Tag Archives: cold calling

The Art (or Lack) of Selling Pt.2

As you might know, I do not belong to “do-not-call”-registry.

Mainly it is because I have a strong belief that our business is about selling. Therefore you can learn from good salespeople and also from the more inferior ones. My morning today got started with the following call:

Salesman: Do you have a moment of time?
Riku: Yes, I actually have.
Salesman: Would you be interested in this extra insurance if you get terminal illness?
Riku: No.
Salesman: It also covers up to 200k outstanding balances, if you have accidental death. Would you not be interested in this product?
Riku: I already have life insurance. (Besides if I will suffer accidental death, I think my credit card balance is least of my concerns then. Not to mention that my credit limit is only 20k in any case. If I would have 200k outstanding balances, it means that you have messed up in some way.)
Salesman: Many of our clients have also life insurances, but they also have this product.
Riku: (Many of your clients are also morons, who cannot understand even simple arithmetics). I am not interested. It costs too much as well, especially because I am already covered by life insurance.
Salesman: But accidents can happen anywhere as you seem to be travelling quite a lot. And you only pay 0.49% of every credit card bill, as there is no fixed fee.
Riku: But if I would max out my credit card limit every month, which you also try to make me do, the actual cost would be over 1k a year. I think you can get quite a lot of insurance with that money. Also percentage is harder to predict than fixed fee.
Salesman: -Silence-
Riku: So, I am not interested. (As your product is total scam and you seem like a bona fide snakes-oil salesman)
Salesman: You might also get a terminal illness, don´t you want to think about your family?
Riku: I think I am getting terminal illness by being in this call.
Salesman: Well, if you change your mind..
Riku: Well, I won´t. Bye.

Fear is sometimes good way to make you buy something. I don´t really want to think about terminal illnesses or accidental deaths first thing in the morning. It is also not necessarily wise to try to impose guilt to total stranger on a phone about leaving your family stranded if you kick the bucket. The whole call got me really irritated and made me hate my bank even more.

Unfortunately this method is probably effective. Bank business is generally about screwing people who cannot count or do not understand how percentages add up. Throw some guilt in the mix and I can see many people sign on these dubious programs. So thinking in those terms, it is great selling!

It also makes my blood boil. You should make your customer feel good about buying your products. Then it is likely that he is willing to buy more to keep that happiness. Using fear and guilt should be the last resort.

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The Art (or Lack) of Selling

I got a call yesterday from one of my banks in Singapore (the whole banking system and credit card craze should be a topic for another post). As I see that persuasion and selling is close to my craft I will always listen the sales pitch. This time it was not that helpful:

Salesman: Hi, I am from your bank, would you have a moment of time?

Me: Yes, I actually have.

Salesman: As you have an account here with us, would you be interested in personal loans?

Me: No

Salesman: Ok, have a nice day.

Me: Bye.

I was tempted to start lecturing the caller about selling. The lack of persuasion made me almost angrier than too aggressive salesman. What a missed opportunity!

No one likes to forceful salesman, but don´t be such a pushover either! I had already indicated that I am interested (as I had time, otherwise I would just hang up on you), so surely you have something to sell besides those loans? Right? Getting personal contact with your bank customer on in this day and age is a luxury that you should not waste. I try to avoid that personal connection as much as possible. The salesman blew an opportunity. I might have been interested in investment products, new credit cards (as I don´t already have them too much) or whatever else bank could offer.

Probably the caller was only tasked to sell those loans, so I don´t fault him on keeping the eye on his prize. I think bank is to blame in here. It seems quite ineffective way to try to sell me anything, if I get an individual contact from every single product department. Actually today I was contacted about some dental insurance from the same bank. I was not interested either, so the discussion went following the same pattern as stated above. Probably by the time they have something that interests me, I am already totally pissed of their constant bombarding that I have deleted my account.

Although manpower is cheap in call centers and ROI might look nice on paper, no one ever calculates the harm what they also do to brands. I have to say I don´t really have any brand love for my bank to begin with and terrorizing me over the phone with sloppy sales lines does not help the matter at all.

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