The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]

An Inconvenient Interruption …
July 27, 2012, 6:15 am
Filed under: Comment

Following on from yesterdays post about intelligent – and not so intelligent – conmen, here’s a post about the complete opposite group: Cold Callers.

Some of you might not know this, but many years ago, I was a cold caller.


I’d just moved to Australia, needed a job and – for minimum wage – I became one of those annoying bastards who calls up random people trying to flog them stuff … except in my case, I was calling random businesses and my ‘product’ was a low cost, long distance phone line from APP.

I think I managed to stick it out for about 6 weeks before getting a job back in adland – for another 6 weeks in a media department [talk about from the frying pan into the fire] – however looking back, what I found interesting was there was no ‘script’ to speak to, it was all down to how you chose to interact with the person on the other end of the phone.

It shames me to say that I was quite good at it – though the real reason has far more to do with it actually being a decent offer at a time where the whole concept was new, rather than my gift of the gab – however I did realise that one of the best ways to not get the phone slammed down on you after a torrent of verbal abuse was to not pretend you were their friend, but to say upfront you’re trying to sell them something and that you just would like 3 minutes of their time before they can tell you “to go to hell”.

[I used to literally say “you can tell me to go to hell” and it was amazingly – and weirdly – well recieved, which highlights how people love the idea of being able to give ‘abuse without consequence’]

Anyway, since that experience, I’ve been sort-of intrigued by the whole cold calling methodology – especially when I continue to get such crap calls from call centers despite reading how they all have ‘amazing and tested systems’ for success – so I’ve decided to take the plunge and enroll in a cold calling course so I can find out once and for all if it’s all bollocks [check out the worst David Brent video of possibly all time] or a skill only the true masters can pass on.

So from next month, I’m going to be learning from this man …

I have no idea what will happen … I have no idea what/if I’ll learn … I have no idea how I’ll be able to actually ‘test’ my [alleged] new found skills, but if you start getting random phone calls from me, you’ll now know why.

Here goes absolutely nothing!


I’m going to have to put you on hold.

Comment by John

Haven’t you been doing that for 6 years Mr Dodds?

Comment by Rob

This explains why you have no shame in front of clients.

Comment by Pete

Thanks a lot Pete. Now it all comes out …

Comment by Rob

And, given that people are increasingly waking up to the fact that they can avoid such calls by signing up for TPS etc, can I suggest that it might be more enlightening if you signed up as a chugger and did this face to face with completely disinterested prospects.

Comment by John

So let me get this straight, you want me to do ‘face-to’face’ calls? Is that because you think I’m pretty or because you’re hoping someone will smash my face in?

Don’t answer that, I’ve already worked it out.

Comment by Rob

If you were a friend that news would make me unfriend you.

Comment by Billy Whizz

I believe this is one of those pieces of information you may well live to regret sharing with the World.

Comment by Lee Hill

Please don’t call us Robert.

Comment by Mary Bryant


Comment by Rob

why the fuck are you apologising?

nothing wrong with cold calling, everything wrong with bad cold calling, as you so rightly point out.

Ask most ladies, if they hate a pick up line, and most will say they hate a corny bad one..

Now it is most likely done for comic effect, the apologising, but looking at it form a different (perhaps tpsy) angle, I could argue that it apologising for things is why clients, was Lee who said it, dont get idea neutral stuff or channel neutral shit because of bad pre-conceptions by the folks who should be open minded (adland)..

I hope you fucking rock at this shit and write a good post about it, and then do the same with DM and Point of Sale and customer service and all the other things all these hipster guru fuckers have proclaimed dead or in coma..

If nobody is using a tool correctly it just means nobody uses it correctly, and it presents an possible opp for clients to break through, if done correctly…

Comment by niko

Ladies love my technique.

Comment by Billy Whizz

interesting, rob… I believe the tactic of being upfront and giving permission to tell you to ‘go to hell’ reflects our innate and deep desires for honesty … it’s quite literally disarming. Imagine what we can accomplish if we are cheeky, honest, upfront and speak to latent desires and aspirations!

Comment by renee lertzman

Hello Renee – how wonderful to have you come on here, though what it does for your career is anyone’s guess. I agree with your point but it doesn’t work – I once saw Natalie Imbruglia and tried that tactic and she basically told me to “go away before she calls the Police”. But maybe in some scenarios – like my cold calling job – it can work. Be fun to test it on a much bigger scale though.

Comment by Rob

So, Niko has basically suggested that you need to go away and learn the correct techniques for all the major communication methods. I don’t know what they’re feeding him down there in South America but it’s certainly working.

Comment by John

Personally I’m just grateful he stopped at just learning the ‘correct techniques’ for communication … he could of had a list a mile long if he really wanted to highlight my weaknesses. He must think it’s my birthday.

Comment by Rob

Are you going to record the training sessions? (Only for you to learn from them of course …)

Comment by Thomas

If they let me, I will but is it to learn from my experience or to see my face again? For your sake I hope it’s the former, even if the only way you learn from me is to do the opposite of what I do. Ha.

Comment by Rob

I too have suffered telesales as a job. Will never forget it- whenever I want to moan about anything to do with work, I only have to think about trying to sell plumbing and drainage insurance.
I worked with a mixture of post grads looking for a proper job, people making ends meet after being made redundant and people for whom this was actually their job. Apart from working in a nursing home, I’ve never come accross so much bravery, strength in adversity, hoplessness AND hopefulness in one day.
You won’t find that in a conference in Shoreditch.

Comment by northern

By the way, a face made for telesales?

Comment by northern

My dad once got a double glazing call, they were saying about how burglaries in the area had gone up and we should be protected. My dad just replied ‘That’s ok, it’s me doing all the burglaries’ … waited, enjoyed the uncomfortable silence… then hung up.

Comment by Rob Mortimer (Not a fake Andy)


PS. No Andy, Dave or Baz comments today. Seems yesterday’s lunch was quite the meal for them. ; )

Comment by Pete

my hangover was a weapon of mass fucking destruction or i thought it was when i saw mr fucking bean and freddie bastard mercury in the olympic opening ceremony. off for a week with the inlaws which is the equivalent of entering witness protection and a all you can drink bar at the same time. see you losers.

Comment by andy@cynic

I wonder if any telesales company is brave enough to ring people during the opening ceremony? At least they can be sure their odds of people being at home will be very high.

Comment by Pete

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