Why Are So Many Warriors Critical of Phone Sales?

26 replies
I've seen quite a few very negative comments lately left of the forum on threads about phone sales. I just don't understand why we would discourage someone to find clients this way.

According to my experience small businesses really want help with an online presence. There is no faster and easier way to offer it than by picking up the phone. I understand that some Internet Marketers may not personally want to do this. Honestly, it may require an entirely different skill set than some have. But why discourage others from trying it. Why not work together?

Business to business phone sales are not dead. I worked in my fathers small business for 13 years. Sales calls are part of daily business and very helpful sometimes. If you have an honest useful service to offer there is no shame in offering it.
#critical #phone #sales #telemarketing #warriors
  • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
    Here's two reasons I don't recommend phone sales for most people trying to sell web services.

    1. As you mentioned, most people trying this 'offliner' approach do not have the skill set to do it effectively. Done badly, it is discouraging, deflating and can ruin any chance of making a sale. Most will give up before that happens, though.

    2. A fair number of people are treating offering local services as some kind of get-rich scheme, and seem to believe that local small business owners are bumpkins they can dazzle with a few buzz words. At which point, said bumpkin will hand them a check for several thousand dollars. The job will then be sourced on Fiverr, while the "marketer" gloats about suckering another one.

    If someone has the chops to really offer a beneficial service at a fair price, and the personality to keep at it long enough to be good at it, phone sales can be a good prospecting tool.
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  • Profile picture of the author kindsvater
    I'll tell you why ...

    Those of us with businesses are SICK AND TIRED of all the unsolicited requests to help with our online presence.

    Every call is an INTERRUPTION of something else. A phone call is someone demanding that my time and attention be immediately given to them.

    It is, frankly, another form of SPAM.

    How many online marketers are there? What if they all call? On top of the calls for insurance, copiers, and whatever else may be sold. A business phone is not there to receive sales solicitations.

    Maybe you perceive your calls to be special and valuable. Maybe they are. But you're caught up in a tsunami of garbage marketers. In 20+ years I have never seen or heard of a business that enjoyed receiving unsolicited phone calls.

    .
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  • Profile picture of the author Randall Magwood
    I'm assuming you're talking about cold calling and telemarketing? To be honest, these techniques works wonders for some people, but the majority of the people who do try to use it fail miserably. There are other more powerful ways to reach consumers on a larger scale.

    Cold calling is limited in its effectiveness due to you have to set aside time each day to make phone calls. If you put together a direct mail campaign, you will kind of have thousands of "sales agents" out there pitching your services or products to a large group of people at one time.

    If you used cold calling to call of the people that you are targeting, you can potentially waste alot of time doing this. So some people are good at it - but most aren't... and they don't want to learn either.
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  • Profile picture of the author LarryC
    I wouldn't tell anyone how to market, especially as I have no experience with phone sales. However, I can't imagine ever buying anything from someone who (cold) calls me. For that reason alone I'm skeptical about it.
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    • Profile picture of the author eguinan
      Well it's worked VERY well for me.
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      • Profile picture of the author MrsRosendaFlynn
        This is why I keep reporting every phone number they use to consumer complaint websites such CALLERCENTER. My own opinion may not be enough for them to stop their unethical practice but if they get to read the complaints posted against them at different websites from people like me, I bet they'd realize just how far they've gone in exploiting primarily those who don't know how to avoid them and their calls.
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      • Profile picture of the author Prideoflion
        Well I for one am glad to hear it. I think if you can succeed in the cold calling/door-to-door salesman route of direct marketing, you honestly can succeed anywhere. I used to do some product sampling/demo work for a major chain grocery store. It was all at once exhilarating and devastating. When you were good you were great, when you were bad, you were the worst salesman in the world.

        I wouldn't mind hearing some advice on how to succeed in this area of sales from you. I think all of us could benefit in some fashion from getting that advice because ,as we all know, the best sales letters in the world are just a condensed verbal sales pitch from a serious competent salesman.

        Let us know my friend.

