Monday, 11 March 2013

When is enough , enough ? Selling Persistence or Selling nuisance calls

"Perseverance is a great element of success. if you only knock long enough and loud enough at the gate, you are sure to wake up somebody." 
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow 1807-1872 Poet

Longfellow perhaps did not appreciate how persistent ‘knocking’ would become automated in the world of the silent telephone call marketing approach of today. These computerised diallers ring a householder’s number and are then designed to connect a member of staff in the call centre when the equipment registers that it has been answered by a person.

However, if no operator is available no one answers, this causes silence at the other end of the line. Some play a message apologising for the call, others simply hang up.

The growth of such marketing calls was reported by Jason Lewis, Investigations editor of the Telegraph a few days ago.
 It is estimated  following a survey  commissioned by the Sunday Telegraph to 20,000 homes where a trueCall answering unit was fitted to record the number of incoming calls. The story was also reported in the Daily Mail and elsewhere.
To the 20,000 homes with the trueCall machinery the figures make interesting reading

892 calls from Npower

1,038 from Homeserve

10,396 from talkTalk

British Gas was among the most prolific callers, the results showed.

It made 7,000 cold calls to 900 homes over the course of a year, almost eight calls to each household that’s an average of over 7 calls to each home.

 Rules on unsolicited sales calls are set by the regulator Ofcom, which has fined companies for making silent calls, but has not named companies which made them.

Whilst the automated silent calling firms are proliferating it makes the business of prospecting of well intentioned salespeople all the more difficult.
Persistence is an important aspect of any sales professional attitude set. Rejection is part of the job. In days gone by the following figures were quoted:-
Don’t give up!

Success is never final and failure is seldom fatal

How soon do you give up?

44% give up after the first rejection

22% give up after the second rejection

14% give up after the
third rejection

12% give up after the
fourth rejection

In summary 92% of all salespeople give up after No sales on the fourth call Yet 60 % of customers say 'No' four times before saying “Yes”!

But that was in an old world of humans dialling out and 'road warriors' - perhaps with the new world order of automated silent call methods customers will be even more resistant

Come what may, professional selling is not about being a nuisance - rather it requires one to be  polite , courteous but persistent.

Related Links

  Jason Lewis blog

Alun Cairns, a Conservative MP has rased concern on this issue with particular reference tovulnerable receivers of such calls as the elderley.

Liberal Democrat MP Mike Crockart, is setting up a House of Commons all-party committee on nuisance calls

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