Plea to telemarketers: please talk to us like a human being.

Posted by on Jun 22, 2012 in views | No Comments

Here’s a declaration before I start: I HATE RECEIVING CALLS FROM TELEMARKETERS.

And I’ve been trying to understand why…

Firstly, 90% of the calls I get were made by telemarketers from third-party partners and not even directly from the company offering the product/service.

They’ll always introduce themselves as “…on behalf of ABC company.”. How can I possibly feel that you care enough to want to offer me something that fits my need, except for the fact the telemarketer wants to gain an extra commission from hoodwinking you? The call’s a transaction to me, devoid of any personal touch.

Secondly, that infamous “no pause” pitch: it seems that one of the tactics is to keep rambling off the moment you pick up your phone without allowing you time to reject anything. For starters, they never bother to ask if they’ve got you at a convenient time (I would really appreciate the courtesy to ask that!). And they prey on our general human weakness to be polite and not be rude. Because unless you force yourself to cut them off halfway, you’ll end up wasting 5 minutes of your time. For something you don’t even need in the first place! When you’re in a rush or just had a rough day, that can really frustrate!

Which leaves me wondering: who actually wrote these scripts? Do they all use a similar template? Don’t they know they’re turning some people off? (ok maybe it’s just me… i would love to hear your views, if any!).

So it was really refreshing when I received a call this morning. This telemarketer introduced himself the usual way (“blah blah… on behalf of XXX company. I guessed that’s the unavoidable legal protocol…) but what made the experience different was that he actually paused and asked me right after the formalities, “Would that be something that interests you at the moment?”.

It was courteous, polite and the right way of talking to someone on the phone. He did not stuff any promotions down my throat. He shared a service objectively, and asked if I needed it. And most importantly, allowed me to answer. That’s respect for me as a consumer. That’s telling me, you’re not just out to close the deal to grab a commision (even though that’s the ultimate aim), and that’s telling me that I have a choice.

I wish every telemarketer (or those who write their scripts) would really sit down and think about the situation of someone on the receiving end of the calls. Stop the fluff and hard sell. Do away with the intrusive and indirect questions designed to stop you from rejecting them directly and start a pseudo conversation (eg. instead of asking if you’ll be interested in a broadband plan, they ask “what kind of broadband plans do you have now?”). Look, I really don’t want to share any information about my choices in life with you. Nor do I need to justify them and be made to feel stupid for choosing something pricier. Why can’t you just ask if I’ll be interested in a new plan?

So my plea to all telemarketers is: please be more personal. Talk to us like we’re real human beings at the other end. And whatever you’re selling, first ask us if we have the time to even listen to your pitch. If we do, just share what you’re promoting quickly and succinctly. Then pause and ask if we’re interested to hear further.

This way, you won’t get rude cut-offs from irate people who simply have no choice but to rear our ugly heads just to stop your rambling for something we won’t need.

If you treat me like a human being, so will I. And I might just listen to what you have to offer a little longer.

Thank you!

Leave a Reply