        Originally Posted by eguinan View Post

        Well it's worked VERY well for me.
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  • Profile picture of the author MrsRosendaFlynn
    I used to be generally polite to telemarketers because I know the kind of work they're doing is difficult and unappreciated. And that they're only doing what their bosses tell them.

    But as calls continue to increase every day, I realize I have no obligation to be polite to them at all. They take my time, invade my privacy and feel like they have the authority to force themselves on me. I also do not appreciate them making silent calls, use recorded messages and even try to scam me out of money. I've asked them several times not to call me again, to remove me from their call list and said NO pretty strongly to what they're offering but they just won't stop. I see the same number call me again and again.

    If telemarketing is as ethical as some people claim it to be, primarily, they should stop as soon as they're told to.
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  • Profile picture of the author shawnhag
    a lot of people are critical of this is because it is working for them and want to keep it all of themselves...fact.
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  • Profile picture of the author storageunits
    I use cold calling all the time. It works and I will never stop doing it. They're critical because they just don't know what they're doing
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    • Profile picture of the author Hatentrepreneur
      It's probably because telemarketers are one of the most despised people around, and it's no fun spending time on the phone with people that hate you.

      I always imagined the only people that don't hang up on telemarketers are lonely elderly people.
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  • Profile picture of the author Michael Meaney
    As Brian already mentioned, it's an interruption we could do without and the techniques some of them use in order to speak to "the decision maker" are unethical, at best.

    I understand that telemarketing can produce extremely high conversion rates and I don't have a problem with it until it becomes cold calling - then it's downright annoying.
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    • Profile picture of the author iAmNameLess
      Originally Posted by Mick Meaney View Post

      As Brian already mentioned, it's an interruption we could do without and the techniques some of them use in order to speak to "the decision maker" are unethical, at best.

      I understand that telemarketing can produce extremely high conversion rates and I don't have a problem with it until it becomes cold calling - then it's downright annoying.
      Unethical? What is unethical about asking for the person in charge of marketing, or the decision maker, or asking for the person by name?

      Telemarketing and cold calling... what do you consider the difference? I'm a firm believer in cold calling and telemarketing... because it has MADE my business. It is my pay check... it is how I can build any business I could want, in a week.

      If I build a lead list, they are qualified if they are a business. I don't care if they have a website or not because 90% of businesses with websites are unhappy with their current ones, and they already see the value in having one.

      It's annoying for you to be called, but get over it.

      If you can do sales, you have the most important skill in the world. Skills in sales allow you to be able to start and survive in any economic climate, and in any country, in any business or industry.

      The people I call... I don't call to annoy them. I call in order to A.) Save them time B.) Save them money C.) Make them money or D.) Solve a problem

      If they don't care about any of those things, then they aren't my target market, plain and simple. It is their loss, not mine. If you hang up on me, it puts me one call closer to getting a yes.
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      • Profile picture of the author Chris Grable
        Originally Posted by iAmNameLess View Post

        Unethical? What is unethical about asking for the person in charge of marketing, or the decision maker, or asking for the person by name?

        Telemarketing and cold calling... what do you consider the difference? I'm a firm believer in cold calling and telemarketing... because it has MADE my business. It is my pay check... it is how I can build any business I could want, in a week.

        If I build a lead list, they are qualified if they are a business. I don't care if they have a website or not because 90% of businesses with websites are unhappy with their current ones, and they already see the value in having one.

        It's annoying for you to be called, but get over it.

        If you can do sales, you have the most important skill in the world. Skills in sales allow you to be able to start and survive in any economic climate, and in any country, in any business or industry.

        The people I call... I don't call to annoy them. I call in order to A.) Save them time B.) Save them money C.) Make them money or D.) Solve a problem

        If they don't care about any of those things, then they aren't my target market, plain and simple. It is their loss, not mine. If you hang up on me, it puts me one call closer to getting a yes.
        Many of us feel like you are depriving us of our MOST precious resource.... TIME!!
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      • Profile picture of the author Hatentrepreneur
        Originally Posted by iAmNameLess View Post


        Telemarketing and cold calling... what do you consider the difference? I'm a firm believer in cold calling and telemarketing... because it has MADE my business. It is my pay check... it is how I can build any business I could want, in a week.
        I'd live out of my car before I'd ever consider cold calling someone. I'm not willing to jettison my dignity for some money.
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        • Profile picture of the author iAmNameLess
          Originally Posted by Chris Grable View Post

          Many of us feel like you are depriving us of our MOST precious resource.... TIME!!
          And if someone could get you more money, more time, or fix a problem you have, you would dismiss it? You may feel that way but there are hundreds of thousands of business owners that would love to talk to me or my team.

