Dealing with Telesales

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Glenn sells on Amazon, as well as being a regular contributor to Tamebay. Today he talks about the number of sales calls he receives and how his wife handles cold callers:

Telephone FeatWe moved into out current office in January 2013 and that single act was the catalyst for an ongoing series of telesales calls from reps offering us a range of services and products which includes water coolers, credit card payment acceptance software, cheaper utility charges and many other services and products. I have lost count of the people I have needed to explain to that I don’t want to be in their online directory because I don’t want telephone sales enquires.

Then you also have the regulators who want to know if you are playing music to your staff. The TV licensing people have even advised me that my unlicensed office is on record and I face a fine if I don’t purchase a TV license. As if I had the time to watch TV! Like most small businesses we are working flat out and watching the rubbish on daytime TV is not top of my want to do list.

Now I have a reputation as a grumpy old git and when some telesales person calls me by my first name and asks what sort of day I’m having then all fool them when I tell them.

Well my wife, who really is the brains behind our small business has a far more effective and rewarding method of discouraging telesales. She engages the telesales rep in conversation and attempts to sell them one of our products and if they are still persistent after a few minutes she asks them for their email address so that we can include them in our email marketing campaign. Works every time and gives you a little sense of one-upmanship.

24 Responses

  1. That’s a good way of dealing with these pests Glenn, I find a more effective and quicker way is to say just three words – ‘One moment please!’ and just carry on with your work. Once the pests have realised what it going on they soon hang up and seldom call again. Like any other business time is money to them too.

  2. I found some of the cold callers become rude when you where polite and said you are not interested. So much so that now I just hang up and don’t even respond. You can tell it is a call centre straight away so often they don’t even get time to speak.

  3. As an ex-telesales person (B2B) I am polite to them, unless they are rude to me! It can be very frustrating to get a bad sales call, knowing that it could be done better, especially those that just don’t LISTEN. Anyway, it’s just not nice to be rude to another human being. As amusing as these ideas above are they will not stop the cold callers.

    If you want to get rid of the cold callers it’s a good idea to:

    – Get your number listed on the Telephone Preference Service (, it is then illegal for these people to call you unless you gave them your details. They still will, it just gives you a better leg to stand on. This is especially important if you have just moved office or set up business as you will be specifically targeted by cold callers otherwise.

    – Explain to them that you are not interested in their product, that you never will be and ask them to remove your details from their records or put a mark on the account to never call you again. Make a note of the organisation and if they call again you can point out the previous conversation and warn that if they call again you will make a complaint (which you should do if that happens).

    – NEVER say something like “we’re not interested in that right now” as that is a buying signal saying “I might be interested in that later” so they will call again. You need to be firm but polite and make it clear you will never ever buy and you do not want to be contacted again.

    – If they are really good offer them a job!

    I always remembered when people were rude to me when I worked in sales. Now I am in a position where I am a buyer. Do you think I will be using their companies? NOPE! We’re all in the same boat, trying to sell and promote our businesses and make them a success. There is a human being at the other end of the line and they have a lot of people being horrible to them when they are just trying to do their job. Best to treat others as you would like to be treated.

  4. We adopt the approach taken by Alwills and simply ask them to wait a moment and then place them on hold until they finally give up.
    The other option is to play them a suitable recorded message but be careful you have identified a genuine cold call and not a customer!
    We have also thought about running a competiton to find the most amusing way to engage them in conversation and waste their time as well but we are just too busy most days……

  5. I take a leaf out of The Big Train play book and just say ‘I’m sorry mate, I don’t speak English’

  6. TPS is only for Consumers at their residential address, sole traders and partnerships.

    The best advice is to listen to what they are offering, if it doesn’t appeal to you within 1 minute, tell them why it doesn’t and ask them not to call again.

    1. You don’t know what you don’t know, you might genuinely be missing out on something of interest (this has happened a couple of times)

    2. I have never had someone call again that I asked not to call me.

    If you are a consumer and don’t want calls or spam then you have every right to not be called. If however you run a business and expect to sell to people, you have to put up with people trying to sell to you.

  7. “If however you run a business and expect to sell to people, you have to put up with people trying to sell to you.”


  8. This is certainly not an issue of intelligence. Whilst I appreciate your view of not wanting to be contacted, there are clear advantages to being contacted about things you might not know about yet.

    When Groupon first started, nobody knew who they were and companies that Groupon reached out to, in order to do deals with, made a lot of money from it. This is just one example where people in the past haven’t know about something that has truly made money.

    Saying that you would act in ways described above is great only really serves ones own ego and overinflated self importance “how dare someone call me, I know how to run my business”.

