This Is Why Cold Callers Get A Bad Name

Written by Sean McPheat | Linkedin thumb

Cold calling is a tried and trusted method of generating new business. It does work.

However, it’s becoming less and less effective than it once was and that is mainly down to the fact that cold calling has got a very bad reputation.

So why has cold calling got such a bad reputation?

Well, apart from the fact that many of us feel that it’s an invasion of our privacy the real reason why we get so hacked off with cold callers are the underhanded, aggressive and sneaky tactics that they use.

This is a real shame because it makes the life of the “legit” callers a million times worse.

The reason why I am writing about this is because I was just walking by our reception when I heard one of my team on the phone talking to a cold caller from a company with “Public Sector” in their name who act on behalf of the government in setting up some meetings or something like that because the caller was so vague in trying to be put through to me it was ridiculous.

As Cheryl was on the call I listened in to some of the most aggressive, unprofressional tactics I think I’ve ever heard on a sales call.

So here are some lessons from that call that I strongly urge you to avoid:

1. “I’ve spoken to him before”

Yawn yawn yawn. The caller tried this old chestnut. Very unprofessional. They’d never get through my gatekeepers to speak to me and I had never spoken to this person.

2. “I’ve got systems to fill in and I can’t fill them in if I haven’t spoken to Sean”

1970’s hard sell tactics at it’s best.

3. “My Director is demanding that I speak to Sean”

This one is probably from the 1980’s!

4. “I’m going to keep on calling until you put me through to Sean”

What? Now this was ridiculous. Trying to bulldozer her way to me… you think that would work?

5. She put the receiver down and called 3 times within 2 minutes

She certainly carried out what she said she was going to do. She was a nuisance. I stood there in disbelief when I heard the cold caller say “Put me through to Sean or I will call back immediately”. Well, guess what? She did! Immediately! Cheryl answered the call again. And so on went the process.

6. “What gives you the right to make decisions for Sean?”

What? When the cold caller said this I thought it was time to step in so I took over the call.

7. “Anyway, now that I’ve got you on the phone…”

Once I took over the phone call I mentioned to her to look out for my blog. Her behaviour was disgusting especially when her company name has the words “Public Sector” in the title. I told her so and do you know what she replied back with “Anyway, now that I’ve got you on the phone….”


Unbelievable! So much so I just had to write this posting.

Please do not use tactics like this. If you do you are giving the sales profession a very bad name.


Sean McPheat
Managing Director

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Originally published: 2 March, 2009