As a marketer, I am supposed to be open to using whatever
marketing channel will work for me and my clients.
But extreme distaste makes me avoid one — and only one —
marketing method: outbound telemarketing to cold lists.
There are three reasons why I believe I can always find a better
— read: more effective and less offensive — method than outbound
telemarketing to cold lists.
First, when predictive dialers are used, there is a time delay
between the prospect answering the phone and the start of the
This wastes the prospect’s time and annoys her in a way that, to
me, is unacceptable.
Second, people are so much busier today, your call is almost
always an unwelcome interruption.
At work I have to inform the telemarketer that I am on a deadline
and therefore cannot talk with him.
At home, the telemarketer is interrupting a meal, family time,
chores, or leisure time — none of which is welcome.
Third, more than half of the telemarketers who call me today have
thick regional, ethnic, or nation-specific accents.
The accents are so strong that I literally cannot understand much
of what they are saying.
This forces me to ask them to repeat what they just said multiple
times if I want to continue the conversation — which I don’t.
And don’t even get me started on outright scams, like the guy who
He said he was from Microsoft, had detected a problem with my PC
software, and I needed to immediately give him remote access to
my computer to fix it.
About once a week, someone says they are calling about my utility
bill from Jersey Central Power and Light.
And when I get them to admit they not with JCP&L, I tell them,
“Well, then we have no reason to discuss my bill.” That only gets
them talking faster, and I immediately hang up.
The day before, I got another common scam call: a young man who
said, when I answered the phone, “Grandpa, I need your help.”
I am amazed this works on some people, and how could it work on
me, given I do not have grandkids?
But then again, I know someone who actually sent a check for
$10,000 to get unclaimed funds from a scam artist in Nigeria.
Also, when you pick up the phone and a recorded voice says, “This
is an urgent public service announcement” — trust me, it isn’t.
I guess you can’t go broke underestimating the intelligence of
the American public.
And certain telemarketers and spammers seem to be leading the
movement to make as much fraudulent profit from us as possible.