    This whole article was rather disappointing and the only person to add real value was Laura. Lauras suggestion is the only moral and ethical way to deal with the situation and all you’re doing, is making people that are just doing their job feel that little bit worse in the day. Write letters to your MPs (lol), contact the TPS or even get in touch with company owners and tell them how their actions are causing you turmoil (even though that is a little ridiculous, the thought of 1 phone call in a blue moon really costing you much).

    I am sure some of you will come back with something but objectively, the post was about having fun at others expense (as was others comments) and not about actually improving the situation. And the argument “they will learn” is laughable as the person calling you isn’t the one deciding to call you in the first place.

    Just for the Xmas period, how about you politely tell them you are not interested but you wish them the very best for Christmas.

  9. I have not worked in telesales no but I am a business owner.

    You have mentioned watching TV and getting interuptions so the first advice would be to seperate your business line from home line, switch off your business line at night and go on TPS for your home line. Or if you are self employed, you can get yourself added to TPS for your business line. That is useful advice which Laura gave.

    I didn’t know if I would find the article of value or not until I had read it. Much like telesales, I don’t know if I want it until I have heard them.

    When I watch my favourite TV shows and films, I do get interuptions, from adverts! The only difference is medium, 1 is the phone and 1 is the TV but both are unwanted. When I search for something online, not to buy, but for research etc I always get google ads from eBay and Amazon who advertise on your behalf, it is very feasible you have intruded my browsing with your advertising in the past.

    If you were shrewd enough to call me up because you sold Mountain Dew and you wanted to sell me a load for half price, I would snap your arm off. Obviously if you wanted to sell me a fitted bra, I wouldn’t be so interested, I would tell the sales person I am not a woman and would not need such a product which lowers the chance of being called in the future.

    I didn’t mean to cause offence but you nor I know what we don’t know. In addition, playing games with someone just doing their job feels a little wrong. I imagine very funny stories for your friends but is it really newsworthy? Are you saying that the article would be improved with ways to reduce the calls like TPS?

    I get emails from Tamebay all the time with news and adverts, I never remove myself from the list even though none of them have been needed, who knows what Chis will send me in the future I might want to receive 😉

  10. no one gets a bargain from telesales its foot in the doorway pressure type selling if telesales were desirable and enjoyable this thread would not be here

  11. Cold Calls. A relative was scammed out of £320,00 by a global bolier room network selling fake gold shares – over a 2.5 year period. Any cold call should instantly be terminated without a second thought. Best advice I can give.

  12. I am not a telesales rep, I just don’t hate the world yet. I get a call for something, I want to know what it is and why they think I am interested. Every time I am not interested, I tell them and they have never called back.

    I don’t think I have ever been called by someone about something I wouldn’t want or use. It might be cheaper gas bills or PPI claim back (something which has put millions back in the hands of people who should have it).

    My point never was that it is enjoyable, it was that the advice for dealing with it won’t work and it is self serving.

    You mentioned I must have given out my email to Chris, I have, doesn’t mean I find something interesting in every email I receive but I wouldn’t complain the moment that happened. Also, the emails sent from Tamebay have an unsubcribe link. This is similar to telling the people that call you don’t want what they have and ask to be removed from their calling list, or like registering with TPS. The only way people got your number was because you put it somewhere, if you are sure you didn’t, ask for a different number from your telephone provider and make sure not to advertise your new number or use it for any online forms.

    Subscribing to Tamebay does ensure I have relevant content sent to me, but you don’t even listen to what is being offered. I do chuckle at the thought of businesses running without talking to people they have never spoken to. You do know that calling people is a form of advertising? Like how your stockist must have advertised or other suppliers for your sevices. Baffling, but this is your perogative, you might be missing out though, I have bought from several cold callers, our office cleaning service is now 50% what it used to be 😉

    Jason, There are hundreds of stories of people being conned from cold calls, emails, door to door etc but just as many from people seeking out something to then be conned or ripped off, that comment is moot.

    Northumrian, this post is here to show how clever one can feel about getting one up on someone. It was a self serving rant. Any rational person would see that it doesn’t serve a single purpose of than the posters ego and is more akin to a forum post than a news article. “Stop the presses, someone gets cold calls”.

    Glenn, I have read other posts from you, they seem more informative, I can only imagine this was written moments after some telesales person called you up and interupted your rant on billboards that distract you whilst driving and the best possible way would be to put a billboard facing it with one of your products so it will learn its lesson.

  13. “Jason, There are hundreds of stories of people being conned from cold calls, emails, door to door etc but just as many from people seeking out something to then be conned or ripped off, that comment is moot.”

    Daniel, so you shouldn’t terminate a cold call immediately? is that your genuine belief and advice? Because that’s all I said relative to the article. The article nowhere discuses email, door-to-door or any other method of marketing. Your perception and comment is “moot”.


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