Golden Rule

One day, during a discussion with a member of my sales team, I received a call on my mobile phone from a bank’s telemarketing executive offering me a credit card. I politely informed her that I already had a credit card from her bank, and that I was not interested in an additional card. When she asked me if I could give her the contact details of any friends who would be interested in a credit card, I politely replied that I could not give her any person’s contact details without that person’s authorization.

After the call ended, my Sales Executive said, “I’m surprised you spoke so patiently and so politely. I normally shout at such callers because they are not supposed to make such calls. It’s illegal!”

I smiled and replied, “My friend, just before I received this call, you were proudly telling me that you hoped to finalize quite a few orders from customers whose enquiries had been generated by your cold calls. I’m sure you are disappointed, but certainly not upset, when a customer tells you that he is not interested in the product you are promoting during a cold call, or if a customer refuses to meet you because he is busy. But wouldn’t you be upset if a customer shouts at you when you make a cold call? You certainly would.

The call I received just now was a telephonic cold call. When I receive any such call, I reply politely. Of course, if the caller continues to pester me, I rebuke him/her without shouting and without using any strong language. I suggest you follow the same procedure when you receive any telephonic cold call. Remember the Golden Rule:
One should treat others as one would like others to treat oneself.


26 thoughts on “Golden Rule

  1. To avoid telemarketing calls I
    1. Opt for “DO NOT DISTURB”.
    2. Tell the Life insurance that I’m 70 and a financial advisor that I’m a CA.The calls don’t proceed!

    • To the best of my knowledge, DNC (Do Not Call) applies to sales calls. Many organisations call their existing customers under the guise of ‘Service Call’ and ask the customers if they have any complaint. Most customers answer in the negative. Then the caller starts a sales pitch on some new product or service.

  2. A subtly conveyed msg , ” Do unto others as you would have others do unto you “…. Sometimes the ‘cold callers’ aren’t patient though. There’ve been instances when I’ve told them, I’ll get back to them when I need a card, and they call up again the next day asking me whether I’ve changed my mind. If this repeats more than twice, it becomes irritating. Of course, these are isolated cases. Usually politeness serves the purpose !

  3. Sorry, here I’m in the shouter category most times & just cut the call right there.
    Nice piece Pro, thought provoking. Reminder to self Be more polite to these people too.

    • To be honest, Feroze, I used to speak harshly to these people. Then, I realised that:
      a. As a frontline salesperson, I used to make personal cold calls. The caller is making a telephonic cold call.
      b. Most of the time, the caller is not aware that what (s)he is doing is illegal. The real villains are the managements of the organisations: they know it shouldn’t be done, but they get it outsourced, probably giving verbal instructions.

      • Ok, from now on only the real pests get a tongue lashing the other to be treated normally

  4. What you say is true.. but I have been guilty of being abrupt with them once or twice before! :-/
    I will keep this post in mind Pro.. and perhaps be a bit more polite even though I don’t feel like it.

  5. I do not get much calls.. But whenever I get one, I tell them that I am not interested or I tell that I am busy and ask them to text me their contact number and would get them back when I find time.
    It is never that I call have called back.

  6. This can come from only a sales/marketing person. We cannot understand the other person’s situation unless we have travelled a distance in his/her shoes. Shouting and using harsh language it seems is the way for many people. They do not accept that the same message can be conveyed subtly too.

  7. I reply patiently to cold calls too… and I was so grateful I did so… as I started working I also had to make such calls. And when a person shouts at you it just spoils the whole day.

  8. Very aptly said…Many of us forget the Golden rule of “Do unto others”…Some callers are really stubborn and you have to be stern with them but there is never really any need to raise your voice or be rude!

  9. What happens is that sometimes we fill up forms for lucky draw and such in places likes malls and so on, where the T&C say that they will share our info with their partners and we shall accept calls even if we have opted for DnD.

    I don’t mind them calling once in a while to check for loans/cards/vacation packages etc… however manytimes they overstep..

    For eg, I use XYZ credit card..I got a call asking if I was a user of said card, and I said yes.. THen they said that as a loyal customer they were giving me some free benefits.. One the benefits were discussed, they said I would need to pay 6000 or so rupees as a service charge to the third party.. Then how does it become free?

    Another marketing groups calls me to offer a credit card, but later tells me that they won’t service my geographical region..

    both the cases are fine in the first occurence, but I get impatient when different representatives keep calling every week for the same thing.

  10. ah dat was a nice moral! I indeed used to get irritated wen i got promotional calls bt from nw on, i will keep this in mind 🙂

  11. So true! This was a great post!

    I try to be nice to telemarketers and “cold callers” because when I was in college I worked at a survey research agency and make cold telephone calls all the time. It makes a big difference when someone responds with courtesy than when they yell or just hang up the phone. Even though we aren’t face to face with the person, we should still give them that same respect. Most of the time, they don’t want to be calling you just as much as you don’t want them to call you. But it’s their job.

  12. And by shouting at the caller, we are hurting ourselves (health) more than the caller. Same is true with honking in traffic. Our honking hardly makes any difference to the traffic but causes anger, frustration, irritation and even may lead to minor/major accidents.

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