One For The Sales Department


There's really no good way to make cold calls. Either you go the over-perky, super-enthusiastic route, which is off-putting and creepy, or you sound exactly as bored as you are, which makes the person receiving the call want to end it ASAP for both your sakes.

That said, I would rather make cold calls to businesspeople, at their offices, for three months than make cold calls to consumers, at their homes, for a single week. Calling people at their workplace is easy--they expect to be engaged in commerce. Calling people at their homes just inspires feelings of self-loathing.
Outbound telemarketing is the worst. I served time (not literally - I know they sometimes have actual prisoners doing that stuff - but it felt like it!) doing quite a bit of that in my 20s. I am SO glad I'll never have to do that again. (Knocks wood. Looks around nervously.)
What baffles me is why anyone continues thinking cold calls will work. I say this as someone who gets at least three cold calls a week where I work, and I always repeat the same line: we don't accept unsolicited material, but if the caller would like to forward a catalog or more information about their product I'll be happy to pass it along to the appropriate person. Nine times out of ten they thank me for my time and hang up.

I assume the majority of their cold calls end that way, so whatever they're selling must be netting the company a very nice profit for them to keep using that tactic.
hmm. im actually really good at that kind of thing...don't mind it at all. but i usually was doing cold calls for something vaguly charitable or political. man some people get pissed over political calls! i cant tell you how many old people, when asked "may i ask how you will be voting?" replied "yes, you can ask, but i don't have to answer!". to which i just crack up, which was apparently disarming...
Quite right, SG. I have never in my life bought anything as a result of a cold call, either in a business or personal capacity. Then again, in case you haven't noticed, a fair percentage of our fellow human beings aren't exactly the brightest light bulb in the chandelier.
I do cold calls for a living as a salesperson. It is soul-killing, but if you have the presence of mind to be a mensch on the phone, you can feel okay about your work for 10-20% of the time.

From my experience, cold calls are either a raw numbers game, or a sign of nihilistic despair on the part of the selling company.
5280, what I strongly suspect is many of the dim bulbs aren't necessarily the ones who buy things as the result of cold calls but rather the ones who rely on cold calls for their business. I rarely get more than one cold call from the same business twice. That may be because they've removed me from their list, or it may be because cold calling costs more than it brings in. Unlike e-mail spam which is quick, cheap, and only depends on one person who believes they'll really get a cut of that Nigerian money.
A root canal isn't that bad. Babies.

And some workers might even be thankful for a break from the drudgery, even if sales calls are annoying.

I got out of college just as the last recession hit, and telemarketing was pretty much the only job available. I chose to go broke.
Seriously, root canal > making cold calls by a long shot. I usually mess with those people, but I'm glad I'm not one of them. I knew friends that did that for a while, some were pretty into it, but most got more depressed, drank and did more drugs. I think I'd rather go be a hippie, live off the kindness of strangers than lose my humanity like that.