Awkward conversation with a stranger. It’s the stuff of nightmares. Throw in a sales pitch and, well, let’s just say there’s a reason we waited until Halloween to bring you our list of the scariest cold calling experiences from our staff here at RelSci. But hey, it just gives you even more motivation to get that warm introduction!
Jonathan Lowenberg, the chameleon
“Hello, this is James Ashton,” he said in a surprisingly thick southern drawl.
“Hello James, this is Jonathan with XYZ Company,” I responded in my New York accent.
“Are you from New York?” he asked.
“I am, sir. I–,”
“No, thank you. I don’t talk to New Yorkers.” Click.
Rather stunned, but not to be swayed by this, I called back at the same time the next morning.
“Hello, this is James Ashton.”
I was more careful when I spoke this time. “Hi, Mr. Ashton. This is Jonathan with XYZ Company.” My voice dripped with my Emory-perfected southern twang.
“Aren’t you the same fella who called me yesterday?”
“Why yes, sir. I am.”
“What happened to your accent?”
“I changed it for you, sir. I’d really like to speak to you.”
At this, he cracked up. He laughed for a full minute before finally saying, “Okay, Jonathan. You got me. What can I do you for?”
It wasn’t my largest sale, but maybe my most memorable.
Andrew Jaffe, the hunter
Another time, I was cold calling leads when I reached a guy who must have had a bad day. He got on the phone, and before I could get out my company’s name, launched into a full-on tirade against all cold-callers ever.
Over the next ten minutes, he blasted me, starting every invective with a condescending “Do you understand…?”
“Do you understand that I’m working right now?”
“Do you understand that YOU are interrupting ME?”
“Do you understand that I do not have extra time in my day?”
And on and on and on. I got off that call feeling like a punching bag.
Kristine Hankins, the runner
“You sound sexy.”
Ugh. I hung up before I could hear his full pickup line.
Alina Kors, the hacker
Monika Bergander, the socialite
Mark Bechhofer, the mentor
The person answered the phone. He said hello and asked for her name. She said Grace.
Well, upon learning of her name, he intuited that she must be a divine sort of person and should join with him in his faith. As she tried to bring the conversation back to the sale, he continued to work off his script, providing a litany of reasons to convert. She finally got him off the call, but for the next few weeks, she’d get an email every day from him, complete with conversion videos. Quite the first week!
Any others to add? Share with us @relsci!