          Originally Posted by Hatentrepreneur View Post

          I'd live out of my car before I'd ever consider cold calling someone. I'm not willing to jettison my dignity for some money.
          To think, if Sprint, ATT, GQ, Newsweek, Google, and countless other MAJOR companies felt the same way you did, they wouldn't have empires.

          You think it would cause you to lose your dignity, but I'm doing business owners a favor. A lot of people are happy and thrilled that I got in touch with them, and of course others don't like it.

          I made a choice, when I literally was about to live out of my car... to either give my best shot or be homeless.

          I sleep very well at night.. and I share no sympathy with people that are struggling to make money and have families to support but they don't want to put up the effort involved in pulling themselves out of a mess.

          In this business, you get what you put in. You might enjoy waiting for people to come to you, and I enjoy you waiting as well. While you're sitting and waiting, I'm out there GETTING.
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          • Profile picture of the author Chris Grable
            Originally Posted by iAmNameLess View Post

            And if someone could get you more money, more time, or fix a problem you have, you would dismiss it? You may feel that way but there are hundreds of thousands of business owners that would love to talk to me or my team.



            To think, if Sprint, ATT, GQ, Newsweek, Google, and countless other MAJOR companies felt the same way you did, they wouldn't have empires.

            You think it would cause you to lose your dignity, but I'm doing business owners a favor. A lot of people are happy and thrilled that I got in touch with them, and of course others don't like it.

            I made a choice, when I literally was about to live out of my car... to either give my best shot or be homeless.

            I sleep very well at night.. and I share no sympathy with people that are struggling to make money and have families to support but they don't want to put up the effort involved in pulling themselves out of a mess.

            In this business, you get what you put in. You might enjoy waiting for people to come to you, and I enjoy you waiting as well. While you're sitting and waiting, I'm out there GETTING.
            IAmNameless....

            You are way too sensitive about this topic! The question was asked.... Many of us answered it in a way that you don't like. This isn't about you and your success... or the success of those companies you mentioned. My answer has to do with ME... and how much I despise being marketed to over the phone.

            I have flirted with network marketing over the years... My experience leads me to believe that phone sales work best on the weak and/or desperate. It's not something I want to be involved in.

            Having said that... it's phone sales more than cold calling that I have the biggest beef with. Were you to call me and ask for an appointment to meet face to face... I would not be offended at all!
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      • Profile picture of the author Michael Meaney
        Originally Posted by iAmNameLess View Post

        Unethical? What is unethical about asking for the person in charge of marketing, or the decision maker, or asking for the person by name? .
        A lot of you guys are deceptive in your attempts to speak to the decision maker, that's been my experience here in the UK.

        I believe a WSO was actually shut down a few weeks ago because it suggested unethical cold calling techniques.

        Now, if you had read what I wrote, you'd see that I don't have a problem when it comes to calling genuine leads, I've done this myself - but when you pick up a phone directory and start calling everybody and anybody, yes, it is a form of spam.

        That's the main reason why we use gatekeepers.

        Some of the claims I've had telemarketers say recently:

        "There's an urgent problem with the website..."
        "I've arranged a meeting with..."
        "I'm returning his call..."

        Starting any kind of business deal with a lie is unethical.

        You've taken my comments a bit personal, I never said all telemarketers conduct themselves like this. If you don't engage in deceptive practices, there's nothing for you to worry about is there?
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  • Profile picture of the author iAmNameLess
    Because it takes work, dedication, and isn't something that is part of shiny object syndrome.

