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Cold Call Blunders

From the prospective client's perspective...



7:48 pm on Aug 10, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

In the last week I've received three phone calls from the same design/SEM firm(?). Each time they start out by telling me they "noticed I wasn't ranked well in the search engines" and they could get better listings for me.

Since my site ranks #1-#10 for more than 150 terms/phrases (several of which are in competetive results of over 2-3M) they obviously they don't have a clue what terms are appropriate to my business -or- they didn't look beyond the most competitive one word term (that doesn't convert for me).

Now, I wouldn't be annoyed with one phone call, but three in the same week from the same firm? I tried to be polite on call #3 but my patience was thin.

Geeze, if you are going to cold call, at least know something about what the business needs are - before you call. Or, am I wrong and there are really people that fall for this kind of uninformed, lazy sales call?

If I received a cold call from a firm that was informed about my needs, I just might listen. Especially if the sites in their client list ranked well - instead of on page 200.

Sorry, rant over.


8:13 pm on Aug 10, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Be truthful with them, but blunt. Explain that you have noticed that they come up #1 for "moron", "jerk", and "hard of hearing" and that you are not interested in knowing any more about them.


8:25 pm on Aug 10, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member marcia is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

First time, tell them to put you on their "don't call" list. If they then call again, ask to speak to a supervisor.


9:07 pm on Aug 10, 2004 (gmt 0)

I hear ya. I get this ocassionally too. Some firm rang up, claimed they were the best, sold their client list as quality of their work etc etc.

They too said I couldn't be found in the SE's, which was true, but I doubt they really check these things.

Na, they just wanted to flog their services. 500 for mucking about with a few keywords is not my idea of services worth that sort of cash, when my web designer did it for free.

I think these firms must be on drugs lol. All they do is paint a picture of how you will die, if THEY don't mess around with your site.


10:25 pm on Aug 14, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Maybe you should ask how they found you in the first place? I would be they probably used google...


11:20 pm on Aug 14, 2004 (gmt 0)

It was either Yell.com, Yellow Pages or Thomson Local.

I've since asked to be removed from all 3. All I get is sales calls from badly trained staff.

Sometimes I can turn it around and make a sale myself - but very rarely in that situation. I think people are just too busy themselves to listen to telesales staff or they don't have the authority to make a buying decision.

You have to listen to the customer, and many don't do that. It would be better if you have a great product that gives the ROI - before you try to flog it.

These guys don't. And that's why they fail.


11:27 pm on Aug 14, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member ogletree is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

If you are cold calling it just does not make sense to evauluate each site. The cost per call would be through the roof. Cold calling is just a low level employee with a list of phone numbers. They get a lead somebody better calls you back or gets on the line. You just can't expect anything else. They work on a script.


12:13 am on Aug 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

You would have thought that if they want 1000 worth of business, the least they can do is check out the business of whoever they r about to sell to. How long does it take to bring up a webpage?

Then they could see, if you actually require their services. Preparation is the key to each sales call.

Having done telesales myself, I can understand the kind of presure call centre staff are under, but really successful sales comes from planning and understanding each customers needs - we aren't all numbers you know, and doing a tiny bit of research makes all the difference I think.

It makes the customer feel more important, but more than that it shows potential clients that the company actually thinks about solving their problem.

I've had contact with bad sales staff and some right pros, and the difference is the treatment of the customer - I think anyway.


2:39 am on Aug 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

No, actually it was a fairly well known design group who, I'm pretty sure, hangs out here ;) - or, they "borrowed" this other firm's name.

It's because they are who they are that I made the point.


11:22 am on Aug 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Best thing to do is have a phone system that can route calls based on incoming CLI.

You then send them to a messaging educating them.

That is quite a good one, you can even advsie them of their mistakes and ask them to update their contact management system (if they have one).

If you want more info then PM me.


11:24 am on Aug 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Also Oftel (I think) have a list you can be put on.

If you are added to the list and you get cold calls the people calling you actually breaking the law or something like that. Eitherway it would be a big 'no no' for them.

Do some searches and you will find the list I am talking about. If you can't find it then PM me and I will find it for you.


12:15 pm on Aug 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

Nice one. I know you can get BT to block them - like email.

Some companies have automatic dialing machines, that will just dial numbers (any numbers) and when you answer, then your number is given to a call agent - Bang! They've got you.

Most companies will actually refuse to take you off their list. Which is bad in any case.

