How to deal with a marketing call, a humane approach
Receiving marketing calls from mobile service providers, insurance companies and other agencies is part of our lives. Any time during your day, you might receive a sales call you don't want but can't avoid. It is a necessary evil associated with modern civilization focused on selling.
Decades back when these calls started, I received such a call in the evening just after I reached home. I still remember, I lost my cool. During those early years I tried to reason with the calling agent which invariably turned out to be a protracted highly unsatisfactory exchange. Gradually I could form a standard response that was generally effective in cutting short the call quickly and cleanly.
Yesterday I received a call in the afternoon. I took the call and initiated my response before the girl on the other side could start speaking, “Who’s on the line?” It is better to be on the safe side. It might yet be a genuine call needing some help.
The reply though confirmed my presumption, “I am Richa from XYZ Infocomm. Do you have an XYZ connection? We have a great offer for new customers.”
So that’s it. My tone became hard, “Please listen carefully. I am not well, and taking rest now. I do not need your service. I will be thankful if you stop calling me in future.” Usually this stops the caller from any further pursuit that time. Truly, who is fully well all the time!
Today morning I was at my desk at home, working. My wife was bustling around trying to cope up with uncountable bits of household tasks. She was also taking calls now and then. Part of my mind was registering the sounds. Her two semi-critical patients are in two different nursing homes now. She was trying to manage the two cases remotely while doing the umpteen numbers of household chores.
Again I heard her phone ringing. She took the call as before. Like me she takes every call. She replied to the caller in a gentle voice. From the tone it was clear that the call was of a different type and I became alert. She was saying, “I do not need any new connection, and I am very busy now.” With a pause she added softly, “Thank you.” I could sense, it was a genuine thanks.
Thank you? To whom? Suddenly I felt an eagerness to know. I asked her, “Why did you thank her? She was disturbing you.” Maybe there was a trace of sarcasm in my voice. But she ignored it and explained. Her seriousness was unmistakable, “Tomorrow I could be in her shoes. Who knows!”
My logic-hard reasoning took a turn, “Oh, that possibility is remote. But yes, I never thought it this way. At the end of the day the girl at the other end is also a human, a common person with little difference from you and me. Nah, this is a much better approach, ultimately. I appreciate. Thanks. I learned.” I added, with a little awe in my voice. No trace of sarcasm any more.
My thoughts continued.
This small gesture might flip a little switch in the mind of the girl at the other end. Possibility of a miniscule change in a positive direction, and mind changes have special power of escalation.
After all, most times we work on possibilities, isn't it?