I have been on the receiving end of far too many sales calls that left me wanting to put the phone down fast, and I'm definitely not alone! This new survey from the American Management Association asked 1,100 buyers about the sales tactics and behaviours they found the most irritating. Here’s what they said, starting with their top answer:
The top 10 most annoying sales calls
1. Being too pushy (24%)
2. Not taking “no” for an answer (23%)
3. Not listening (18%)
4. Talking too much (9%)
5. Bait and switch (8%) - I had a one of these deceptive calls some time ago... I'm still fuming.
6. Reading from a script (7%)
7. Using meaningless sales jargon (or terms) (5%)
8. Upselling (4%)
9. Being impatient (2%)
All of these remind me of conversations with local directory sales people. Even when you KNOW that they are just repeating complete BS from a script and you point that out to them, they don't listen. They just won't take no for an answer. You will still be subjected to a 20 minute tirade full of phrases deliberately designed to baffle you and generate a "Fear Of Missing Out".
I have been known to put the phone on the desk and make a cup of tea while they ramble on. They don't even notice I've gone!
But there’s a new kid in town over here in the UK which I am going to place at #10.
The "Chinese Whisper" sales call
I was called recently by a local listing directory salesman.
He started by telling me that he was calling because I hadn’t amended my listing for the last six months and wanted to make sure that the information they held about my business was correct - standard intro from local listing companies these days.
But then he tried to upsell me a premium package...
These calls are always rather fun for me because I like to ask awkward questions to test how much the sales person really knows about SEO. In most cases this is actually very little, but this call was particularly galling.
It became apparent that this guy was being trained on the job!
Because I was asking questions that were not on the script, he had to turn to his trainer for help.
It was like a totally surreal Chinese whisper call as I heard her say the answer to him and then he would repeat it to me!
In the end I called him out on the fact that he was getting the answers from someone else and she took the phone from him to give me the usual incorrect SEO-related BS that I referred to earlier in this post.
If someone is going to search online for a local supplier, wouldn't they just use Google?
I can honestly say that I have never used any of the local listing directories or local newspaper listing directories to choose a supplier.
How to get customers to come to you
There are lots of ways to avoid paying local listing directories for premium entries, or bombarding potential customers with sales calls.
If your website is full of great content that answers your prospects' questions and is optimised so Google can match your solutions to her searchers' questions, your ideal customers will find you. It is as simple as that.