As a former business owner, I can remember times when I was so busy, and had so much going on that I didn’t want to talk to salespeople, and I would often ask them how they got my personal phone number to my cell phone. It made me angry that they were disrupting me in the middle of the day. Sometimes I would just yell at them, tell them to put me on their “do not call list” as if that really mattered, because it doesn’t apply to businesses, and then hang up. Later, after talking to a business consultant I realized the error of my ways, and how I was missing out on industry information and competitive intelligence. Let me explain.
You see, you shouldn’t hang up on telemarketers calling your business selling a specific item that are typically bought by businesses in your sector. Rather what you should do is quiz the telemarketer who is wasting your time on the types of items and price points and categories of goods and services that your competitors are currently buying from the telemarketer’s company. You see the telemarketer will be anxious to give you information because he will believe that if he gives you information he will develop rapport with you, and that could help clinch the sale. He also knows if he dodges your question or fails to answer it, that you won’t trust him, therefore you won’t buy anything anyway.
Basically you have someone calling you on the phone ready to give you free information, but if you yell at them, they’re never going to give you anything. In fact they might not put you on the “do not call list” at all, they may actually duplicate your number on the list many times, so you are completely harassed weekly by the same company, but perhaps by different telemarketers. Often telemarketers are quite competitive within their own organization, and the like to pull a fast one over on their coworkers, so they can win the sales contest for the week.
Now then, after learning all this, and trying this strategy, I was amazed at how good it worked. The consultant was right, and although he wasn’t very good at consulting on most of the business issues, he was dead-on on this point. I was amazed at how much intelligence gathering I could get from a simple phone call from a potential vendor that I might never buy anything from in the first place. And I felt a lot better getting free information from someone wasting my time, than yelling at them and hanging up. For me it was a win-win situation. Indeed I hope you will please consider all this and think on it.