Monday, May 26, 2008

How to Get Rid of a Telemarketer

Excerpts from How to Get Rid of a Telemarketer

Identifying a Telemarketer

Each time the phone rings there is a chance that a telemarketer looms on the other end of the line. To successfully rid yourself of
an annoying sales call, you must remain prepared to act immediately. Therefore, identifying a telemarketer as soon as-or better
yet, before-you pick up the receiver is essential to implementing effective anti-telemarketer techniques. Follow the procedures
outlined on the following pages to prepare yourself to handle unwanted calls.


1. Recognize the Ring

Always consider the activity you are engaged in when the telephone first rings. There is at least a fifty percent chance that you
are about to have an encounter with a telemarketer if you are:


Watching your favorite TV show.
Taking a bath.
Changing a diaper.
Eating dinner.
Engaged in "marital relations."
Leaving the house, late for an engagement.
Reading in the bathroom.
Napping.
Painting the ceiling.
Burning cookies.


June Says: Hi there, readers! Do you have call waiting? If you're talking long-distance with an old friend and
someone "beeps in," chances increase to eighty percent that the new caller wants to sell you something!



2. Recognize the Greeting

To deflect a sales call effectively, you must be able to identify a telemarketer and hang up (or take charge of the call--your
choice) before he or she can squeeze off seven words. If a caller answers your greeting in any of the following ways...



Four Steps to Hanging Up

Let's cut to the chase: many of you bought this book simply because you want nothing more than to rid yourselves of phone
pests. Your compassion as a human being, however, may prevent you from simply hanging up. (This may also be a sign of
codependency: by speaking to telemarketers, you are also acting as their "enabler.") Whatever the case, you need to know
how to hang up quickly and effectively. Remember, to really help those on the other end of the line, we must discourage them
from pursuing their current careers. Once you've correctly identified a telemarketer, use the four steps on the following pages to
gain the confidence you need to free yourself from sales calls.


Step 1. Interrupt the Telemarketer.

This is perhaps the hardest step, most often because once a telemarketing pitch begins, it's hard for anyone to get a word in
edgewise. It is, however, one of the most important aspects of phone solicitation deterrence: confronting telemarketing calls
relies on actually speaking.
Beginners may wish to employ an "apologetic" approach: "I'm sorry, but I must hang up the phone now. This is very difficult for
me. I'm going through a four-step program to help me learn to hang up on telemarketers. I don't blame you for the call or your
unfortunate career choice-I hope you'll understand."


If you succeed with Step 1, proceed directly to Step 4. If not, go to Step 2.

Step 2. Walk Away.

If you can't bring yourself to interrupt a telemarketer, simply set the phone down and walk away. You can rest assured the
caller will keep right on talking and never know you've gone.
Were you able to lay down the phone for at least one minute? Congratulations! You're making progress.


Now go back to Step 1 and try again to interrupt the caller, but this time speak before listening to the caller's voice-this way
you give yourself the illusion that you're not actually interrupting.
If you couldn't set the phone down for at least one minute, proceed to Step 3...


Efficient Escape 1:
Confuse the Caller


If you're confident a telemarketer looms on the other end of your ringing phone, answer by saying: "Hi, I'd like to place an
order to go," and continue by reading your favorite Chinese restaurant take-out menu. If the telemarketer doesn't on his or her
own, HANG UP!


Efficient Escape 3:
Create a Technical Difficulty


Interrupt by ignoring the telemarketer and saying, "Hello? Hello?" Click the reset button twice quickly, without hanging up, and
repeat "Hello? Hello?" Follow by saying, "Well, whoever it was, they must have hung up." Then HANG UP! If they call back,
repeat. If they call back more than three times, tell them you were just kidding, compliment them on their persistence, and
HANG UP immediately!


Efficient Escape 7:
Rehearse Your Vegas Act


Interrupt by breaking into song during the telemarketer's pitch. Don't stop until they hang up. If they remain on the line, soften
your voice, creating a "fade away" effect and hang up after a few bars. Show tunes and anything by Ethel Merman tend to be
the most effective, but nothing clears your phone line faster than your own rendition of Whitney Houston's "I Will Always Love
You." Leave the hanging up to the telemarketer.


Elaborate Encounter 1:
The Old Codger/Old Crone


If the caller asks, "Is this the man [or woman] of the house?" Tell them, "Just a minute, please." and pretend to hand the phone
to "dad" or "grandpa" (or "mom" or "grandma") as the case may be. Then use your best "old codger" (or "old crone") voice and
bombard the caller by repeating "Huh?" and "Speak up!" If they persist, go into a pointless, meandering, story that begins:
"Why, back in my day we didn't " Add drool-laden "slurp" noises for effect. The phone salesperson will soon give up.


Elaborate Encounter 6:
Vacuum Sales


Is the telemarketer offering a "free," one-room carpet cleaning? Excellent! Don't pass this one up! Simply tell them to "Come
right over! Right now! Because, believe it or not--what timing! This is great! You see, I'm fleeing--er, moving out of
state--very, very soon. Everything is set to go, but this house is a rental and I'll never get the deposit back if I don't get this
carpet cleaned. How soon could you guys get here? It will get blood stains out, won't it? How about identifiable fibers, like hair
or that DNA stuff? You know, like in the O.J. trial? Say, you don't think he really did it, do you? You want to know my
theory?" Again, run with this one as long as you can.


Elaborate Encounter 15:
Veggiebabble


Based on the theory that you don't have to actually be psychotic to act crazy, this routine causes most telemarketers to question
their career choice. When a telemarketer begins a pitch, arbitrarily begin inserting the names of vegetables as they try to speak.
After the first or second "rutabaga" or "broccoli" they should respond by saying, "What?" Reply by naming another vegetable
("okra" and "Brussels sprouts" work particularly well). The salesperson will begin laughing uncomfortably and hang up. You
win.


How to Get Rid of a Telemarketer also features a dozen more escapes and encounters, Telecommunication Specialist Bob
Schuck's guide to the modern Touchtone phone, a profile of a typical telemarketer, and even other jobs that utilize
telemarketing skills.


Enjoy,
Mark

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