What rights does an incoming caller have? To be more specific, an incoming solicitor calling a place of business?
At home, we have the do-not-call list. This could never be put into effect for business, nor do I think anyone sane would see it as a good idea. Business would halt.
The general consensus that I have gathered is that callers to your home have no rights. Hanging up on them is acceptable with a simple “no thank you” is status quo. This I find fascinating. When I polled regarding a caller to a business environment, the treatment is different. Recipients of call to a business environment report that they will listen 1-2 minutes before exiting from a call they don’t want. Some reasons why at home and office:
- Home is sacred, people feel invaded and justified to not give up their home time
- It’s usually at the end of the day, evening, people want to relax
- Non equivalence. You are home, the caller is at work
At the Office
- Professionalism. The Golden Rule.
- Equivalence. You are both in a work environment
- You may be calling them tomorrow
- You really may be interested in their service
In essence, this is a philosophical question. What is your corporate belief system? What is your personal belief system? For me, today was back to back scheduled meetings and three solicitors got past my gatekeeper. Rare. It inspired this blog and reminded me of one of my beliefs:
“I came here to say that I do not recognize anyone’s right to one minute of my life. Nor to any part of my energy. Nor to any achievement of mine. No matter who makes the claim, how large their number or how great their need.”
Ayn Rand, The Fountainhead.
Of the three in-bound calls, one lied to my gatekeeper to get to me. This is plain stupid. Alienate the person who manages my schedule. The other two reached me while everyone else was at lunch. Not one of the three had a coherent message. How much of my time did they get? Less than five seconds. Did I hang up on them? No. There is another option!
About three months ago, in talking with our administrative staff, I came up with the idea for line 1300.
If you end up in line 1300, you get a recording that sound something like this:
“Hello. You have have reached line 1300 at Broadlook Technologies because you were either unclear or perhaps rude in your outreach. This is your chance to get it right. At the sound of the tone please leave a clear, articulate message detailing how your product or service is right for Broadlook. We listen to this voicemail box once per week. If we are interested we will contact you. Thank you.”
What does line 1300 do? It empower the people that support me. They do not have to take crap from rude callers. It gives your staff an immediate out from a monotonous, unclear, script-reading telemarketer. In addition, it covers the litmus test of professionalism. We DO listen to 1300 once per week.
Line 1300 is NOT about being mean. It is fair. Personally I give sales a step by step guide on how to sell to me. If they don’t follow it, line 1300.
Try adding a line 1300. Your staff will love your for it.