don’t claim you’re not selling by phone
Not one minute ago, I hung up on a B2B telemarketer. Here’s how the conversation went.
HIM: This is not a solicitation.
ME: You’re not trying to get my business?
HIM: We want to get your business, but with this call we just want to offer you a free analysis.
ME: If the end goal is to win my business, this is Step One of a solicitation.
HIM: [Long-winded, defensive weasel.]
ME: You are weaseling, which is another word for lying.
What did he expect—that I’d say, “OK, you got me on a technicality”? Well, that’s not what I said. In fact, I said nothing more at all. I hung up. The sad thing is, had he come clean, or even skipped the whole “not a solicitation” thing in the first place, I’d have heard him out.
I make sales calls myself. I am always honest about what I’m up to. Perhaps I am honest to a fault, for I usually open with, “This is a sales call, so brace yourself.” Know what? It has never failed to earn me a chuckle and a go-ahead. I have won new clients that way.
If you believe there is no dishonor in selling, don’t weasel—and tell your people not to weasel—about why you’re calling. If you think there is dishonor in selling, change careers.