04 January 2009

Hard sell

What really gets under my nose these days is the new form of tele-selling the banks and other businesses feel inclined to inflict on us. These calls usually come at an inconvenient time and quite frankly, anyone who tries to sell me something I don’t want or need is wasting my time and theirs.

The first clue when my cell phone rings is that it lists a “Private number”. “Ok I think, it is one of those.” Very often I do not bother to answer the call, because I know that if it is someone who genuinely wants to speak to me, they will leave a message on my voice mail and I will phone them back.

Usually the call starts with, “Good day Mr H how are you?” As if they care, because as soon as you say you are fine, they go into their long and scripted sales pitch, without pausing for breath. You are then bombarded with a barrage of hard sell and if you try to be polite, you are sunk, because they will push it to the bitter end.

That is what they rely on. Most people are too polite to say no. I was like that – not wanting to cause offence has resulted in many hours being wasted listening to a sales pitch.

My approach these days is very simple. As soon as I am hit with the “Good day Mr H how are you?” my immediate response is, “So what are you trying to sell me today?”

This totally floors them, because to does not follow the script, there is no short answer so the next best option is to launch into the sales pitch. This response usually causes them to lose their composure for a few seconds and I quickly add, “Because I do not want to buy anything today.”

That is normally enough to kill the call. If that does not do the trick, I press the red button and kill the call.

If you want a bit of fun try this one:

“It is not convenient to talk now, but if you leave me your number I will get back to you.”

Of course you know that that is never going to happen.

“No problem,” you can say, “just give me your cell number and I’ll phone you when I get off work.”

The next time I am inflicted with a “Good day Mr H how are you?” I think I will try something different. Maybe they will leave me alone if I respond something like this, “I am so glad someone is prepared to listen. I am having a really bad day - a bad week in fact. I have the most terrible headache at the moment and I have a terrible stomach ache. I do not think it is my appendix……..”

Knowing my luck it will be someone selling herbal remedies and they will have just the thing for me.

15 comments:

Katney said...

And how is it that they can make ALL their calls at dinnertime? How does that work? It would seem that it would be impossible to do.

Once my very hungry husband answered the phone and the telemarketer asked, "Would you like to save money on your long distance bill?" and he responded, "ABSOLUTELY NOT!" and hung up.

Raph G. Neckmann said...

I just tell that I'm a giraffe, and that does it!

Omah's Helping Hands said...

Oh my gosh. I got a good chuckle out of this one. Thanks for making a perfect endng to this day! I can so relate to this. What I do now, is I usually say hello, then there's a pause and I hang up knowing full well it's a telemarketer. I like your ideas for answers. :) I've heard of a few that would be fun to try, but I'd probably start laughing too hard. I know they have a job to do, but come on. 9 pm when many are already in bed? Or right at dinner time? Great Post! Made my day!

Max-e said...

Katney, that should work very nicely :)

Max-e said...

Ralph, can't argue with that

Max-e said...

Tammy, I guess we have a life to lead, so if they want to do that job,they need to take the heat :)

Inge' said...

They are not supposed to call your cell phone here in the U.S. so I just tell them this is a cell number and that usually does the trick.

Otherwise I do as you and interrupt them to say no and hang up.

Assertive Wit said...

I HATE these calls...ESPECIALLY the ones that are automated!!! I usually just hang up the minute they start talking and I can recognize it's a telemarketer. It's rude as hell to call me at 8:30 pm because it's 5:30 pm where they are...this is why I made my number private the first time. I see I have to do it again...

Roland Hulme said...

Great post!

We get them all the time, too. We live in New York, and the other day got a call from a number we didn't know in California.

"Hi," they said. "I'm calling from a local non-profit..."

"No you're not," says I. "I've got caller ID." And hung up.

Marmsk said...

Yes, they always call at dinner time! Cause of indigestion, no?
I used to use this reply. "Excuse me, did I ask you to call me?" they say "no, but" and I cut them off with, "then don't"! and hang up.

Rose said...

I feel no guilt about hanging up on them the first thing. I had one woman call me right back so many times, I got this twitch in my cheek for a while--no joke. She would call right back over and over. I finally thought and handed the phone to my husband and she stopped calling. We got our number unlisted after that...but that is not right to have to pay to stop our privacy from being invaded.

bodaat said...

Well I guess I'm a whole lot different than most of you and perhaps too much of a goody-too-shoes! See during college I was a part-time telemarketer trying to raise funds from alumni for the college. For me it was a job and one that paid well as I made my way through college. From my perspective, telemarketers are just regular people trying to do their job and there's no reason to get mad/frustrated at them. I usually tell them politely that I'm not interested and then I ask that they remove me from their calling list. And then I say goodbye. Have a heart folks - there could be worse things...

Max-e said...

Hi Bodaat, I take your point, but here comes the big but. Too often our telesellers do not take no for an answer. Many do not take you off their lists when requested. Sometimes the same outfit phones me two or three times. Sometimes I get up to 3 calls a day......and so it goes.
Maybe I will try and be more polite...but only up to a point.

bodaat said...

MaX files - I hear you. It sounds like you're in a different position than I'm in. In the States they aren't as much of the jerks that they seem to be over there. Soldier on!
ps - Love your blog!!

Pierce Harrell said...

this is funny my friend his dad will say stuff like hello sheriff johnson then the caller is like oh man dont want to mess with a official. good post i like it