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Anatomy of a Telemarketing Call

Anatomy of a Telemarketing Call - What went wrong? What went right?

Read this fictional conversation between a telemarketer and a homeowner. At the end of every exchange between the telemarketer and homeowner, try to spot what the caller did right—and wrong—according to the rules of the National Do Not Call List.

Caller

Good afternoon can I speak to the home owner please? It's Fred calling.

Homeowner

Speaking.

Callers must identify themselves as well as the company on whose behalf they’re selling products or services.

Caller

Ma’am, we're the people who handle lawn care in your neighbourhood. I’m sure you’ve seen our signs on and around your street. Spring is upon us and now’s the time to start thinking about a lawn care package for the season ahead.

Homeowner

What company do you represent, Fred?

The caller attempts to create some legitimacy for himself by making vague, but authentic-sounding references. The homeowner’s not fooled. She does well to ask for the business name.

Caller

I’m with Delicate Lawn Care, your area lawn care providers. I’ve got great news for you, ma’am. This year is our 15th anniversary and we’re celebrating by giving new customers 15 per cent off our Grow n’ Cut package. All I need is a couple of basic pieces of information to lock in this great discount for you today.

Homeowner

I don’t want to commit to anything right now, thanks. I can see from my caller ID that you’re calling from 1-800-555-1234. I’ll phone you back when I’ve had time to think about this deal.

Finally! The caller identifies the business he’s representing. And he’s made a clear pitch to sell a service. Now that she’s sure this is a telemarketing call, the homeowner attempts to confirm the caller’s telephone number.

Caller

That’s the number of our outbound calling centre, yes. But miss, I should tell you that this is a limited time offer. I can only guarantee our sale rate today. So if I can just confirm, your address is 192—

Homeowner

Can you provide me with your website? I’d like to learn a bit more about your company.

The caller must give a number where the actual lawn care business can be reached. The number for an outbound calling centre won’t do. This is a clear violation of the telemarketing rules. Sensing he might lose a potential sale, the caller moves quickly to secure the information he needs to deliver services. The homeowner won’t be swayed. She tries to collect even more data about the caller.

Caller

Again, our special rate is only available to you today on this phone call. As I understand it, your address is—

Homeowner

Thanks, but I’m not interested. Please put my number on your internal do not call list and please don’t call me again. This number is registered on the National Do Not Call List and I plan to file a complaint with the CRTC about your call. Goodbye.

The caller should give a website when asked. The homeowner’s had it with this caller. She delivers a firm, clear refusal: I’m not interested in your services. Even without the business’s website, the homeowner has enough information (the name of company, a valid telephone number, the date and time of the call and confirmation of solicitation) to file a complete complaint with the National DNCL. Bravo! This company will be hearing from the CRTC soon about a suspected violation of the telemarketing rules.

Caller

Thanks for your time. Goodbye.