobile and Land line phone services etc All these products in the main are soundly based and products and services that most of us either have or may wish to have. Many are engaged in cutthroat competition with their competitor and adopt the policy that all is fair in love and business accounts gathering. As I say, the vast majority of these are a nuisance, for I am happy to make up my own mind by using comparison web sites or the like, or actually contacting the company direct if I wish to be advised further of their product or services. The cold caller seeks to influence my decisions by invading my personal space, establishing a quasi- friendship to build up my confidence and thus persuading me to make a snap decision. In most cases, these type of calls will not cause too much fiscal grief to the receiver, though of course, in some cases they could lead to that. For example, have you ever answered your phone to find you have won a prize of substantial proportions, like a free holiday, when you never entered the so called competition or draw? Chances are it is Timeshare or Holiday Club Ownerships calling.You may want to listen or not, but at the end of it all there is but one finale if you agree and that is that it will cost you money at some point.
The second category is more menacing and sinister all round. Calls in this category should carry a Government warning for they can seriously damage your wealth. For a good example of this type of call, visit my earlier Hub entitled "BOILER ROOMS BEWARE" This Hub has struck a real chord with readers for over a year now and warns against a particular type of cold call. These come usually from very well spoken City type people and look to gain your interest in investing in stocks, shares, land, commodities etc that happen to be on their books. Quite a lot of these people are in fact calling you not from the UK where they would fall under the rules of the Financial Services Authority, but from overseas in much less well regulated climes. Many fall for the well researched and enthusiastic patter and invest £1000"s in spurious situations, most of which lead to a total loss of capital so placed. Ask yourself if you would pass say £1000 to a chap who approached you in the street, showed you a business card, gave you a spiel and then asked for the cash, giving you in return a beautiful but useless, piece of paper, masquerading as a certificate of some sort. Madness to do it, but thousands do daily.
Another area to watch out for are callers selling "Vintage Wines". In these cases, often the wine is genuine but the price asked well above the market rate. Now the Internet can ensure that this type of scam is not viable. Of course, the caller will advise that this price is special and for only that day. That alone should ensure a swift decline but again many do not do their homework and suffer. These examples are not a comprehensive list but just a few to give you pause for thought the next time your phone rings to this type of call. Currently, a favourite seems to be to seek to entice people to get involved as Traders in what is known as FOREX. in this to my limited knowledge you are invited to open an account and maybe even buy a "foolproof system" to gamble, for example on whether a currency price rises or falls against another. Sounds too good to be true? Then it probably is as I am told that whilst some Traders make fantastic profits 98% end up losing their money. This particular form of invasion also uses the internet e- mail system, backed up by flowery videos, so beware this also.
TECHNIQUES TO USE IN DEALING WITH THE PROBLEM.
Now I make no claims to be an expert but I reckon I have developed a pretty good arsenal of dealing with such calls in both categories. So below I list some of the ways I personally deal with these types of calls.
1. As soon as I hear them say, "AND HOW ARE YOU TODAY---" I PUT THE PHONE DOWN. THIS IS USUALLY IF I AM SHORT OF TIME OR IN AN UNUSUALLY BAD MOOD. ITHINK ONLY 2 HAVE EVER RUNG BACK TO SAY THEY WERE CUT OFF AND TO TRY TO PERSIST. IN FACT NOW IF A RETURN CALL CAME QUICKLY IWOULD NOT ANSWER BUT CHECK FOR THE NUMBER AND IF IT WAS RESERVED I WOULD KNOW IT WAS THEM AGAIN.
2. THIS IS A BIT MORE SUBTLE AND I USE THIS TO EMBARRAS THE CALLER. I RESPOND TO THEM ASKING HOW I AM TODAY BY REPLYING THAT I AM QUITE GOOD CONSIDERING I AM SUFFERING FROM A TERMINAL ILLNESS. There is a lot of fun to be had out of that one I assure you. The number of times the caller responds by saying something like, "THAT IS GOOD TO KNOW etc. is amazing. Quite simply the caller was dealing from a script and those who trained him omitted to tell him that LISTENING is a vital element in selling anything.
3. If the caller comes in the "Nuisance but relatively harmless " category and I am in a good mood, I will ascertain what they are selling and then advise them that as I am not in the Market for it, and that for them time is money that they are best employed ringing another number on their list, following which I replace the receiver. They never re-call.
4. This is when I have time on my hands and feel in mischievous mood. Instead of dismissing the caller, I respond to him, let him go through his preordained spiel and start asking questions. You can tell the optimism and excitement rising at the other end regardless of how fatuous the questions I choose to ask. I use this technique only as stated above and for the "Nuisance and real threat "category. I once kept a clown from Zurich on the phone, lost in hope of a good few £1000"s sale for 45 minutes. 45 minutes that were fruitless to him and which prevented him from making contact in more propitious waters.
These are just a few of my own favourite techniques and there are loads more to engage in. However, to reach a serious conclusion, the soundest advice is not to buy ANYTHING over the phone. If you have an interest, ask for them to send you documentation by post or e-mail. A refusal to do that should bring down the curtain. Even so, do not be taken in if they agree and send you a glossy brochure before calling you again. Use the brochure, and the internet to find out more about the firm you are dealing with, it will be time well spent and could prevent you making a big financial mistake. The fact that COLD CALLING remains a key tool for so many companies is proof enough that in the rivers of life, we have too many salmon who rise to the bait and thus never reach even the first bend never mind the spawning grounds. We can all make our own individual choices on matters such as these and I know what my choice is. Do you ,dear reader? Do you?