Telemarketers: I Need To Speak With The Owner

City Telephone Room

Telemarketers cause problems at businesses, too. Unfortunately, the Do-Not-Call list does not provide for a business to be added. As a business owner, I get unwanted telemarketing call just like the rest of you. However, these kinds are my favorite: I Need To Speak With The Owner. Yes, please let me drop everything right now and interrupt the Owner from his/her meeting or whatever, so that you may be granted an immediate audience wherein the Owner can be held in anxious rapture whilst you read your script. Or maybe not.

The Telemarketer tries their best to get to an Owner. However, they want to avoid letting anyone know what they want until they get an Owner. They are very reluctant to talk to anyone else. Here’s an example of one of these calls:

 

The audacity, and stupidity, seems amazing. In this case, they did confirm the company name, but they don’t always do that. This one at least knew an Owners name, but not always. Sometimes they just start out immediately with I Need To Speak With The Owner or similar proclamation. This does show the entitlement of the Telemarketer, that without announcing their name and affiliation, should immediately be transferred by a GateKeeper anonymously to the Owner. The other part that’s strange is that upon the slightest challenge, many of these people will either quickly state they will call back or just hang up. Or claim that they can only discuss the ‘Business’ with the Owner, and not some underling. This does not amuse the Gatekeeper. This is almost 100% guaranteed to result in never talking to the Owner. This type of behavior flies in the face of nearly every sales training article about getting around a Gatekeeper. For instance:

These calls always seem to be for the same kinds of things: Merchant Credit Card Processing, ‘Unsecured’ Business Loans, Google Listings, GSA ‘5 Year Contracts’, etc.

Are these calls being made by incredibly inept, clueless, poorly-trained outbound sales agents? Or is there actually a method to this madness? Why would a telemarketer bail on a call if they can’t get to an Owner immediately? Why would they not be trained better at getting past a Gatekeeper? How do they not get fired at this job? I think the answer partly lies with the services being provided. If you get the names of them, they often have listings in Rip-Off Report by unhappy customers, poor Better Busines Bureau reviews, and forums like 800Notes. They offer goods that seem a little too good to be true. There’s fine print obscuring the hidden fees, contract lengths. The service doesn’t live up to the hype of the sales agent. And when you have a complaint, Customer Service is almost non-existent.

Back to the question: Are these telemarketers stupid? I am beginning to think they aren’t. This seemingly horrible telemarketing tactic has one thing for it’s advantage. It quickly screens out larger small businesses that are more savvy, sophisticated, and less likely to be fooled by sales sleight-of-hands. The businesses this works on are smaller businesses that can be conned into changing merchant accounts with hidden fees, succumbing to the hype of Google Rankings, possibly not see the high interest rates hiding in the loan payments. It looks to be geared directly to capture the small Mom-And-Pop businesses that are more likely to not read the contracts thoroughly (or understand it), and when they realize they’ve been taken, likely to just accept the loss. In my opinion, they are looking to scam the small business. This normally bad sales technique helps find the businesses that are easier to prey upon.

As my Dad would say, these Telemarketers are dumb as a fox. They know it looks dumb, but that just let’s them blow past the skeptical businesses that will cost them time.

 

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