Saturday, May 30, 2009

I'm not sure telemarketing is a good job for me...

I've been doing telemarketing now for about a month and I'm not sure I'm very good at it. I speak slowly, I try to sound enthusiastic and excited. I speak slowly and enunciate. I'm not pushy or obnoxious- and I'm always polite to fault when I make these calls. I don't read from a script so I try and make a bit of small talk and sound like a human, rather than a drone checking names off a list.

First, I have to say, that I feel most people know if they want insurance or not. If they say no, I'm not super happy about having to go for a second or even a third no. Some people are polite yet emphatic with their "no" and I just don't want to push it and make it ugly, so I guess I'm not aggressive enough.

I do have a hook where I tell people my company has recently adjusted their rates in my area and that in this economy anything to save a few dollars is a good thing. Lots of people do pause for a moment or two and think that over- and a few will say okay and let me take their info so an agent can call back with the quote. But most of the time, people just say no.

What happens after the "no" is interesting. I always try and thank people for their time. Most of the time a typical phone calls goes: people answer the phone, listen to my spiel, say no thanks, I thank them for their time and we both hang up after good-byes. But I am stunned at the amount of people who do several things:

  • the people who answer, know it's telemarketing and then say I have the wrong number, even after they've answered to their own name
  • the people who say whomever I am seeking isn't home but I know it's them
  • the people who hear me say who I am and where I'm calling from and hang up on me without saying anything other than "hello"
  • the people who let me get my name and company out and hang up on me
  • the people who say "I'm not interested" and hang up on me immediately
  • the people who say they are interested and for me to call back and then never answer the phone upon the return calls
  • the people who say they want an auto quote and then tell me they have 2 DUI's knowing full well in my state they can't get insurance

Then my favorites are the people who swear at me. I was officially called a "bitch" today for the first time. I also appreciate the lady who threatened to have me arrested because I called her and her name is on the "Do not call" list- and the list is supposed to be checked against it but I guess she slipped through the cracks. There was the lady who told me to get a "real" job. Oh and the lady who told me she felt sorry for me and told me my boss was Evil for making me be a telemarketer.

I've had a few goofy things happen- I called one woman who was in a nursing home. My boss told me that has never happened to him before and it would never happen to me again- that was so rare. Until I called another number a week later and got another nursing home patient. It's good to know that never is only a week long. I've called a few "mentally handicapped" adults who live on their own but tell me their care taker does their bills and they don't take care of insurance but they have a nice doggie now. Hmmmmmmm... I called the guy's widow who just died and said she wished I would've called a week ago because he didn't have life insurance- OUCH.

On the up side, I can say that when people say no to me, I don't take is personally. This has nothing to do with me as a human so at least I have that on my side. It's discouraging yes, but I know to not take is personally. And when I call about 75 numbers a day, leave about 30 voice mails, reach about 15 people and all the rest are disconnects, it's really not so horrible, I guess.

I'll keep plugging away at this but I have a feeling my career as a telemarketer is going to be short lived. And I'm not sure that's the end of the world...

Still dialing,


Farrago said...

Sometimes, when I have time on my hands, I'll get a call and I'll let the telemarketer go through the entire spiel and then I'll say either, "I'm sorry, I was distracted. Could you repeat that?" or, after all that, I'll say, "Sorry. Not interested."

I'm rarely rude to telemarketers, but a person has to be firm in letting them know he's not interested in hearing what they have to say.

Fortunately, for some reason, mobile phones don't get that many telemarketing calls... at least mine doesn't.

Maggie said...

Farrago- After telling me that, I'd add you to our database just so you'd get called since I'm ornery like that but you already have insurance with my company...!

The Eejit said...

Most of my working life has been spent in financial services. Occasionally that has involved phoning potential you have my sympathy!!
Keep dialing...

Maggie said...

Eejit- thanks for the words of encouragement... I'll keep that phone ringing...

And if your company is hiring, please let me know; I would love to move to Ireland!