Cold calls in the workplace can be annoying, and at worst can stop you answering the phone to genuine customers. Companies are using increasingly technical methods of getting through to the ‘right’ person, so how to deal with cold calls in the workplace?
How to deal with cold calls in the workplace
Most of the time the cold caller doesn’t actually know the name of the person they want to speak to. They’ll usually try and get the name of someone responsible for a particular role, because once they have the name, it’s much easier to get through to them in the future. Here are some scenarios and what you can do to prevent them.
“Can I speak to the person responsible for the companies energy bills please?”
We get at least one of these a day. They are almost always companies trying to get you to change your gas or electric tariff, or to get the next date of your switch so that they can hound you nearer the time.
Best way to get rid of these callers is to say “Sorry, it’s our company policy not to provide this information over the telephone”.
“Can I speak to the person responsible for the companies mobile telephones please?”
Just like the energy companies, anyone who calls you and asks this question is trying to get names and dates. Again, reply with the same response: “Sorry, it’s our company policy not to provide this information over the telephone”.
Sometimes you’ll get an aggressive seller who will ask you why not. Simply respond with “sorry, we don’t discuss that over the telephone. Feel free to write to us with any questions”.
“Before I say anything else, I just want to let you know I’m not selling anything”.
This is almost always a lie. When someone starts the call with this line, they are almost ALWAYS calling to sell you something. The moment you get any suspicion they are selling something just hang up – if they can be rude enough to lie to you about their intentions, you are entitled to repay their rudeness by handing up.
Business Telephone Surveys
These are some of the cheekiest of calls in my experience. A company calls you, want you to spend 10 to 20 minutes giving them loads of information which they will then use to sell to other companies.
If you’re not careful, your employees may give away important (sensitive) information about your organisation. Make it a policy not to answer telephone surveys and instead invite the caller to write to you.
Start a procurement system
Large organisations have a procurement system and starting your own is a great way of dealing with cold calls in the workplace. By adding a procurement system to your new supplier processes you’ll weed the wheat from the chaff as decent companies will make the effort to fill out your forms and supply you with the information you require to consider them as a supplier. Poor quality companies will rarely bother with this process.
“But they’re only doing their job”
Of course this is true, and there’s nothing wrong with someone trying to earn money. But cold calling is a cheap and outdated method of getting custom. It’s an old fashion version of spam email.
Decent companies invest in a long-term strategy for marketing. They invest in their sector and want to keep their customers happy. They gain new customers by recommendations and by building on quality service. Cold calling is not quality: it’s random, time-wasting and annoying.
That cold call might have just cost you money!
If you’re a small business or a sole trade, that cold caller may be holding up the telephone line from a genuine customer with money to spend. Learning to deal with cold calls in the workplace is vital to preventing you from losing money.