I recently threatend one Major company with publicity action if they didn't stop hassling me.

It worked.

They refunded me 200 as a result. I don't suggest everyone does that though, as you need a pretty strong case. But usually the 'complaining' tactic works well.

It works in retail shops quite nicely lol.


12:35 pm on Aug 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member


Some companies using these tricks are unethical and the person at the top is usually a person that does not give into you.

When you talk legalities they usually go back to the rock they came from ;)


6:03 pm on Aug 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

The guy making the calls is just a low-paid, clueless, sometimes semi-literate minion. The problem you have is with his employers. But, there's no harm is starting with the minion. Tell him you always wondered what "SERPS" meant, and ask him to enlighten you. Then go on to "stemming", "Hilltop", "Florida" and "which engine provides results for Altavista?". You will have him stuttering and squirming. Then ask him why on earth you would want someone as stupid as him handling anything to do with your website :)

Then ask to speak to his boss and get taken off their database. It's a bit cruel but they tend to remember you well enough to not bother you again.


6:16 pm on Aug 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

sounds like good advice to me, BTW what is SEO?


6:50 pm on Aug 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Most companies will actually refuse to take you off their list. Which is bad in any case.

And unlawful, if you're in the UK.

For all the details, and registering your phone number see [tpsonline.org.uk...]

it is unlawful to make unsolicited direct marketing calls to individuals who have indicated that they do not want to receive such calls.

They seem to have extended the principle to business phone numbers as well now.

The last cold call I got at home was the day after I had read up on the TPS. I answered the call with "Do you have a do not call list?" She got the idea she wasn't going to sell me a new kitchen pretty quickly.


6:50 pm on Aug 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

lol. I like that.


6:56 pm on Aug 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

I was told by a cold caller that he noticed I was "only" #8 for a competitive search term that has over 7 million results.

I told him to try googling the term again and starting at #7,000,000 and work his way up - rather than starting at the top 10 results.

He didn't seem to appreciate the suggestion. :)


7:03 pm on Aug 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Sounds like they are not only stupid but they also don't understand where to market.


7:36 pm on Aug 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

Most are just 'Pond life' - in it for the buck.

They don't give a damn who they sell to or who they rip off in the process. I don't even reckon their calls are targeted. They just work from a list, any list.

"Energy telesales are now as common as door-to-door selling, and one in five people contacted by telephone feel that they have been misled or pressurised, according to the independent gas and electricity consumer watchdog, energywatch.

The consumer group says telesales complaints account for one in five of all mis-selling complaints it receives, double the rate of 18 months ago.

Allan Asher, the chief executive of energywatch, said: "We are seeing evidence of 'telefraud', with salesmen misrepresenting who they are or how much consumers can save. Our evidence shows that hundreds of people are being duped or pressurised by telephone scams. Yet consumers have far less protection from poor telephone selling than they do from doorstep sales."


I had one SEO lot, that actually held information about my company, so when I asked exactly what info they had, she replied

"Oh that's got nothing to do with you, and it's our data for our use"

I then reminded her of the data protection act, and she then got a bit nasty about it.

Don't need it - do you.


7:53 pm on Aug 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

We should set up a page or something that contains a list of them and post it on the search engines.

Maybe not, too many of them - they just shut down and start up another firm in a different name. Best thing to do is work with the telco and do malicious trace if they become a too much of a problem.

I'm getting more phone calls telling me I can save money on my phone bills. Reading this info I don't think I would go to someone that calls me out of the blue.


8:08 pm on Aug 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

Ah interesting idea. I own a forum, so I could set this up in 5 mins right now!

If I set one up, would you post? The forum is for Office discussions, which would include telesales, customer service, technology etc.

Is anyone interested in that?


6:20 pm on Aug 16, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

<very big smile> I think someone here read my post. Not a phone call, but I did get a long email, with specifics, suggesting how they could improve my site ;)

However, the the keyword they said they used to find me in google, wasn't relevant. No wonder it was on page 100.

... dialing phone as fast as I can to get help being found by one out of 2 million surfers who then wouldn't buy because it wasn't what they were looking for ...yeah, right ;)


7:06 pm on Aug 16, 2004 (gmt 0)

lol. These guys never cease to amaze me. What is the point of listing a site under useless keywords?

How is that going to help a client?

Are they brainless or something? They've got no business sense suggesting something like that.


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