    I don't care if you, your mom, your brother, your wife hate b2b sales calls... you aren't my market. My target market is people that aren't bothered with what I have to offer. If it takes 100 calls to get 1 sale, so be it. It isn't about the 99 that say no, cuss me out, or hang up... it's about the 1 that says yes.

    People don't like it because it isn't glamorous, and they are directly at fault if they fail. Make X amount of calls you make X amount of sales.

    Cold calling is the fastest way to generate revenue for your business. If you're in a bind... cold call your way out of it.

    Internet marketers scoff at the idea, but then get excited when they have their first $1,000 month... People that cold call, are used to $1,000 weeks on the lower end.
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  • Profile picture of the author RedShifted
    Please you people need to get over yourselves. Give me a break.

    I could just as easily call your click out windows spam. I hate that crap. I could make a list of online things I absolutely despise that you do everyday.

    Don't hate on a segment of marketing that takes a backbone and personality to do.

    -Red
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    • Profile picture of the author Chris Grable
      Originally Posted by RedShifted View Post

      Please you people need to get over yourselves. Give me a break.

      I could just as easily call your click out windows spam. I hate that crap. I could make a list of online things I absolutely despise that you do everyday.

      Don't hate on a segment of marketing that takes a backbone and personality to do.

      -Red
      Yeah... well.... I don't do that either! BUT... the prospect, at least, put himself/herself on that page and made themselves subject to the practice. That's a hell of a lot differrent than bugging them repeatedly with untimely robocalls, script reading and hard selling!
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  • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
    Banned
    I personally don't bother being critical of people who are making a living trying to sell via phone.

    I also don't put up with it if they're calling me. I'm on the Do Not Call list for a reason and if you call anyway, I will most likely hang up on you. If you call more than once, it gets uglier.

    From all the sales people with credit card companies, insurance companies, Internet Marketing companies, and the idiotic political robocalls, etc., I have zero tolerance for it.
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    • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
      For 25 years, I've made appointments by phone. Some cold calls, some referrals.

      It's FAR better to have some sort of connection with the person you are calling, even if that connection is that you have seen their website and know something about their competition. Or if your are calling because of a referral.

      Cold calling is a matter of numbers. Get on. Get off. Next. You are trying to find the guy looking for what you sell. someone who is already interested. Believe me, they are out there. You just need to find them.

      The book High Probability Selling gives a great method to make cold call on the phone. You can buy it on Amazon for a nickel.

      The single best cold call I ever received was this;
      "Hello. I sell long distance services for four cents a minute. Do you want to hear more?". This was years ago, of course. I said "Yes" and we were into a conversation I was INTERESTED in. Smartest phone cold call ever. He wasn't selling. He was sorting.

      I also own a brick and mortar business. Sometimes we get 50 cold calls a day. Annoying? Sure. Do I hate it? Sure. And most people would take the rejection personally, so I don't recommend it for most.

      But it's been years since I've spent a hour cold calling on the phone without making an appointment or a sale. I've never seen a more profitable marketing method.

      Ever been to a Dan Kennedy marketing event? 1,000 people fill the room. It took six months of constant marketing to fill the seats. Dozens of e-mails, sales letters, and teleseminars. And after that onslaught of marketing? The telemarketers call. Out of perhaps 50 separate contact, only one is from a trained telemarketer.

      Over half the seats are filled from that one step. Telemarketing works.
      It isn't fun, at least for me...but it works.
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  • Profile picture of the author MichaelHiles
    It's not that phone sales to business doesn't work. It's a function of return on investment of your time.

    If there's a more effective method, then use it.

    Just going down a random list of business listings, dialing for dollars in a purely unqualified scenario is a great way to burn up countless hours.

    I use the phone, but it's after inbound inquiries and a more methodical marketing process that qualifies a prospect before I engage.
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  • Profile picture of the author PR Wizard
    My husband owns a small business and receives unsolicited phone calls every day and it drives him nuts. For him it wastes his time and interrupts whatever he is doing. He has never given anyone business who has called. However, he has done business with several walk-in sales people. My point is that I really think it depends on the person. Different sales techniques work on different personalities. Telemarketing must work to some degree though if it still exists.
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