15 Sep 2004

Wrapstar says “NO”

Module 2. Part Two in my masterclass in how to deal with Call Centres

We all yearn for that golden age when you could ask for the time without having to listen to someone flogging you a watch. We all want to turn back the sands of time when we could order a pizza without being offered a slice of bread with garlic on it. We want to buy a holiday without being sold a policy that we’ll probably never be able to claim on any way. And we want to watch Bargain Hunt without the fear of interruption.

I remember when all this was fields etc. etc.

The fact is – we don’t want to be ‘sold to’ and the people selling don’t want to sell to us in the first place. There’s only 2% of the world’s population who are willing to be mithered into buying something they didn’t want, but trouble is; they’re letting the rest of us down, because until the revolution, we will be mithered into submission.

Like nuclear weapons and Kendal mint cake, sales have been invented and can’t be uninvented so we need to learn to live with them. At the risk of sounding like Zammo or, worse still, Nancy Reagan, it’s time to “just say no.”

Call Centre agents are armed to the teeth with ‘objection handling’ techniques that have been finely honed over centuries and are so effective they could turn the undead. Every time someone refuses their advances, they consult a laminated matrix in front of them, and come back with some tried and tested reply: “May I ask why you are not interested in saving money?”

These choice phrases are seldom delivered with any conviction; nevertheless they can befuddle and confuse the unsuspecting punter.

There’s a sure-fire manner of dealing with unwanted telesales calls. It works and comes free with this master-class. Until the next lesson, I want you to practice the following approach in front of a mirror:

1) Listen politely and wait for a pause …
2) Say politely: “Thanks for telling me about that (name). It sounds really good. Goodbye.”
3) Put down the phone.
4) Continue watching Bargain Hunt

The adviser will be so confused (“were they interested or not?”) that they will make sure you are never called again.