We all get them. Telemarketer calls from "Cardholder Services" or an “Incredible Offer” that's supposedly so awesome you have to sign up for it today. These companies never stop calling and it would appear that FCC complaints don't work because they just keep calling.
I've worked for a telemarketing company for two years and made a lot of unwanted calls. I have to keep making them because most people don't know how to get rid of us, but the right approach can make all the difference. Here's how you can get rid of telemarketers like me and save us both a lot of time.
Not all companies run exactly the same way, but most calls follow a similar pattern. Successful telemarketers generally have a 96% chance of getting turned down. With such terrible odds, they will be relentless in trying to keep you on the phone.
Each telemarketer has their own username and password, so all the information they gather during their shift stays linked to them. Depending on the company calling you, the lead will display a little or a lot of information. I work for an arts organization, so we can see the customer's entire history: subscriptions, added ticket purchases for friends, donations, and sometimes even notes on who their assistants or friends are. In other cases, they may just have your phone number.
Anything relevant you mention will be added to your lead profile: an email address, best time to call, or your objections to the product. Don't say anything to the telemarketer unless you want it written down on your profile.
A lot of people make simple mistakes that lead to several more calls. Here are the things you need to avoid:
Don't immediately hang up the phone. This results in the telemarketer marking your lead as "no answer" and calling you back until they actually have a conversation with you.
Don't engage with the telemarketer in any way. This gives them the false hope that you may just need some convincing and are actually interested in their product. Do not ask questions. Do not explain why you are not interested in the product. Do not show empathy or other human characteristics.
Don't get irrationally angry at the telemarketer. Remember, the computer chose your lead, not the caller. If you scream at them because you've gotten called before, this will not make them sympathetic to your case. It's likely they'll just put you back into the lead pool to torture you. If the telemarketer is being rude, you can ask to speak to a manager. Despite what they might say, every campaign and business has a supervisor in the call room.
Don't give up mid-conversation and hang up without an explanation. This will most likely result in the telemarketer calling back, claiming you got "disconnected." If you don't answer then, they will keep calling.
Don't let the telemarketer call you back at another time . Anything that's not a hard "no" will be interpreted as an opportunity to call you back. When you say "This isn't a good time," the telemarketer hears "Call me back later!" When you say "Sorry, I don't have time to talk about this right now" the telemarketer hears "I will buy this another day!"
Telemarketers literally have a script that tells them how to respond to every objection, so the less you engage with them, the better.
The most efficient way to get the person to stop calling you requires you to say one sentence: "Please put me on your do not call list ." Don't say "Can you put me on your do not call list?" or "I don't want to get these calls." This will lead them to ask why. Be polite, but firm. If they ask why or won't do it right away, remain calm and repeat, "I want you to put me on your do not call list."
You should register on the national do not call list if you haven't already. It's illegal for a company to keep calling you if you're on this list and you have verbally asked them not to call you at least once. Unfortunately, it is not illegal for non-profits. But most non-profits run seasonal campaigns, so at least your lead will be put to rest for three to 11 months.
Even when dealing with a non-profit, you should ask for a manager and tell them you've repeatedly requested to be placed on the do not call list. Keep in mind that a prior caller may not have done their job and removed you, and this new, innocent caller is getting all the blame. The manager needs to to deal with these kind of customer issues so the callers can keep dialing.
The solution for getting rid of telemarketers may seem obvious, but it's mostly about the approach. By using those exact words and not making any of the mistakes previously mentioned, you don't give the caller anything to work with. The way you phrase your response can mean the difference between getting called all the time and getting rid of telemarketers efficiently. Make the right choices and you won't be bothered.